“Stand firm therefore…having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace.” Ephesians 6:15 (Also see Isaiah 52:7, Romans 10:15, and John 14:27)
Currently, we are putting on the Armor of God as found in Ephesians 6:10-20, piece-by-piece. As a matter of fact, the value of the armor is manifested in its ability to enable the Christian believer to “stand firm” and “resist” the trickery and cunning deceit of the devil (see Ephesians 6:10-13), as we put it on in this fashion each new day. Has the enemy whispered anything in your ear lately such as, “With all the bad things you are witnessing on TV, can you truly believe that God is in control and that He really cares about those who are suffering, yet alone whatever it is that you may be facing personally?” As viewed from another angle, sometimes the Christian may wonder how someone has made it through a very difficult situation in life without losing his or her mind.
Paul answers situations or scenarios such as these amidst the devil’s attacks, via a Christian’s fitting his or her feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace. “Peace” is the operative word found in this verse. And “shod” or “fit” in the original language conveys the idea of “binding something very tightly on the bottom of one’s feet.” What is Paul getting at?
Paul was likening the spiritual armor God has made available to the Christian to the suit of armor worn by a First Century Roman soldier. And no committed soldier would be caught dead without having his shoes fitted tightly and ready for battle. What’s interesting, is the most often overlooked fact that the soldier’s boot (or sandal) was equipped with a large spike in the heel which enabled him to plant his feet firmly and evenly so-as-to station himself mightily on the ground as the enemy approached as well as when he attacked.
How about you Christian? Are you standing firmly on God’s Word which, as Paul says, affords the Christian having made peace with God at the cross, to enter life’s battles daily with the peace of God strapped tightly to his feet. And the result? So, you can be ready to share the gospel of peace of Jesus Christ with an often confused, desperate, and terrified world! Suit up!
The Shield of Faith
In addition to all, taking up the shield of faith (by) which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one.
The other day I was out walking our little dog Sparkey in our back yard when I noticed that he had met someone new when he turned the corner of the house-a little turtle! Well, Sparkey proceeded to sniff the turtle, who went back into his shell, but after the novelty wore off, he trotted away from his armored friend.
Paul likened a Roman soldier’s shield to that of a Christian’s faith for a reason.
The Roman soldier’s shield he carried was as big as a door of a house so that it completely covered him in battle. The shield was constructed of 6 layers of animal hide affixed to a wooden base held in place by a metal clamp that surrounded the edge of the shield. Before battle, the soldier would dip his shield into a tub of water so that when it was stricken by an enemy’s arrow designed to burst into flames upon contact, the water-soaked shield would immediately quench the flames and the arrow would be rendered ineffective.
Also, Roman soldiers’ shields were equipped with little hinges on the side so they could be connected to form a wall of shields: front, back, and on the sides when approaching the enemy. Interestingly, those soldiers on the inside would place their shield overhead and this roof was called (as translated) the tortoise.
We can learn a lot from the little creature called the turtle, the gear of the Roman soldier, and most of all Paul’s treatment of the Armor of God. What fiery missile has the enemy been shooting towards your mind, emotions, and heart! Take heart! Lift your shield of faith in victory this day! (See Romans 10:7)
Trusting God’s Faithfulness and Exercising My Faith in Him!
Strongholds of the Enemy
“Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.” Ephesians 6:11
In the days of old, castles were created and designed with high/thick walls for-the-purpose-of keeping intruders on the outside. Also, dungeons were in place to keep prisoners in. The Bible is clear! It is crucial for the Christian to be aware of his or her enemy at-all-times! Why? When we know how our enemy operates, then we are better equipped to stand firm, resist his attacks, and live in the joy, peace, and victory of the Lord!
The word translated “schemes” in our verse for today, comes from an original word meaning, “with a road.” The devil begins by seeking an open door (road) into the Christian’s mind (his way of thinking and believing). Then, the devil will use mind games to trick us ever closer into believing his lies (See 2 Corinthians 2:11), and then, once a foothold has been established, he will bait us into choosing his lie about ourselves. And once we take the devil’s bait, we become imprisoned by one of his strongholds.
