Thursday, June 7, 2018

Armor of God | Preparation

The armor of God has been a topic that has been difficult to get our minds wrapped around. What it is and how we put it on, has seemed to be a bit mysterious. So maybe by looking at the effect of the armor we can get a better understanding of how to put the armor on.

The effect of preparation is readiness bound in peacefulness.

We previously looked at The Breastplate of Righteousness, so let's take the next piece. We're leaving in, The Effect of Armor, section here for continuity.

The Effect of Armor

The most prominent place the armor of God is listed is in Ephesians 6:14-18 NKJVEach piece of armor has an effect. Since it is spiritual armor, and we are physically oriented, it can be difficult to understand what is happening when we have it on.

One of the things we know about armor is that once we are in the battle, we shouldn't have to think about the armor. It will passively protect us and we shouldn't have to give it another thought. We inspect, test and repair the armor on a regular basis and ensure it is fitted correctly on us.

Now, there are probably many effects that we can identify but this study is simply to start the process. For our purposes, we are focusing on one effect but be sure to seek out more. If you find more than what is listed here, please add them to the comment section below.

So, let's continue to look at the effect of each piece. Today we are tackling the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace.

Shoes | Preparation of the Gospel of Peace

Having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace...Ephesians 6:14-18 NKJV

Preparation has an effect. The effect is, readiness bound in peacefulness.

This piece of armor has a lot going on. Although we have a few added details to follow, keep it simple. How is your readiness? How is your peacefulness? If we have these things we know we have our feet shod properly.

Let's now look at Feet, Preparation and Peace individually and look into a few aspects of each attribute.

Feet, Preparation, Peace

The word, feet, has a couple connotations that will help shed light on how this piece of armor is understood in the scriptures. One way it can be demonstrated is in the example of being at the feet of someone such as a teacher. Mary was at Jesus's feet and He said that she chose well. It is a place of teaching, listening, learning and engaged thoughtfulness.

The word, Prepare, refers both to the act of preparing and one who is prepared and/or readied. We get the sense here that preparation is ongoing and yet we do eventually attain a state of being ready and still continuing in our development.

Peace is reflected here in two ways. The first is revealed in ESV translation that reads, "as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace." That speaks to the demeanor of one who has their feet shod i.e. readiness through peace. The second way speaks to our standing with God, revealed in the following scripture...

Therefore, since we have been made right in God's sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. - Romans 5:1 NLT

Peacefulness is a fruit that comes from preparation that makes one ready, and is an indicator that the disciple is, in fact, ready to be sent.
For "Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved." But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, "How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!" - Romans 10:13-15 NLT
How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns! - Isaiah 52:7 NLT

In the case of putting on the armor of God, we see disciples who have become ready through their understanding of peace and sent to deliver the message of the Gospel.

I guess we could say, that a secondary effect of having our feet shod is we are sent. That's pretty cool! 😃

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Take Action!

How do I put on peace? 

Maybe it is better to ask, "how do I grow in peacefulness?"
Peace is a fruit of the Spirit. That is the only place it comes from. Peace is a natural part or our new make up and is in us in an unlimited quantity.
Yet, much like a new tool or skill, it is designed to perform a certain function, and the user must be trained to use it, and eventually master it. This piece of armor comes with instructions and informs us how to equip peace... which is through our preparation! 
Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching. 2 Timothy 4:2 NLT
We can also look at this scripture in light of self-management. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage ourselves with good teaching. Specifically, get an understanding of peace, what it is, where is comes from, how it works and how to grow in it.  

Preparation in Perspective 

There is no expectation that we can bear the load of every command the Lord gives us all at once. It is important to have a mindset of growing into the commands. We want to start with the small things and work our way up to the bigger things. 
In the spirit of having our feet shod, think of your preparation as starting with sandals, working your way up to a sneaker, then a hiking boot and then a sabaton. Had to look that one up! :-) 
Actually, a quality hiking boot may be the better analogy as the one who is ready, will most certainly be sent and that sounds like a lot of walking.

So, How are You Preparing? 

Here is the best place to start! Get your prayer list in order and hit it daily. Read your scriptures daily. Connect with other Christians. Seek out a trusted person who can work in a discipleship relationship with you.
If you are not sure where to start or just simply need help with your next steps please, take a quick read of the following resources and do them. In The Cool Zone is designed for the Christian who may know a lot of scripture or they may know very little scripture but are finding that their walk is not where they think it should be.  
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.2 Timothy 3:16-17 NLT 

Here are additional resources to help develop your strategy: 


Please, add your thoughts in the comment section.

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Concept

“Our shoes are the preparation that gives us readiness bound in peace.”


In The Cool Zone concept. Think like Jesus thinks. Deliver the Gospel. Teach what you have learned.

In The Cool Zone and More Life in My Day are sister websites dedicated to discipleship. They work in tandem, providing the teaching and coaching for growing in the Lord and becoming effective in our walk with the Lord. 

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