Spiritual Warfare: How to Guard Your Castle

One of my favorite stories is “The Knights of the Silver Shield” by Raymond M. Alden. In the story, a group of valiant knights lived in the forest where they fought the evil giants of the land. They bore silver shields that shone brightly when a knight was virtuous but became cloudy when he was cowardly. 

When the knight performed an exceptional deed, a golden star appeared in the center of his shield. To win his star was a knight’s greatest honor. 

Alden’s story centered on young up-and-coming knight named Sir Roland. He was tasked with guarding the castle while the others rode to war. Roland was crushed that he had been left behind. He faced three temptations to leave the castle gate and join the others, but Roland stayed true to his post.

When the knights returned victorious, young Roland sought out the lord of the castle to return the gate key. As Roland came forward, the other knights cried out in amazement. Roland’s shield blazed with the golden star. The toughest battle, indeed, had been fought right there at the castle. 

When it comes to spiritual warfare, we tend to think of the battle outside the gates. The one against the giants. Out there

In reality, the biggest battle is for the gates of our own castles. In too many homes, the drawbridge is down, the gate is open, and no one stands guard. 

How do we guard our castles and keep the enemy out? 

Here are four areas to consider. 

1. Guard Against Idols. Know your idols and know your whys. What do you reach for instead of God? I have battled stress-eating. When I needed comfort, I reached for food. 

But I hadn’t really thought about why. Why food? Why comfort? 

When I prayed about it, God showed me how key people in my life had failed to comfort me. I started to believe God wouldn’t comfort me either, so I went to food instead. Today I go to God first. I’m learning to receive comfort from Him as His daughter. 

“You shall have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20:3 NIV

Know your idols and know your whys. 

2. Guard Your Habits. Personal habits can open doors to the enemy—or close them. 

Sleep. Nutrition. Exercise, Entertainment. 

What are your habits like in each of these areas? 

I’ve struggled with allergies for most of my life until, at a friend’s suggestion, I decided to go gluten free. To my surprise, my allergies vanished. I had no idea what the gluten was doing to my body—until I stopped eating it. What effect do your habits have on you?

Entertainment is much the same way. Violence. Language. Gratuitous sex. All content affects you spiritually, positive or negative. You built up a tolerance to different levels of it whether it’s music, literature, or what you’re watching. 

When you stop watching whatever it is and then go back to it a couple of months later, you’ll be amazed at your reaction, how little tolerance you’ll have for it. Sensitivity to that thing sharpens, and that’s good. 

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11

Cultivate habits that empower, rather than hinder you.

3. Guard Against Offense. Taking offense is something I see many believers grapple with and Scripture is not silent on the subject. 

“Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the mater separates close friends.” Proverbs 17:9

“A brother wronged is more unyielding than a fortified city . . .” Proverbs 18:19

“A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.” Proverbs 19:11

This may even be generational. Check yourself. Are you holding an offense against someone? The Bait of Satan by John Bevere is a great resource.

4. Guard Your Community. We need each other. Community offers prayer, encouragement, accountability, and fun. No one thrives in isolation. What kind of community does your castle hold? Is everyone behind their doors, screens in hand, alone? Or is your castle a place of fun and fellowship for family and friends alike? 

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” Hebrews 10:24

Cultivate community.

Matthew 12:43-45 reads:

When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.

As you examine your castle, take care not to stop one thing without starting another. 

Turn from your idol to God.

Turn from a poor habit to a healthy one. 

Turn from offense to forgiveness and grace.

Turn from isolation to community. 

Guard your castle and let your shield shine. 

Click here for Devour the Bible: One Bite at a Time and Small Bites. One Bite at a Time and Small Bites are one-page Bible resources for parents with elementary students and preschoolers. They combine Scripture memory with Bible study and correspond with this month’s blog post. Parent tips are included. Stick them on your fridge, your breakfast table, or in your car. Devour the Bible one bite at a time.


What are your idols and the whys behind them?

How do your personal habits empower you? Hinder you?

Do you need to forgive someone?

How can you cultivate community in your castle?

Read “The Knights of the Silver Shield” as a family. Discuss what security measures need to be taken to properly guard the castle. 

Leave a Comment

Join Gayle

Subscribe to get my latest content by email.

We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at any time.

Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.

Recent Posts