4. Standing Firm On Shaky Ground
In times of uncertainty Ephesians 6:15 instructs us to armour up with the gospel of peace; the Gospel that keeps us rooted, grounded and balanced, so that we are able to step out in faith.
When I left my job a couple of weeks ago, I got four different goodbye cards which all commented on my shoe collection… I’m not sure this is something I should put on my CV, but it does give me a good launchpad for diving into today’s verse in Ephesians 6:15!
and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. (Ephesians 6:15)
So here we find it: right in the middle of this ‘ARMOURED’ passage we’ve been journeying through, Paul turns to talking about (shoes, yes) – but ultimately peace.
If the purpose of Ephesians 6 is to lay out all the tools we need to stand firm and advance for the kingdom of God, then landing on ‘peace’ at this point makes a lot of sense.
The gospel is that we no longer have to be separated from God, because God purchased peace for us all through the sacrifice of Jesus. And as John Piper says: “There is nothing sweeter in all the world than to be at peace with God.”
But in addition to the peace that reconciliation with God brings; the ‘readiness that comes from the gospel of peace’ is also a call for us to stand firm, to keep ourselves from falling, and to be READY to tell others the good news of Jesus.
The ‘feet/shoes’ analogy makes a bit more sense when we look back to the Roman Army and the shoes they wore for battle. Historians believe that Roman Soldiers wore shoes with spikes on the soles and sides, allowing them to stand really firm and keep their balance – even on ground that was uneven or difficult to navigate.
If we think about how we can navigate uncertain terrains in our own lives, the gospel is the only thing that will keep us rooted and balanced. Only when we’re standing in a place of security in the gospel can we stay steady in the storms of this life, and step out into all God has for us.
So how do we do that? A few practical thoughts:
* Keep it simple. Remember the gospel and what it means for you: total reconciliation with God. Peace that surpasses all understanding. Our sins washed away. An eternity secure.
* And while you’re remembering these truths, make it easy for yourself! Do you have these truths ready-to-hand? Maybe you can print them out, stick something on your mirror, or change your phone background. Whatever it takes to keep that deep peace – go for it!
* Be ready to talk about Jesus. The Bible tells us to be ready to talk about our faith – so are we? Maybe it’s helpful to do some thinking into this area, to practice with friends or family, and to think about helpful resources that we could share with people if they ask.
* And importantly – let’s PRAY for opportunities to talk about Jesus! This is a way the Lord loves to provide for us: putting opportunities in our path at unexpected moments – so let’s be ready!
And finally, why not finish by praying alongside ALL the More Precious girls journeying through the ARMOURED series this Autumn:
Heavenly Father, Help us to absorb the gospel of peace into our hearts. Help us to stand firm and hold onto your peace, even when the situations around us feel shaky. Give us opportunities to share the amazing news of the gospel with the people around us – and would you make us wise and courageous as we do so.