I received an email from a Sunday School class today that posed an excellent question: “When was the last time the Word of God changed you??” What a great question! Recently, God has been showing me things that will combine several verses that are all scattered throughout my brain from years of unorganized storage – kind of ADHD-ish. I see an event, and all sorts of related scriptures start to jump to the forefront of my brain. As this increased, I started this blog that is kind of like a devotional. I figured it was happening for a reason! I do need to stay up with it more often, but when something “Clicks” in my feeble brain, God wants me to write about it so others can be blessed by it (at least that is my hope!)
Most recently (Saturday night and Sunday), God blessed me right in the middle of a lesson I was teaching to 5th and 6th graders. I was teaching on the armor of God – a unit called “Armed and Dangerous!” We spoke of the two pieces called “feet fitted with the readiness of the gospel of peace” and the “shield of faith.” I asked them to tell me why they thought the “feet fitted” part was listed as a piece of armor. Then it hit me – feet take us places, so we need to have shoes/sandals. In the battle we are in, our feet take us behind enemy lines to go to captives, share the gospel and let Jesus set them free. WE are the ones who take the gospel – the good news – the good message that Jesus proclaimed in Luke 4:17-21,
“And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
The last words Jesus told us were the great commission in Matthew 28:
It’s one of those common sense things:
“everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching [the “GO” part!]? (Romans 10:13-15)
…that requires feet. These feet – fitted with the same stuff Roman soldiers had, spiritually speaking – were spiked on the bottom, much like modern football cleats. SO, they help to make sure that each step counts. That you can stand your ground and not slip. You can be pushed and not budge. Our weapon is that we take the gospel into enemy territory, share it with captives, let Jesus set them free, and bring them back over to God’s Kingdom of love. Here is a great example of using our feet to invade the enemy’s camp: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1p3H8BDF1Gk We often have heard that the sword is the only offensive weapon in this listing of the armor of God in Ephesians 6:10-18, but I believe the feet that are fitted with the gospel of peace are even a greater weapon!
Now the Shield. As I had been preparing for that lesson on Friday, my mind went back to a movie clip with a great scene about shields… it is a great YouTube clip to be sure (now the entire movie has some things that probably should not be shown to people – I wished I had known that before watching it in theaters)! I did not show the clip to the classes because I did not want the kids to figure out what movie it came from, and then go watch it without mom and dad’s permissions….The main part is about 50 seconds into this clip.
Ephesians 6 talks about the “day of evil”…and this clip shows a great “day of evil” scene – reminding me that sometimes, when the stream of “attacks” (the black cloud of attacking arrows approaching in this picture!) seems to never end, all we can do is get behind our shield of faith that says, “Regardless of what happens, by faith I believe that God is good, He will not rip me off, and I am more than a conqueror through Jesus…” and wait for the storm to pass… to hide behind our shield – to “stand” – “and when you have done everything – to stand.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ll37USUoiM0
God often said these kinds of words to his people in the OT:
And he said, “Listen, all Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: Thus says the LORD to you, ‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s. – 2 Chronicles 20:15
You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the LORD on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, and the LORD will be with you.” – 2 Chronicles 20:17
Then I said to you, ‘Do not be in dread or afraid of them. The Lord your God who goes before you will himself fight for you, just as he did for you in Egypt before your eyes… – Deut. 1:29-30
… that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the LORD saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give you into our hand.” – 1 Samuel 17:46-47
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. – Psalm 20:7
So we can claim what Hebrews tells us:
“…my righteous one shall live by faith…we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.” – Hebrews 10:39
Go take up the battle! Preach the Gospel! Stand, and don’t let the enemy move you!