Write It On A Rock

Faith and Family
April 21st, 2012

Don’t Forget Your Shoes-Part 2


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If you have not read the first part of this blog post you can read part 1 here.

I have read and reread Ephesians 6:10-20 on the “armor of God.”  I have taught it to my older children as well, but it struck me as I studied each piece of armor that though I would say the passage out loud, I did not apply the passage as best as I could.

Paul, the author of Ephesians, had a reason for each piece of armor that we need to put on so that we “will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.”

I hope you are inspired, as I have been, to put these things on everyday.  I talk about two of the six pieces of armor in Part 1, and here is what I have been applying from my study of the other four.

The shield of faith.  Shields, at the time Paul wrote this passage, were large and used by Roman legions.  They were held above their heads to protect their whole body from flaming swords.  Paul used this figuratively because Satan will fire arrows of doubt, fear, lies, and hardships at people, and we need to have a way to defend ourselves.

Paul says to take up the shield of faith in “all circumstances.”  Taking up the shield of faith means trusting that God loves us and wants the best for us no matter what circumstance we’re in.  There are some circumstances that really make you wonder “why?” And, in those times we have to trust in His promises, and obey Him, knowing that He is good and has good in store for us.

How do we increase our faith?  I often simply ask God to increase my faith, as it is spoken in Scripture as a gift from God.  Romans 10:17 also says that “faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”  Listening to and reading/studying our Bible is another way we can increase our faith.

I want to have a faith in Christ that will withstand the hardest of trials and even death itself.  We have no idea what kind of hardships the future holds, but with a strong faith in Christ we will be able to extinguish the flaming darts of the evil one.

The breastplate of righteousness protects our hearts right?  Proverbs 4:23 says “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”  I often hear people say that they will follow God when they’re older and done “having fun.”  That is satan’s deceitfulness right there.  Sin is not fun.  It turns on you.  It is pleasurable for a moment, but there are devastating consequences that hurt our hearts when we don’t obey God.  He wants the best for us, and is not a kill joy.  He wants to give us the best joy!

I have experienced trying to do things my own way, only to end up with a wounded heart.  What can we do to guard your hearts?  We can choose to obey God’s Word, even when it goes against what “feels right.”   We can share our sin and temptation with other Christians and ask for accountability.  We can remove tempting situations or bad relationships.

No sense in buying a bag of Oreos, that stare you in the face every time you look for a snack, when you’re trying to eat healthy.  This same concept goes for guarding our hearts.  I know that when I am struggling with coveting or discontentment the best place for me to hang out is not at the Parade of Homes or the mall.

We can only be “righteous”  through the strength of Christ. 1 Corinthians 1:30 says “Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin.”  We can never be right with God on our own.  One single sin separates us from Him, but when we trust Jesus for what He did on the cross we can be made righteous because He traded us; our sin for His righteousness.

The belt of truth is what holds everything together.   Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth and the life.”  In contrast, John 8:44 speaks of Satan as the father of lies.  When Satan lies he is speaking in his native tongue.  One of the ways Satan ruins people’s’ lives is through getting us to believe lies about ourselves, God, and others.  When we speak the truth we are arming ourselves against satan.  I think we can “put on” truth in a few different ways.

One would be to be honest with others.  It is easy, when we are afraid of what others think of us, to not share the whole truth about our struggles or sin.  Adam and Eve, when they sinned, innately tried to cover it up.  It is scary to share our sin with others, especially if it will hurt someone, but in the end John 8:32 says “the truth will set you free.”

The second way to put on truth is learning and telling ourselves the truth about God and who we are in Him.  I hear people say things like, “there is no truth, what’s right for you is right for you and visa versa.”  That statement in and of itself is a contradiction.  How can there be “no truth” when that is a truth claim in and of itself.

You cannot say two contradictory ideas are true while being intellectually honest.  It’s just not possible.  We do need to be humble in our pursuit of Truth, not thinking that we are better than anyone else.  I believe that Jesus is God and raised from the dead for intellectual and experiential reasons, and making that truth claim doesn’t mean that I believe I am better than someone who does not believe it.  I do however want everyone to find the joy that I have found by putting my trust in Christ.  I love the quote, “Christians are just beggars telling other beggars where to find food.”

And last, as shoes for your feet put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.  I never realized that Paul, being the Old Testament scholar that he was, probably got this illustration from Isaiah 52:7.  It says “how beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace.”

Sometimes I get preoccupied with prayers for myself, and my own friends and family.  It is so important to be praying for ourselves, but I have been praying more lately that we, the body of Christ ,will proclaim boldly the good news of Jesus.  I have been praying for churches to be started all over the world and for God to send out workers to share the gospel.

We have peace with God through Christ.  All of us have turned away from God leaving our relationship broken.  We started it.  It’s our fault, not His, and yet rather than getting back at us, He gave His only Son to take on our sin and give us His goodness so that we could have peace with God and with each other through forgiveness.

We can put on this piece of armor by preaching the gospel to ourselves every day, remembering when we sin or fail that we can come to God and turn away from our sin at any moment, and He will forgive us… we have a friend, a perfect Father in Him.  Lets live joyfully knowing that we have the peace of Christ, but lets not keep it to ourselves.  As my Grandpa says when I leave his house.  “Sarah, don’t keep the faith.. share it.”

“How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news.”  Don’t forget your shoes.