Roman soldiers were trained to lock shields in formation, creating an impenetrable defensive wall bristling with spear points. When shields were locked in place, they would march forward as a whole, advancing the enemy. They called it a Tortoise formation. Unstoppable.
Stronger together than apart.
In all circumstances, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one. – Ephesians 6:16
“Paul is alluding to the large shield used by the Roman foot soldier of his day. This shield was not the small round one used by the cavalry; it was, instead, four feet long, two feet wide and resembled a door. (Wow) It was constructed of wood and wicker over which animal skins were stretched and the edges were studded with iron to protect the leather. The shield, in addition to providing the normal protection one would expect from a shield, was designed specifically to stop and extinguish the flaming projectiles of the enemy. (Ah yeah). The leather was stretched over the wicker so as to provide a space between it and the wood underneath. When the fiery arrows and darts passed through the leather and stuck to the wood underneath, they were extinguished.” – Alan Turner
That is one heck of a shield.
This weekend my family has been in a bit of warfare. And it is true, true, true that we do not wage war against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12.
Our adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. [And we are to] resist him, firm in your faith. – 1 Peter 5:8
While prowling around, he made a pit stop at the Crenshaw’s.
Time to practice what I preach. Time to grab my shield and stand firm.
But what happens when the attack is so great, I can barely stand?
What happens when I get all of the wind knocked out of me. I can’t stand OR breathe.
What if I am too weak, beaten down and scared?
Then it is time to advance the enemy Tortoise Style.
Grab your people.
Sometimes, in spiritual battle, I go dumb. I forget, briefly, which end is up, how to pray, who my Victor is and how to dress myself in God’s armor.
Today, I am thankful for my people. I literally feel as if one friend helped me fasten my belt of truth, another snapped on my breastplate. I was swinging my feet for one to place my shoes of readiness. Brent was slapping a helmet on my head and another handed me my shield and sword.
They peeled me off the floor, locked their door-sized shields with mine and off we went. Storming the gates of hell.
I bet the enemy tucked his tale between his legs and quivered at the sound of our coming.
Thank you, sweet body of Christ, for loving me. Please pray for my sweet Daddy. He is not well. Please pray that we brave the storm in victory. Not defeat.
If you are in battle, don’t forget your people. We need eachother.