S6P3 – God’s armor: the shoes of readiness
In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [draw your strength from Him and be empowered through your union with Him] and in the power of His [boundless] might. Put on the full armor of God [for His precepts are like the splendid armor of a heavily-armed soldier], so that you may be able to [successfully] stand up against all the schemes and the strategies and the deceits of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this [present] darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) places. Therefore, put on the complete armor of God, so that you will be able to [successfully] resist and stand your ground in the evil day [of danger], and having done everything [that the crisis demands], to stand firm [in your place, fully prepared, immovable, victorious]. So stand firm and hold your ground, having tightened the wide band of truth (personal integrity, moral courage) around your waist and having put on the breastplate of righteousness (an upright heart), and having strapped on your feet the gospel of peace in preparation [to face the enemy with firm-footed stability and the readiness produced by the good news]. Above all, lift up the [protective] shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
The amplified version of this passage does a great job of unpacking what it means to be ready with the gospel of peace. Being rooted in God’s peace gives us a firm footing to stand against the devil with spiritual traction. This peace is multi-dimensional. We have peace in the knowledge that our power in battle comes from the almighty God, peace in the knowledge that we will not be forsaken by God, peace in the knowledge that Christ already has conquered sin and death, and peace in awaiting our eternal reward in the end. But our peace is more than that.
The word for “peace” in this passage is used elsewhere in scripture to describe unity in thinking and belief. In Matthew 10:34, Christ says that he did not come to bring peace but to bring a sword. He is speaking of the division between the belief systems of the church and the world that is a natural consequence of His coming. Within the church, however, He indeed desires to bring peace, a unity in mind and spirit that means that we do not take on our spiritual battles alone. Being fitted with the readiness of the gospel of peace means that we have Christ and His church entering the battle with us. And even more than that, we know that Christ himself intercedes on our behalf at the Father’s side [Rom. 8:34].
While we most certainly are called to enter our spiritual battles with passion, courage and confidence, we are not to enter with fear or doubt. God’s peace is what we must wear to give us the proper footing to withstand the forces of evil that try to knock us down. Have peace in knowing that you do not fight this battle alone, and that God himself is rooting you on. Have the holy confidence to enter into this battle with God’s power going before and behind you, knowing that you were made for such a time as this to be victorious for the sake of His glory. Father, remind us daily to be ready for the battle by covering ourselves with Your peace, reminding us that Your power resides within us, that Jesus Christ has overcome sin and death, and that the victory is already Yours.