Put on the armor of God (Part 4)

Ephesians 6:15 ”…and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace.”

My apologies for the silence from my end over the past weeks. God allowed me to experience an intense spiritual battle. Looking back I realize that this was a part of His plan all along because I cannot write about this topic with clarity unless I truly understand what a spiritual battle entails. I will be sharing my learnings over the following weeks as we expound scripture together and it is my fervent prayer that you will be strengthened in your various trials and challenges as you prayerfully read and reflect on what God is revealing to us through His Word. God is faithful and He will see us all through.

This morning I would like us to meditate on the verse above that is often misquoted as a call for evangelism. Some theologians argue that Paul, being an evangelist himself, must have called for us to take the gospel to the ends of the world through this scripture. I believe, however, like several other theologians, that this verse is not referring to taking the gospel to the ends of the world. Paul has been referring to the six pieces of the armour as pieces to wear to fight a spiritual war in this passage in Ephesians 6. Therefore, the feet being sandaled here refer to an additional piece of equipment that is vital for us to stand against the tactics of the enemy.

What does the word readiness mean? It means willingness, eagerness, enthusiasm. For what? For the gospel of peace.

What is the equipment being referred to here? Sandals with readiness for the gospel of peace. Why should our feet be wearing this? Because it is important for our feet to be wearing the right equipment: does the equipment we wear propel us forward with enthusiasm for God’s Word? Or does what we wear discourage us from following His Word and walking in His path?

I’d like to turn our attention to some scripture referencing feet:

Proverbs 4:26-27 says, “Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in ALL your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.”

I love how the above verse says ‘give careful thought’ and ‘be steadfast in ALL your ways’. Do we really give careful thought before we move forward in any direction? And how can we be steadfast (=committed, dedicated, loyal, dependable, trustworthy, devoted, resolute, unfaltering) in all that we do? The verse above says it is possible by keeping our foot from evil.

This involves a conscious thought before taking any decision: does moving in this direction be in accordance to what God’s Word says? Do I have peace about this? Does my action align with God’s Word? Will God be pleased if I do this? Will making this decision affect my God given priorities (like family, children, health etc)? Will taking this path help me continue with enthusiasm for His Word? Or will it cause me to compromise on my health, my sanity, my peace and thus take me away from Him? Will taking this path help me remain committed in ALL that I do? Does making this decision affect any other area of my life such that my commitment and devotion in those areas may falter?

How do I know if where my feet take me will lead me to sin?

Isaiah 59:7 says, “Your Word is a LAMP for my feet, a LIGHT on my path.”

God’s Word shines a lamp for my feet so I know what my immediate steps ought to be. It also shines a light on my path, so I know where I am heading. His Word offers us the guidance. As we read and meditate on His Word, we gain insight and wisdom every day on what we must do, where we must go, who we must interact with, how we must apply wisdom in every situation, what we must speak, when we must stay silent. His Word gives us the power, the wisdom, the grace, the truth, the discernment, the insight that we need before we take a step forward in any direction.

Let’s look at the following scriptures to understand how to discern a path leading to evil:

Proverbs 6:18

a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil,

Proverbs 1:15-16

my son, do not go along with them, do not set foot on their paths; for their feet rush into evil, they are swift to shed blood.

In my experience in life, I have seen over and over again that when anything and anyone comes up to me to do something urgently, quickly with a very tight deadline, it should ring a LOUD, BLARING alarm in my head. Because often during such rushed assignments/ tasks, I am so focused on getting it done that my sensitivity to listening to the voice of God is very low. I rush ahead, ignoring alarm bells that ring reminding me of the sleep I am compromising, time with family I am neglecting, just to get that task done. Often a path leading to evil comes with an urgent request. The above scripture says “feet that are QUICK to RUSH into evil”. Do you have a quick to rush assignment begging your attention now? I implore you to stop right where you are and allow the Holy Spirit to breathe in His wisdom and truth. I pray that He will give you the courage and boldness to turn down such assignments that come disguised with the lure to get you more opportunities but are actually nothing but devious ploys of the enemy to distract you from what the Lord has called you to do. I pray you will seek the Lord for His wisdom and to get out of such sticky situations with divine grace.

2 Samuel 22:33-34 says, “It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights.

Psalm 121:3 says, “He will not let your foot slip — he who watches over you will not slumber”

O take courage my sister/ brother in Christ. Take hold of Jesus! He will give you the strength to walk on secure path. He will make your feet like those of a deer. He will cause you to STAND on the heights. Even if you do find yourself in a sticky situation now, you can trust God to make your feet like that of a deer- these fascinating creatures can navigate on very difficult rocky terrain with such ease. God can help you to do just that!

Psalm 1:1-2, 6 says: “How happy is the man who does not follow the advice of the wicked or take the path of sinners or join a group of mockers! Instead, his delight is in the Lord’s instruction, and he meditates on it day and night… For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to ruin.….” ( Psalm 1:1-2, 6)

If you find yourself in the middle of a sticky situation, I would like to encourage you with this scripture: Psalm 66:10: “You (God) let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, BUT YOU brought us out to abundance.”

I speak His abundant blessing and recompense upon you in Jesus’ Name as you take hold of Jesus today.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, You have shown me through your Word that You direct my steps as I meditate on Your Word- day and night. Lord I confess that I have not heeded to the warning bells You send me at times. I am so grateful that You still reach out to me and picks me up from the the mess I find myself in and place me on a firm, solid Rock- back on track with You Jesus. I cannot ever thank You enough for what You do in my life. In Jesus’ Name, amen.