June 7, 2013
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
Today we will examine the third piece of armor God has provided for engaging in spiritual battle. That third piece is found in Ephesians 6:15, but I quote from verse 14 also as an introduction:
Stand therefore…having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of
Protection of the feet is important because you have to maintain a good foundation – standing – in all that you do. Achilles discovered this the hard way! In an article, Achilles’ heel, on Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, it says,
In Greek mythology, when Achilles was a baby, it was foretold that he would die
young. To prevent his death, his mother Thetis took Achilles to the River Styx,
which was supposed to offer powers of invulnerability, and dipped his body into
the water. But as Thetis held Achilles by the heel, his heel was not washed over
by the water of the magical river. Achilles grew up to be a man of war who
survived many great battles. But one day, a poisonous arrow shot at him was
lodged in his heel, killing him shortly after.
By what are your feet spiritually protected as you fight Satan and his demons? By “…the preparation of the gospel of peace….” Notice that protection is not by “the gospel of peace” but by “preparation” – being prepared to share the good news of Jesus Christ with others. You see, the feet are to take us where we are directed to go. It is not where we want to go! It is where the Holy Spirit leads us! That’s important, because any soldier must be trained to follow the orders of his or her commander. And to be prepared to follow orders, one of the first things the military will do in basic training is to break down the self-will of a new recruit so that new soldier can be built up to follow commands and be useful to the larger scheme of things – the overall mission of the military.
Jesus is to be the Christian’s Commander-in-Chief! And He showed us how we are to prepare ourselves to follow His orders. In the garden, He prayed to be delivered from the horrific torture of the cross. Physically, the agony of crucifixion was terrible! But spiritually…… the perfect Son of God who had never been separated from the Father was about to become sin and sinner before the holy Father, and He would forsake the Son and pour out His full wrath upon Him. No wonder Jesus prayed in Luke 22:42, “Father, if it is Your will, remove this cup from me….” But He knew His Father’s will, and was prepared to follow it – “…nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” This is the most important prayer a Christian can pray! (see April 29, 2013 blog).
To be ready to go where the your Commander-in-Chief sends you, to be prepared to share the gospel – the good news of Jesus Christ – with others so they can escape the imprisonment of Satan – this is a big part of the spiritual battle our Lord calls us to fight!
So the preparation that guards our feet is more being ready to go without question and do without argument where and what the orders from the Holy Spirit direct us to go and do. I believe the preparation of what to say as we share the gospel with others is secondary – but important! We should learn how to show others their condition of sin according to the scriptures. We should know the Bible well enough to teach someone how Jesus died in our place, for our sins. We should be able to encourage a person to open his or her heart and life to the Lord and invite Him in, even leading that one in a prayer of repentance and acceptance of salvation. We should be able to direct a new believer to grow in the Lord by engaging in prayer, reading and study of the Word, worship and fellowship with other Christians, and sharing their faith with those in need.
Notice also that it is called “the gospel of peace”. That’s because it brings peace to those who believe – peace between God and man. As it says in Ephesians 2:13 and 14:
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off are made near by the blood
of Christ. For He Himself is our peace….
Then it brings peace within – Galatians 5:22 and 23:
…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness, self-control….
Finally, as shown in II Corinthians 13:11, it generates peace interacting with others:
Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in
peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.
Yes, there is a lot to this preparation of the gospel of peace, but it is absolutely essential to being ready to engage the enemy in spiritual battle. So put on your battle shoes – the preparation of the gospel of peace.