How to protect your heart when you’re under attack from the thoughts in your own head
“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, ESV
You don’t belong here. You’re not good enough. What makes you think you can do this? You should give up before you embarrass yourself.
Flaming darts flying straight toward your heart. You are under attack. Not by other people (though that certainly happens in this life), but by your own thoughts.
Bad stuff always happens to you. You can’t do anything right. Maybe things just aren’t meant to work out for you.
The darts continue to fly. Your situation is an all-out battle. Everyone else seems to be on the fast track for success, but you find yourself sluggishly crawling through each day.
You don’t deserve success. You don’t work hard enough. You’ve never been good at anything.
More thoughts, more dangerous darts. Reaching for an open door, it’s slammed in your face. One failure after another: failed relationships, failed jobs, failed finances, failed faith.
The flaming darts of doubt, intimidation, fear, and inadequacy—your own thoughts—fly relentlessly, and if they reach your heart, they will win. They will light a fire that will consume your focus and threaten your resolve.
Friend, when life feels like a battle, we must defend our hearts. But it is beyond our strength to withstand the attack. Instead, we must look to the King of the battle.
The Apostle Paul tells us, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might” (Ephesians 6:1, emphasis mine). He continues by telling us to put on the armor of God.
“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). When we are under attack, we need a shield to guard our hearts and minds . . . even from our own thoughts.
Can I confess something? I need that shield as desperately as you do.
So . . . I made one. Though I don’t have a crafty bone in my body, I printed off a shield and raided my daughter’s markers. I thought about the promises the Lord has made me in His Word. I thought of all the verses I’ve been memorizing the past year. I thought about who my Creator says I am. And then I wrote those words on my shield. This is the answer to the flaming darts of my own thoughts.
This shield is made of the faith I have in God’s love for me and His purpose for my life.
It is strong and solid. It will not be penetrated. I will hold this shield in front of my heart, and through the strength of God’s might, those darts will be deflected. They will fall to the ground, powerless. With this shield in hand, I can stand against the schemes of the evil one who wants me to succumb to the flaming darts of my own thoughts.
When I am under attack, I will raise my shield.
Friend, I hope you will, too.
You are strong and mighty. You can defend my heart against the attacks of my own thoughts. Those flaming darts are not from You. They are from the enemy. Today, I take up my shield of faith. Lord, help me remember who I am in You. Help me feel confident in Your love. Help me cling tightly to my shield as I obey Your calling so that You might be glorified.
In Your will, through Your power, and for Your glory,
Want more encouragement? Open up your Bible and let the Lord speak to your soul. Start with these verses: