Friday, February 21, 2014

Our Whole Armor, 4of9

~ Shoes of Peace ~

“Having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace” (Ephesians 6:15).

Good feet are essential for any soldier.  Without good footwear it is hard for a foot soldier to accomplish military feats.  Good sandals, shoes, or boots represent movement and the ability to go.  There is historical evidence that suggests superior footwear allowed the Roman army to advance successfully due to the spikes on the soles of their footwear.  Good traction provides stability on uneven or slippery ground and provides protection for the feet.  In martial arts the stance is considered critical.  It is only from a proper solid stance that all kinds of kicks and punches can effectively be launched. 

In Biblical days the enemy would sometimes scatter sharp stones or barbed spikes along the main routes to slow the enemy down.  In modern warfare mankind uses land mines, or more recently IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) just under the surface.  Satan, the great enemy of Christ and His army is similar in how he scatters snares and traps to slow us, or even stop us, from spreading the gospel of peace. 

The cleats or spikes of a Christian soldier are fashioned by the Word of God.  Jesus said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).  When Jesus came to earth the first time, an angel accompanied by a multitude of heavenly beings pronounced, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:14).  When He comes the second time it will be as the Prince of Peace bringing lasting peace to His people.   Is it surprising that our foot protection is related to the gospel of peace?  

The Word of God is both an offensive and defensive weapon.  When Satan tempted the Messiah, each temptation was responded to with God’s Word (Matthew 4:1-11). 

The Word of God is likewise critical for our spiritual battles.  We have been given clear commands to go on the offense such as, “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’  Amen” (Matthew 28:18-20).  Another related command is, “Sanctify [set apart] the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15). 

We have also been given clear commands about being prepared defensively.  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.  Resist him, steadfast in the faith” (1 Peter 5:8-9a).  Defensive preparation is the major point of the passage we are looking at in this series.  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.  Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (Ephesians 6:11-13). 

don’t miss this  ~  (1) The shoes of peace – Jesus Christ is our peace!  For He Himself is our peace” (Ephesians 2:14a).  (2) In any war it is the soldier’s responsibility to not only hold his ground but to advance and take new ground.  How are you doing?  When was the last time you witnessed about your Savior?  How long has it been since you gained new souls for the Savior? 

~ Robert Lloyd Russell, ABUNDANT LIFE NOW

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