Vance Havner says,
“We often see the spiritual counterpart in Christian experience. Satan steals our shields of gold and we try to cover our defeat and hide our chagrin by making in their stead shields of brass!
At Pentecost the church began with shields of gold. But that which began in the Spirit tried later to make itself perfect in the flesh. Constantine embraced Christianity and the church joined hands with the world. Harnack tells us, ‘As the proofs of the Spirit and of power subsided after the beginning of the third century, the extraordinary moral tension also became relaxed, paving the way gradually for a morality which was adapted to a worldly life.
The church began to compromise, so as to be less offensive to an ungodly age. When Thomas Aquinas visited the Pope and was being shown the splendor of the papal treasures, the pontiff remarked, ‘You will observe that the church no longer has to say, silver and gold have I none.’ And Aquinas answered, ‘Neither can she say, Rise up and walk.’ Shishak has stolen the shields of gold and men were substituting shields of brass.”
Jack R. Taylor, After the Spirit Comes (Bedford, TX: Burkhart Books, 2013), 82–83.