I’ve been grappling with the concept of ‘fiery darts of the evil one’, and this is my conclusion:
When God says to me that He will never leave me or forsake me He means exactly that!
The word forsake means:
vb (tr) , -sakes, -saking, -sook (-ˈsʊk) or -saken (-ˈseɪkən)
1. to abandon
2. to give up (something valued or enjoyed)
Hebrews 13:5 – [Let your] conversation [be] without covetousness; [and be] content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
So if I am a child of God He will never abandon me, or give me up. He won’t decide that I’m not good enough to play on His team. He won’t mock me because I don’t have ball skills or I don’t listen to the ‘right’ kind of music. It won’t matter that I can’t run as fast as all the others and He won’t tease me because I’m not good at making friends or because I like to sit and read instead of playing ball.
He isn’t going to tell me I’m on my own when I mess up. He isn’t going to turn His back on me and pretend He doesn’t know me. He doesn’t mind that I don’t do what everyone else is doing just so that I can fit in. And when I do try to fit in (which I’m not very good at) He patiently waits for me to realize that He didn’t make me to fit in. He made me to be exactly the person He wanted me to be. He made me to feel comfortable in the situations He wants me to be comfortable with and He gives me His grace to survive those I’m not comfortable with. He doesn’t require of me to pretend to be part of things which He hasn’t made me to be part of. He won’t decide that I don’t have the right skills and dismiss me. He won’t force or manipulate me to do things that I am not at ease with. He will prepare me patiently for things that He wants me to do so that when the time comes for me to do those things I am completely happy to do them.
When the evil one shoots those fiery darts at my heart He tells me that I must have my shield of faith in place to quench them. Ephesians 6:16 – ‘above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.’ Above all says to me that it is very, very important. And then, ‘with which you..’, means I will be able to quench them, not God, but me. I will be able to do it because my faith will carry me. I must have the kind of faith that when someone says something hurtful, I don’t fall apart or fight back, I just stand on my faith and know that it’s an attack from the devil. Understanding things is very important to me and when I grasped ‘fiery darts’ it was a lightbulb moment for me. It was a revelation to know that all the hurts which people have spoken (and to me it’s usually the spoken word which hurts the most) are just attacks from Satan and I don’t have to bother with them because God told me He would never leave me or forsake me. He also told me in Isaiah 51:12
“I, even I, am He who comforts you.
Who are you that you should be afraid
Of a man who will die,
And of the son of a man who will be made like grass?”
That plainly tells me that I don’t have to be worried about what people say. Even when they say hurtful things about my children, and mother’s are always way more sensitive about their children than even themselves, I can just go back to God and tell Him about it. He always listens and He will always calm my heart. Actually the very next verse in Isaiah is so profound. Isaiah 51:13
“And you forget the Lord your Maker,
who stretched out the heavens
And laid the foundations of the earth;
You have feared continually every day
Because of the fury of the oppressor,
When he has prepared to destroy.
And where is the fury of the oppressor?”
Then the Lord goes on to say how much more powerful He is than any other force. I seem to forget how powerful God really is. I can crumble into a heap of misery at the smallest insult that gets hurled my way. When stones are thrown I retreat and hide, instead of keeping my head up and facing the storm. Psalm 23 tells me that God is with me even if I walk through the valley of the shadow of death. My goodness! What a statement. I don’t know of anything that could sound worse than walking through that valley. And then He prepares a table for me in the presence of of my enemies. He adds insult to injury because the evil forces then have to realize that they cannot do anything to me as long as I am holding onto my faith in God.
Psalm 18, which is one of my favourite psalms says in verse 6:
‘In my distress I called upon the Lord,
And cried out to my God;
He heard my voice from His temple.
And my cry came before Him,
even to His ears.’
That must be one of the most comforting verses I know. If I call out to God He will hear me. He knows I’m here, He knows I exist and He cares. What more can I ask?