Have you ever had a long, hard day? Has your phone ever rung with bad news on the other end? Have you ever been laid off, dumped, had a health scare? Have you ever hurt someone you love? Have you ever been mistreated, abused, abandoned, or ignored? Have you ever had more month than money, more problems than solutions, and more drama than a little bit?
If you answered “yes” to one or more of those questions, you and I have something in common: a need for some help!
Turns out, all of the above experiences depict the nature of what Paul refers to as spiritual warfare in Ephesians chapter 6. We learn here that we have an enemy who constantly schemes up ways to keep our days long and hard. If we are not Christians, he’s pleased with that. If we are Christians, he’ll settle for making us miserable Christians who experience as much hell on Earth as possible.
In light of this fact, Paul continues to use the tactics of Roman soldiers in battle to teach us how we can more consistently experience victory in the battles we face.
“Stand firm then, . . . with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.” (Ephesians 6:14-15)
Consider the following: the shoes of a Roman soldier were studded with nails or spikes, like cleats. Defensively, these spikes allowed the soldier to keep his balance when actively under attack. The soldier knew that if he fell to the ground he was likely to die no matter how great all his other armor was. Offensively, these spikes allowed the soldier to confidently and securely move throughout their territory to assist other soldiers when necessary.
We too have shoes that are studded with nails or spikes, like cleats. These “shoes” I’m referring to are the peace of God and the “cleats” are the Truth found in the Bible. Paul is teaching us that in order to “stand firm” against the schemes of our enemy, we need the shoes of peace on our feet. It is the peace of God that will keep us balanced when chaos is all around us. It is the peace of God that helps us to move about making a difference in the lives of others as we share the Gospel.
Where does this peace come from? Great question!
This peace is found in the Gospel, the Good news of Christ, the Bible, the Word of God, the TRUTH! When we dig into this truth we gain sure footing while under attack and the ability to move about as disciples in preparation for future attacks. This sure footing, this balance, this stride of confidence in the midst of attacks from our enemy is called peace. And this peace is deposited from the Holy Spirit living inside of us into our souls, where it then impacts what we do with our bodies. We keep going in spite of . . . we smile even though . . . we show up any how . . .
When we put on the shoes of peace, we are deciding to retreat to what the Spirit living in us says instead of what the world around us insists!
We have the facts:
- the job is gone
- the test results are positive
- the account balance is negative
- the divorce is final
- the plug has been pulled
Paul is reminding us that we also have the Truth:
- “. . . I have not seen the righteous forsaken . . .” (Psalm 37:25).
- “All things work together for good to them that love God . . .” (Romans 8:28).
- “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins . . .” (1 John 1:9).
- “I am fearfully and wonderfully made . . .” (Psalm 139:14).
It’s this Truth that produces the peace we need to stand firm!
I remember when my marriage was under attack. Never-mind a long, hard day! We had a long, hard season! Young, newly married, away from family and friends, my husband and I had to make a choice.
We could respond based on the facts:
- this was not just a “bad dream”
- we were, based on statistics, doomed to end up in divorce court
- we were hurt and disappointed
Or we could dig deep and respond based on the Truth found in God’s word. We chose the latter! While there were many truths we stood on during that season, the two main ones were:
- “. . . but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15b), and
- “Though you have made [us] see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore[this marriage] again; from the depths of the earth, you will again bring [us] up. You will increase [our] honor and comfort [us] once more” (Psalm 71:20-21).
In the midst of much chaos and confusion, we were able to stand firm! That’s peace! It was a sweet gift from God deposited in our spirits. When we decided to agree with the Truth and act accordingly, that Truth was transferred deep into our souls where it eventually impacted what we did with our bodies, that is, we stayed married! (And we’re so glad we did!)
That’s the armor Paul is encouraging us to put on!
Need some help?
Go get fitted today!