Monday's Ministry Morsel

In some material this past week I was reminded of the absolute requirement to be prepared for each and every day. That includes being properly dressed as we walk out of our homes each day and into the world at large. It is not uncommon for us to spend some time (some more than others) getting ready for work or for what is planned for the day.

However, not as much time or effort is consistently given to being prepared spiritually each day.

That neglect can be very dangerous, if not destructive to our walk with the Lord and our testimony in the world.

Ephesians 6:10 begins a segment of scripture that emphasizes the importance of getting dressed for battle every day. The battle is not only without but also within.

Our foe is the flesh within and the forces of evil without.

The Word of God tells us in verse 12 that "we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenlies. THEREFORE take up the whole armor of God..."

That includes your helmet, your breastplate, your belt, your sandals, your sword & your shield;

all properly placed and adjusted as needed throughout the day by prayer. (v. 18)

While all of these pieces are important to consistent victory over the strategies of the devil, the one most often overlooked or neglected happens to be the sandals of peace. This particular piece of armor refers to the gospel being our foundation of peace for every day's journey.

While some forget all of the necessary articles mentioned in Ephesians 6:10-18, there are others who get their helmet on but forget their shoes. They walk out every day 'barefoot into battle'.

The scripture tells every believer to "stand, having your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace."

David Jeremiah communicates in his devotional, 'Turning Points with God', how soldiers in antiquity sometimes faced the frightening prospect of facing an enemy that wore sandals or shoes with spikes attached to the sole. During combat the spikes would slice open the feet of the adversary thus rendering them unable to stand and fight. Being injured often placed the unshod or poorly shod soldier on their back instead of on their feet. The soldier found himself in a position of being severely hurt or even killed.

Because being able to stand was so critical to victory, Roman soldiers wore sturdy boots known as caligae, which were less likely to be compromised.

Dr. James Merritt has said, "Life is a battle. A constant battle. And many if not most are engaged in one currently."

One of the great battles we can expect to face today will be the enemy of sin cloaked in temptation. The temptation to choose pride instead of humility. The temptation to think only of ourselves with little or no regard for others.

The temptation to be quick to respond or retaliate instead of being willing to be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to wrath. (James 1:19)

Temptation is NOT a sin but if it is not dealt with quickly and decisively it will surely lead to it!

As we walk through the circumstances of our continuing journey, our adversary, the devil who roams around will make sure that something or someone pushes our buttons. And each time you and I will make a choice on how we respond.

The question is, will our response be holy or will it be hellishly hurried and hateful? Will it be governed by grace and peace or will it be guided by the natural appetites of the 'barefoot' flesh?

Only in being shod with the preparations of the gospel will you and I be able to stand against the enemy within and without that confronts us daily with the goal of conquering us.

The good news reminds me daily that victory is certain in Jesus! He provides power and peace through the preparations of the gospel.

That being said, when you leave the house every day, don't forget your shoes!

You will need them to stand!

God said through the Spirit's directing the quill of the Apostle Paul, "Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving;..." Colossians 4:2

Good reminder!

May the Lord bless His continuing work of grace in each of you this week!

Pastor Keith

1 Corinthians 15:58