“ABOVE ALL, TAKING THE SHIELD OF FAITH,
wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” As the words stand here in our translation, one or the other might suppose that those words “above all” indicate that it is of the first importance to have this shield of faith. Now I do not at all undervalue this shield of faith, but only to point out that this “above all” does not mean that it is of more importance than the other parts of the armour. The meaning of it is, “in addition to all;” that is, not leaving it out.
We have already observed the importance of faith, but this again brings it before us the deep importance of exercising faith; and this not only on this particular point, or on the other particular point, but our faith should be exercised on the whole revealed truth of God. In regard to all that He has said as to this world, or the world to come, as well as the first point, that of believing on His dear Son, whom He hath sent into the world. We have to aim after this, that we should increasingly and truly, and with child-like simplicity, seek to take God at His Word. That is exercising faith, which is here called the “shield of faith.”
Now in the case of the Roman soldiers, it was deeply important to be protected by the shield. You all know how important this shield was to ward off dangers, such as arrows and blows of the sword. But it was also of great service in warding off darts. So in the spiritual conflict this shield of faith is given, that the child of God should be able to stand against the fiery darts of the wicked—that is the wicked ones—the darts of Satan.