Being Prepared to Stand Strong
I was a freshman at Villanova University in 1971 and the only tennis shoes or sneakers I had ever worn were Converse All-Stars, or “Chucks” as we called them. One day, that fall, I noticed a guy wearing the weirdest looking shoe. It was made of nylon fabric instead of canvas. They were a light blue with a large yellow swoosh on them. I stopped and asked him where he got those shoes and he told me he was selling them out of his dorm room. And that is how I bought my first pair of Nike’s.
Today, the world has gone shoe crazy. There is a different pair of shoes for almost anything you are going to do. Soon you will have to buy a pair of shoes to put on your feet to walk to your closet to pick out the shoes you need to wear next in your day.
The idea of a soldier needing to wear a certain kind of boot was first developed by the Assyrian army dating back well before the birth of Christ. The Roman army advanced that early model into boots that had cleated on the bottom to assure the soldier of better footings and less slippage in the muddy ground.
Paul tells us in Ephesians 6 that there is a part of our daily armor of God that we need to wear and says this; “…and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;” The point I think he is making here is that if we are going to stand strong against the evil powers of darkness we need to have our feet securely planted in the right place and that place is in the gospel of peace.
Our military strategy is the USA has been peace through strength. The world knows that at any time and in any place, we can unleash all kinds of power against anyone. Now we are a nation who seeks progress through peace but that works because there is the power behind the peace.
When we prepare ourselves for each new day we need to consider our standing against demonic forces in the same way. We need to be ready to stand strong against these powers because we have prepared ourselves. We are protecting ourselves with the full armor of God AND yet, our message is one of peace. Peace with God through the finished work of Christ who has already won the battle for us.
Now one last critical point. Paul uses the word “preparation.” I think one of the biggest mistakes we can make is to not be prepared for what we are going to face every day. We underestimate the depravity of our own sin nature. We imagine that there is no real enemy and so we do not need to be prepared with the full armor of God. Plus, we have forgotten that we are living behind enemy lines in a world that is a dangerous place in which we live. We are aliens and strangers in the world and we better be armored up or we will be knocked down. Again …. for the thousandth time!
That does not need to be true in your case. God has provided the solution for our battle. Please practice these three steps.
- Offer your body to God as a Living Sacrifice. Romans 12:1-2
- Ask for the Holy Spirit to fill you and empower you for your battle with the flesh today.
- Put on the Full Armor of God and Stand Strong in the Strength of His Might!