All truth is God's truth. We are protected when we live in acknowledgement of the truth surrounding us, and make decisions in light of truth. We must educate ourselves about anything that bears upon who we are and what we are called to do in this life. That would include spiritual truth, as well as any other truth. For example, if we are going outside on a cold and snowy day, the truth is that it could be slippery, and if we don't take precautions with where we step, or how we drive, we could end up falling and hurting ourselves or sliding off the road in our car. This is why it is important that we surround ourselves with the truth of God, the truth of scripture, as well as the truth of physical realities in the world where we live.
Remember: "Having the belt of truth buckled around your waist." Ephesians 6.14
"Put on the whole armor of God"
Whether we like it or not, and whether we know it or not, we are all in the midst of a serious and dangerous war. It is a war for our souls. If we do not realize that there are strong spiritual beings, intelligent forces at work to destroy us, to damage us, to undermine our lives, our minds, our hearts, our relationships, and our eternal destiny, then we will be casual or completely unaware and complacent about these active threats to our well being.
So how are we to respond to this? Are we to live in constant fear? No, we are commanded by Jesus to not be afraid. Fear is a destabilizing force, and we do not operate effectively if we allow fear to have a place in our lives. Jesus said “Don’t let your heart be troubled. Believe in God. Believe also in me." (John 14.1)
But we should respond in vigilance, working hard to put on the whole armor of God, so that we are prepared for the opposition of evil spiritual forces that will seek to destroy us through lies and threats. We must choose to trust God and be equipped with the full armor of God.
Remember: "Put on the whole armor of God." Ephesians 6.11
The Whole Armor of God
"Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world’s rulers of the darkness of this age, and against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and, having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having the utility belt of truth buckled around your waist, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having fitted your feet with the preparation of the Good News of peace; 16 above all, taking up the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 with all prayer and requests, praying at all times in the Spirit, and being watchful to this end in all perseverance and requests for all the saints." Ephesians 6.10-18
Armor of God: Have your feet fitted with "The Preparation of the Good News of Peace."
When I woke up this morning, I felt the Lord was telling me it was time to get up and seek Him. It was still dark and everyone else was still asleep. Just a few seconds later, walking on the wooden floor, I got a splinter in my foot. Ouch! I was hobbled, and couldn't walk very well. It was amazing to me how such a small piece of wood could prevent me from walking very well, and I knew my top priority needed to be getting that splinter out of my foot. I also knew I was going to need a bright light and some very precise tweezers to get this debilitating piece of wood out of my foot. So I got my phone with it's bright LED light, and I got my good tweezers, and went to another room where I could operate on my foot and restore my ability to walk normally.
As soon as this happened, it seemed the Lord was telling me how critical it is that we have fitted our feet with the preparation of the good news (the gospel) of peace, as it says in Ephesians 6.15, as a critical part of the whole armor of God. As ministers of the good news of peace, we need to be well prepared to proclaim the same. If we are not prepared to teach, to speak, to proclaim the good news of peace with God through the work of Christ on the cross, which gives us access to God, then we will not be able to accomplish all that God wants us to accomplish for his Kingdom. We will not be able to go the places God wants us to go. Can you imagine an member of the infantry, a soldier, wearing no shoes? It is likely that a soldier wearing no shoes would be in great danger of being eliminated by the enemy. He would not be able to make much progress as his feet would be vulnerable to even the smallest irregularities on the terrain. He could be quickly hobbled by his own weight as his feet stepped on a sharp stone, a stick, or some other object on the ground. A soldier that had the most sophisticated weapons in the world, if barefoot, would quickly become immobilized and in danger of elimination or severe injury. At best, he would probably have to hide somewhere, outside of the active battle zone, so as not to be killed or severely injured. He would likely be ineffective at completing his mission, and his very life could be in danger.
Think of it: If we want to be serious about taking the Good News of peace to those who do not know the love of Christ, we must have our feet well fitted with the preparation of the Good News. We need to have the equipment on our feet, infantry boots, that are strong and resistant to unexpected irregularities and foreign objects on the ground, things that could damage the feet and make forward movement difficult if not impossible. We need to be able to explain the good news of how Christ makes us righteous as we put our faith in his perfect sacrifice on our behalf and his resurrection from the dead. We need to be prepared to answer people's questions. We need to find out what it is that we fear about speaking and proclaiming the Gospel, so that we can be prepared to face those fears and overcome them. We need to get a bright light, letting the Spirit of God search our hearts, to show us what are the ways that we are ill-prepared to speak and share and the Good News? Then we need to remove any source of pain in our feet, anything that is hindering us and our ability to keep moving out with the Good News of the peace of God that is available to all through Christ.
There is a command to obey here: "Have your feet fitted with the preparation of the good news of peace." Ephesians 6.15