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February 22, 2019

"...Taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one".

The Roman soldier’s shield Paul describes here was large enough to protect nearly his whole body. It was made of thick wood with an outer layer of leather or metal. As the legion went into battle, a line of troops carrying these shields could stand in front. As they advanced, these shields would protect them from the enemy’s archers, who would often dip their arrows in flammable materials and set them afire. The soldiers behind the front line could hold their shield over the heads of the soldiers in front of them, protecting the whole unit from the enemy's barrage.

While Paul does not directly make this application, as we consider how the Roman legions fought together using their shields, we learn an important lesson on how we can stand in our battles. The soldiers fought together using their shields to protect the unit as a whole. They provided protection for each other and found success only as they fought together. This reminds us how we need fellow believers to encourage, strengthen, and protect us in our battles. As Paul emphasizes the importance of prayer, he challenges us, “With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints… (6:18). We are to pray for and encourage each other! This is primarily found in our involvement in a local church that preaches the gospel and teaches the Word of God. It is there we are prepared and equipped to face our spiritual battles. It is there we find encouragement and support in fighting together side by side with fellow believers.

This was just part of this week's Bible study in the West Virginia state capitol as we considered "Put on Your Boots and Pick Up Your Shield" from Ephesians 6:1-20.

Believers in the capitol, like all followers of Christ, face a constant barrage of attacks from the evil one. There are many who do not know Christ and so are still enemies with God.

Pray for leaders, legislators, lobbyists, and staff to put their faith in Christ and all that He has done for them.

Pray for believers to grow in their understanding and faith in who they are in Christ so that may stand firm in the face of all Satan's attacks.

Pray that believers may find help, encouragement, and protection in the fellowship and support of their brothers and sisters in Christ both at home and in the statehouse.

Tim Pauley

Capitol Commission West Virginia