Our Spiritual War Part 4
Ephesians 6:15, “and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace.”
So far we have talked about the fact that our war is indeed a spiritual one, it is not about fighting against flesh and blood but principalities, and powers, and rulers of darkness. We are told to put on the whole armor of God and have so far talked about believing our Commander and being clothed by our Commander, and today we turn to how we must be prepared for our Commander. Shoes were a vital part of a soldier’s armor. Soldiers then and now often have to march long distances, now imagine doing so with terrible shoes, the blisters, pain, distraction, and possibility of injury all increase with poor shoes. In the great historical fiction novel “All Quiet on the Western Front” having bad shoes is often an issue for the soldiers depicted in the novel, so much so that they covet good shoes from fallen comrades. The shoes in our spiritual armor, that which moves us from place to place, is the preparation of the gospel of peace.
The word for preparation here means to prepare, provide, or make ready. Are we ready to share the gospel of peace with others? What a question, and a searching one at that. 1 Peter 3:15 says, “But sanctify 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.” Here we are told to always be ready to give a defense, an apologia (answer or defense), for the hope that we have in Christ. How do we do that? We start by sanctifying the Lord God in our hearts. The word sanctify means to set apart as holy, and in this case it means that we are to set God apart as holy in our hearts, in other words, He is to have that special place in our hearts where He is the priority in our lives, where we put Him first above all other things in our lives, where we seek His Kingdom and His righteousness first (Matthew 6:33). When we do that, by the power God’s Spirit provides, we will be ready to give an answer for the hope that is in us to everyone who asks. We do this with meekness (humility) and fear because if it were not for Jesus, we would be no different than the person(s) we are trying to reach.
Finally, the gospel that we are prepared to preach is the gospel of peace. It is the good news that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, rose from the grave proving that He is God, and that He conquered sin and death, and that whoever believes in Him will have peace. We first will have peace with God through Jesus, no longer His enemy because of sin but His children because of grace. We will have peace in ourselves, the peace that passes all understanding which is given to us through Jesus love and sacrifice. Finally, we will be able to be at peace with others, because we have let go of our desire for revenge and learn to practice and offer forgiveness as Jesus did.
In Isaiah 52:7 we read, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” When we sanctify God in our hearts, and are prepared to share the love of Jesus with others through the gospel of peace, we will have these beautiful feet, we will be prepared to go into this spiritual war proclaiming that our God reigns, and that He has provided a way to escape from death through Jesus Christ.
Image Borrowed from 123rf.com