“And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace” (Ephesians 6:15)
By William Ballard
If you are like me, you, too, probably have thought of the mention of peace — when referring to attire meant for warfare — to be a bit ironic. Believe me, this bit of irony has crossed my mind as well.
When going through our study of spiritual warfare and the armor of God, why do you think Paul referred to the shoes of God’s armor as a catalyst for peace?
The Gospel Defined
Jesus (God in the flesh) is known as the Prince of Peace, but did you know that Jesus never preached the “gospel of peace” during His earthly ministry?
He did make mention to having an attitude of peace and being a peace maker during his “Sermon on the Mount,” (referred to as the B-Attitudes), but the majority of the time He preached about the Kingdom.
But consider what the prophet Isaiah wrote in Isaiah 52:7:
“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!”
Paul quoted and made reference to this verse in Isaiah when he said these words in his letter to the Romans:
“And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” (Romans 10:15)
We must remember that the word Gospel is translated to mean “Good News”, and that “good news” is the death, burial, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, which ultimately leads us into the New Birth experience (death — repentance, burial — baptism in Jesus name, and the Resurrection — infilling of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues).
If Jesus is known as the Prince of Peace, could it be that the “gospel of peace” is the gospel of Jesus — the Good News?
In fact, Paul said in Ephesians 2: 13–14, “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace [emphasis, my own], who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us.”
The Art of War
Sun Tzu said in his legendary ancient text, The Art of War, “Hence to fight and conquer in all your battle is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.”
He goes on to say, “Therefore the skillful leader subdues the enemy’s troops without any fighting; he captures their cities without laying siege to them; he overthrows their kingdom without lengthy operations in the field.”
Another interesting bit of irony to come from a highly known and respected thought leader in the art of war. He, too, recommends that the best way to win a war is not through fighting but through diplomacy.
The Preparation... Preparation For What?
Now, with all that said, what about that word “preparation?” Being a former Marine, I am aware of the importance of being mentally prepared for battle. Plus, I am also aware of the importance of taking care of your feet.
You see, our feet are the “tools” given to us for walking and for running. If the enemy was to take out our feet, or if we are to lose the ability to walk and run, that much more vulnerable we would become to the enemy.
The Bible talks a lot about feet, from the Old Testament to the New. We know that Moses took off his shoes, for he stood on holy ground, during his burning bush experience. And we also know that Jesus set an example for the disciples when He washed their feet and said, “If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you” (John 13:14–15).
In fact, it was more than just a request, Jesus made it a command: “If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me” (John 13:8). I like how Janice Sjostrand said it in her piece for the Pentecostal Herald:
“Jesus elevated the custom of washing feet from an act of hospitality to an act of love and preparation for service (ministry).”
There goes that word preparation again. Remember what the prophet Isaiah said in Isaiah 52:7 above? There is a lot of reference to publishing in that verse, and any writer or anyone that has ever published a book knows how important preparation is.
Speaking of publishing, consider what the writer of Hebrews penned, “Though he were Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which suffered; and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him” (Hebrews 5:8–9).
Another word that goes together with writing and publishing is the title author, and it is interesting how the above verse states that Jesus had to become obedient to that of suffering in order to become that “author” of eternal salvation.
Anyone that has ever written a book (or an article, for that matter) can relate to the feeling of “suffering” when it comes to research. But it is a necessary suffering in order to produce a “perfect work” of literature.
In fact, it was Paul who wrote in his second letter to his son in the faith, Timothy, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).
A Mind Washed By The Word
There is also Biblical reference to our minds being washed by the Word (Ephesians 5:26). See the parallel between washing of feet and washing of one’s mind?
Look, we are not justified by the Word, we are sanctified by it. There is a difference. You see, we are justified in our spirits, but sanctified in our souls. Our spirits are cleansed (washed) by the blood of Jesus and by our obedience to be baptized by water in the name of Jesus by full immersion. It is through this blood and water that our spirit has been completely cleansed and our sins have been forgiven — sanctified in Jesus Name!
It is also important to note that the armor of God is not a physical armor that we wear on the outside of our physical bodies, but a spiritual armor that we wear over our spirits, and it is one size fits all — it is the armor that fits the Holy Spirit that dwells within us after we experience the New Birth.
Our soul, however, is still being saved, which, in Greek, means “made whole.” Therefore, it is our souls that need washing daily. And it is also important to know that are souls are made up of three main parts: 1) our mind, 2) our human will, and 3) our emotions. And those parts of our personality are constantly in battle with the enemy, who tries to flood our thoughts with desires and feelings of lies. (Note: I recommend reading the following series)
The Law Series
I am of the belief that the reason so many Christians are losing this battle (the battle that takes place in our minds) is because they are not, daily, being “washed by the Word.”
For instances, some Christians consistently feel condemned because they haven’t washed their minds with Romans 8:1, which says, “There is therefore no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.” And some still have worldly thoughts because they are consistently conforming to this world, and its evil ways of thinking, instead of being transformed by the renewing of their minds (Romans 12:2). That’s why it’s so important to be washed in the Word of God daily.
In short, a solider in the Lord’s army, clothed in the armor of God, needs to be mentally and spiritually prepared to lace up his boots and be ready for what is to come. Of course, hoping that actual fighting will not be necessary, and that peace would prevail, but being prepared, nonetheless, for a short stent in battle.
ATT: Spiritual Warfare Warrior...
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William Ballard is the author of "The True Writer's Life: Discovering The Author and Finisher of Our Faith", which is the book that essentially started it all for William. In conjunction with the coaching he provides for free through his blogs and articles all across the web, he also offers Personal Writing and Business Coaching where he teaches freelance writers and aspiring authors how to start, build and maintain full-time, high-earning writing careers.