Look beyond your target. Know where your firearm is pointed. These are two important lessons of handling and use of a firearm. The user needs to understand and know that when they shoot a gun it will not just affect the target. If you are around people who shoot much you will hear the stories. Once, out in the country, some boys were target shooting in their backyard.
They had no idea they were raining bird shot on the neighbors barn. A man and his kids were heading out to hunt, but one of the rifles was pointed straight backwards. The gun unintentionally fired. The shot went through their house behind them and injured one of the family members. The point of the story is that you must be aware of unintended consequences.
Ephesians 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
The devil and his dark forces are experts at warfare. They have been waging war on God and the godly for centuries. We often believe and teach the shield of faith is simply there to stop the attacks of the devil. The fact is the devil is hoping and planning on some secondhand damage to be done. A fiery dart dodged is not safety. That dart will fall where it will, and begin to start a wildfire. Even a fiery dart blocked with a shield needs to be then QUENCHED by the shield user. My admonition to all young people is to be careful of secondhand damage.
1. Damage will be done whether or not the wicked’s dart finds it’s mark.
The history of flaming warfare is an interesting one. It is thought that the Greeks were the first users of flaming projectiles. The intention is not in hitting a target. The intention of what is called thermal weaponry is secondhand damage. If the arrow hits its mark, good, but if the arrow can catch something on fire, even better. The wicked are shooting at you with full intention of damage. Be sure to have a proper shield to not only stop the darts, but to quench them too.
2. Do not let the wicked get too close.
Fiery darts are a tricky weapon. It is said that flaming arrows need to be shot from loose strung bows. If the arrow is shot too quickly, the fire will go out and if the arrows flight is too long, it will be quenched before landing; therefore thermal weaponry is a mid-ranged attack. The best defense is to not be under attack. Be sure to keep the wicked as far away as possible. The places you go, friends you have, and things you do all place you either farther away from the wicked or closer. That distance will determine how easy it is to set fire to your camp.
3. Dip your shield in water.
Even soldiers equipped with a shield are not clear from danger. A shield that catches fire is more dangerous than an arrow! Jesus Christ is the living water. The Bible itself is available for continual washing. Be sure to have a strong relationship with these two, and your shield will be fire resistant.
Pastor Jesse McCammon
Calvary Baptist Church | Flora, IL