For example, an individual may be sensitive to the comments of others. Then someone speaks a damaging word about that person which becomes Satan’s opportunity to bore into his emotions or way of thinking. Then, Satan will use a device (“mind game”) such as whispering something like this, “You know what they said is true about you, don’t you?” Then, if that individual takes the bait and believes the lie, a stronghold or wrong thinking is established.”
Maybe it was a parent or an early childhood friend who made fun of you or said, “You’re never going to amount to anything!” Remember, Satan is the master of lies and deceit, and he will do anything to keep the Christian from breaking free!
But the Bible says those in dungeons who have erected high walls to keep others from getting in CAN be set free by the power of God in Christ through the working of the Holy Spirit! (See 2 Corinthians 10:3-5)!
Part 2, next week when we look at “the helmet of salvation”(Ephesians 6:17).
The Helmet of Salvation
“And take the helmet of salvation…” Ephesians 6:17 (a)
In the late Sixties, I enjoyed playing Jr. High football under Coach “Puny Jolley” in Albertville, Alabama. Coach Jolley was a great coach! He played football for the University of Alabama, and he brought a love for the sport and for his players to the Jr. High football field! I will never forget the fuss he made over our football uniforms; always checking to see if our helmets for example, were fitted tightly and in place as we prepared to step onto the field.
Paul, using the heavy and impenetrable bronze helmet of the Roman soldier of his day, calls us “to encircle our heads (minds)” with God’s helmet of salvation. What does Paul mean by this command?
Any Roman soldier knew he was taking his life (or head) into his own hands as he entered the battlefield. A Roman soldier’s head was at its highest risk to the short-handled battle-axe of his opponent. If he wasn’t wearing his helmet, he would most likely lose his head in battle! Likewise, the devil doesn’t want us to: (1) “Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might…” (Ephesians 6:10), (2) “Take (literally means “Receive”), the helmet of salvation each day, and (3) Study what God’s word has to say about our “salvation.” Satan wants you to live in fear, failure, and defeat as a Christian rather than the freedom in knowing and living with the understanding of Who Jesus is and what He did for you on the cross, therefore, he seeks to chop-chop away at God’s promises found in his word, when we are not wearing our helmets!
Receive the following Scriptures and use them by the power of the Holy Spirit given you of God, to defeat any stronghold “lie” the enemy has baited you into believing via of your mind or emotions: Acts 4:12, Romans 15:13, 2 Corinthians 10:4-5, 2 Timothy 1:7 (“sound mind” or “discipline” in this verse means a saved or delivered mind; one that is self-controlled, has been set free, and is thinking correctly), Colossians 1:13-14, and Romans 12:1-2. The original word translated “salvation” in Ephesians 6:17 means, delivered, to be brought to a safe place, and to be well. In Christ’s power! Pastor Louie
The Sword of the Spirit
“And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
I was born in a little ten-room clinic in Albertville, Alabama, in 1956; but one of the fondest memories I have of that clinic was the fact that later, my maternal grandmother “Mamaw Iris”, worked in the kitchen at the clinic for Dr. Lavendar, the owner-operator, for several years. I remember distinctly talking to my grandmother about it when I was a teenager, and she proceeded to tell me that not only did she prepare and serve meals to the patients while working there, but she also assisted Dr. Lavendar in surgery if he and his nurse needed extra help, (in the days of ether mind you)!
Likened to the deadly razor-sharp, two-edged sword of the Roman solider, Paul commands the Christian to receive daily “the sword of the (Holy) Spirit which is the word of God”. The wonderful truth here is-God’s word (the Greek language means the Spiritually imparted rhema word given clearly and unquestionably to the Christian at the exact time of need drawn from the whole counsel of God’s word which is at work in the life of the believer) not only serves as the premier offensive weapon we take to the enemy in the power of God, the rhema word has also been designed by The Great Physician to do something else. It has the ability to penetrate the thoughts, imaginations, and moral understanding of the Christian way down deep where no human could ever go; to expose what is not of God, and then, by God’s power in Christ, transform! (See Hebrew 4:12 and note the context of the surrounding verses in the chapter).
Praise God for His mighty and tender sword that truly transforms our thinking and our living, from the inside out! Pastor Louie