The shield of faith enables us to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. (Ep 6:16) These fiery darts aren’t physical, but they’re very real. What are they? How do we quench them?
The wicked shoot fiery darts and arrows at us with their words: sharp, biting, cutting remarks designed to wound and scar us. (Pr 12:18) The poison and fire they carry are lies intended to make us feel unimportant and inferior, ashamed, rejected and unloved, isolated and vulnerable.
The wicked are prompted to speak these words by their father (Jn 8:44) the enemy, who works in them (Ep 2:2) to steal our joy, kill our passion and zeal, and destroy our witness. (Jn 10:10) As we receive these words, the enemy injects the emotions of fear, rejection and shame into our minds and hearts, lending supernatural, debilitating force to the jabs. It is an all-out, frontal assault on our spiritual life, from which we must be quick to defend ourselves.
When our faith shields are down, and we aren’t being mindful of the precious promises and faithfulness of God, we let these darts through to wound us. They continue to afflict and harm us until we engage our faith, lifting our shields to heal our minds and hearts, by reminding ourselves of the three basic truths:
- We’re loved infinitely by God (1Jn 3:1), Whose love is all we’ll ever need; we’re totally accepted by Him in Christ (Ep 1:6), and for Christ’s sake. (Ep 4:32)
- God is in control of all things at all times (Da 4:35), and He has a glorious purpose in all our suffering (Ro 5:3-5); nothing is out of order or amiss in His plan (Ep 1:11), and
- We each have a unique purpose in God’s eternal plan (2Ti 1:9), and He’s working everything out for our good and for His glory, all the time. (Ro 8:28)
If God is for us, who can be against us? (Ro 8:31) We thus dismiss these fiery darts as the nothings that they really are, ignoring them as lies with no substance, and continue rejoicing in God.
In understanding that those delivering the enemy’s darts are lost, or perhaps that the enemy’s exploiting the elect as they walk out the mystery of faith, as they reach out to us in love and good conscience as best they can, we’re free to look for and receive any constructive criticism or wisdom to strengthen our walk with God, without any threat to our souls, and be the better for it.
4 thoughts on “Fiery Darts”
Romans 8, such a wonderful chapter of scripture.
Yes, it’s an amazing place to meditate. Lots of spiritual ammo here to counteract the poison / burning of the enemy’s lies.
Another key, when people accuse us, is realizing they may indeed be wrong, merely telling us about themselves and nothing at all about us.
We’re often too quick to accept an accusation as if it were legitimate, without realizing we need not defend ourselves or be intimidated by the enemy’s claim. It is in trying to protect our own vulnerability and hide our imperfections that we are tempted to resist accusations and defend ourselves, but this is unnecessary.
If an accusation happens to be legitimate, even partially, humility rejoices in discovering another opportunity to grow and asks God for grace to overcome, unconcerned about the efforts to shame, disvalue or belittle, resting in ultimate security in God.
Another technique to avoid unnecessary strife is to condition ourselves, when we begin to feel intimidated, threatened or angry, is to clarify intent. Repeat back what we heard and ask for confirmation and agreement.
Discuss implications of the accusation(s) and ask if this was the intent. Doing this does not strengthen a false accusation, invariably it will bring truth and light to bear upon it, dismiss with the emotionalism, both weakening the accusation and confronting the accuser with emotional manipulation and/or irrationality.
Many times, people speak emotionally with a specific context or perspective or presupposition in mind which is not apparent to you or others, which they should explain but seldom do; they may not even be aware they are doing. Asking insightful questions exposes these presuppositions and allows them to be analyzed thoughtfully.