Picking Up Arrows


If you were in a war and you saw an arrow stuck in the ground, would you pick it up and hand it to your fellow soldier to use? You wouldn’t if you knew the arrow itself was poisonous to touch.

The truth is, you are in a war, a spiritual war, and there will be flaming arrows coming at you from the enemy.  But God has provided you with the shield of faith to extinguish those arrows.

But what if you’ve lowered your shield because the arrow isn’t blazing at you from the enemy but is handed to you from someone on your side fighting with you?  You reach out, take the arrow, and realize only then that it was a trap.  You’ve been struck; the poison the enemy conjured up to specifically harm you has found its way directly to you.  No, it’s not the same as the enemy himself hitting you.  It’s much worse.  The enemy used someone you trust to inflict harm, and now the poison has entered your bloodstream.

And it hurts. You drop to your knees and wonder what in the world just happened?  Perhaps the one who handed it to you has already moved on in battle and didn’t realize you’ve hit the ground.  So you stop fighting, you stop gaining ground, and you stop obeying the command to press on because you’re hurt and confused.  You tend to your injury the best you can, unaware of what antidote to use because you’re not sure what poison has entered your system.  You just know the poison reached your heart the moment you realized it came from your own side.

Maybe you survive, take some time to recover, and return to fight the enemy. And maybe you don’t.  Maybe you spend the rest of your days a frail shell of the warrior you once were, wondering:  If only my fellow soldier wouldn’t have picked up that arrow. If only I wouldn’t have taken it.

 Satan shoots flaming arrows of doubt, worthlessness, and a number of lies at each one of us to destroy us, to annihilate our faith; hence the reason God provides the shield of faith. (Thank you, Lord.) But we can’t assume the arrows, the lies, have disappeared when we block them and they fall to the ground.  The lies are still there, waiting to inflict harm, waiting to poison someone’s faith.  And when it happens, the heart that once surged with total devotion to God now slows to a deadly beat.

The antidote?

For the injured soul who is battling against the enemy and has been handed an arrow and the poison is coursing through your veins and heading to your heart, God has provided a powerful antidote: His Word.  It is full of truth.  Drink it in deeply.  And remember if someone tries to hand you an arrow again, a lie, don’t touch it. Don’t let it enter your mind. Hold tight to every piece of your armor, especially the sword of the Spirit you carry, and press on.

And to those who may be unaware, if you see an arrow sticking out of the ground, a juicy piece of gossip, a morsel of a half-truth about someone, don’t pick it up. In fact, don’t even touch it.  You see, the poison may have been meant for another, but it will also hurt you:  You’ll be fighting on the wrong side.

“Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies.”  (Psalm 34:13 NIV.)