E48: Armor of God series: Shoes of the gospel of peace and the shield of faith
PODCAST: These are powerful defense tools to help keep us focused on our goal!
The shoes of the gospel of peace and the shield of faith are powerful defense tools to help keep us focused on our goal – to fight against sin in our flesh. In this episode, Milenko and Eunice continue the armor of God series with an encouragement on how we can use these weapons in daily life!
Transcript: “Living the Gospel” podcast, Episode 48: Shoes of the gospel of peace and the shield of faith
Welcome to ActiveChristianity’s “Living the Gospel” podcast. Join us as we talk about how we can “live the gospel” every day, no matter who we are, where we live, and what our circumstances are.
Milenko: Welcome to another episode of “Living the Gospel.” I’m Milenko.
Eunice: And I’m Eunice.
Milenko: And it’s nice to be back in the studio after our summer break.
Milenko: And last week Kathy and Julia talked about some aspects of the full armor of God, which are written about in Ephesians. They talked about the belt of truth and the breastplate of righteousness. And this week Eunice and I are going to talk about the shoes of the gospel of peace and the shield of faith.
Milenko: Sounds exciting. Let’s get straight into it.
Eunice: So in Ephesians 6:15, it’s written: “… and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace …” So, this verse seems a little bit tricky to understand. I’ve actually always wondered about it. So, let’s break it down. What is the gospel of peace?
Milenko: The gospel of peace, I think you can also speak about in a few different ways. If we go back to when Jesus was born, the angels who came and gave the good news to the shepherds in the field, they talked about that there was peace on earth, goodwill to men. And that came with Jesus. So, with Jesus came the gospel of peace. And with Jesus, also it’s written, that He came to destroy the works of the devil. And that’s really what the gospel of peace is about. All the unrest, James writes, all the wars and fightings among you that come from lusts in your flesh that are fighting, that want to have control (James 4:1), and that’s where the devil does his work. Through the lusts in our flesh. He tempts us, he provokes us, and that causes reactions, which cause unrest. So, destroying the works of the devil, which is what Jesus did, that is the gospel of peace.
Eunice: Right, and that’s actually putting to death the lusts in our flesh.
Milenko: Exactly. And when we’re talking about the armor, we’re obviously talking about a battle, right? It’s about fighting. And who is the enemy? The enemy is the lusts in our flesh. That’s sin; the works of the devil.
Eunice: Well, it says a few verses before, that we’re not wrestling against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, rulers of the darkness of this age, and spiritual hosts of wickedness. So, how can actually getting victory over the lusts in my flesh help in this battle that comes from the outside?
Milenko: Right, it does sound a little abstract maybe too, when you’re talking about spiritual powers, and …
Eunice: Powers of the air …
Milenko: Yeah. But this is actually what’s around us. It’s a reality; this is Satan who’s also trying to influence us. And the only way Satan can influence us is through our lusts. That’s where he has an entrance. If we give in to them, he’s got an entrance into our life. If we resist them, we keep him out. That’s basically, very simply said, what the battle is. And as it said in that verse, we’re not wrestling against flesh and blood. So, if you use an example of this, we all know what it’s like to feel offended. Someone says something or does something that stirs up all these feelings in me. And I’m provoked maybe to say something, at least to think something, about that other person. If I continue with that, if I give in to that, then I am actually wrestling against flesh and blood. Then I’ve got something against that other person. Yeah, and I say something, and that causes these wars and fights that James writes about. That’s the lusts at work in me. And then those spiritual powers that Satan works with, they also get a hold on my life. But the opposite is, that if I fight against that, if I don’t give in to that lust, and I resist it, then I’m actually overcoming Satan. And of course, then there is no difficulties with that other person either. No matter what happens, no matter what they say, I can be at peace.
Eunice: Because we’re tempted because we have these lusts in our flesh, that’s why Satan can tempt us.
Milenko: Exactly. That’s the temptation, and when I give in to it, then it takes over my life. And then comes all that unrest. But the battle lies in fighting against those lusts, and then the peace comes into my life.
Eunice: So, the next part of the verse says, “Having our feet shod …” Is shod kind of like an old word? What does it actually mean?
Milenko: It is, isn’t it? It means putting on footwear basically.
Milenko: Putting on your shoes, yeah.
Eunice: OK. So, what does it mean to actually put on your shoes in preparation of the gospel of peace?
Milenko: Yeah, I was looking at this when we were doing some research for this episode. And I looked it up in the Amplified translation of the English Bible, which I always think is very interesting. It sort of broadens the explanation. So I’d just like to read that there, in Ephesians 6:15, it says there in the Amplified version, “… and having shod your feet in preparation [to face the enemy with the firm-footed stability, the promptness, and the readiness produced by the good news] of the gospel of peace.” And I think that really sums it up. That’s it’s a readiness to fight that’s given by the gospel of peace. So, the gospel of peace we were talking about, that’s peace from the lusts of the flesh, it’s the good news that came with Jesus, that the way is open. Jesus showed us that way. And when we believe in that gospel, when we have decided that we are going to follow Jesus – I want to be His disciple, I want to live for Him – then I’m putting on …
Eunice: These shoes.
Milenko: Yeah, my battle footwear, you can say.
Eunice: Your steel-toed boots.
Milenko: Exactly. It’s like real protective footwear. And you can see how necessary that would be in a battlefield.
Eunice: Yeah, it’s like, full of sharp things and if you don’t have no footwear, you can’t go to battle, actually. You can’t really go anywhere. But being prepared means having those footwear the whole time. And in other words, it’s having that mind of Christ that I want to do His will. And we never take that off.
Milenko: So, to use that picture that’s been used of a battlefield, if I walk out there with bare feet, the first time I step on something sharp, my attention is straight to that. I have to sit down, pull out the thing that’s got in my foot. I have to, you know … And what happens? The enemy overtakes me. And what’s that in practice? For example, someone says something to me that awakens these feelings, that I feel offended. That’s like stepping on something sharp. And if I let that distract me, then I can’t fight. But if I’m prepared to fight, that I’ve put on this footwear, then I can go into any terrain, whatever happens, whatever people say, whatever, and I’m ready. I’m ready to fight the enemy. Not to be distracted by that sharp thorn, or whatever I stood on. A piece of glass. But that I’m ready to fight. Then I’ve got the mind, as you said, that was in Christ, to fight against sin.
Eunice: Willing to suffer in the flesh.
Milenko: Exactly. And then I’m fighting against the real enemy, not the perceived one. Not the thorn. That wasn’t the enemy. That was just a distraction that provoked something. But now I can really be ready to fight.
Eunice: And the gospel of peace is peace from these demands coming from my flesh, right? You know, when I fight it and I get victory over it, then inside is not stirring up with these thoughts of like, this is unfair, you know. Taking that same situation of offendedness. But total peace! And instead I can bless. And that’s the more than victory part; more than conquerors. That I can, instead of reviling, I can bless them. And then in that way, I can also be an example of the effects of the gospel of peace, right?
Milenko: Yeah, and it’s called the gospel of peace. So, the good news; the glad tidings of peace. And we can then, through our life and our words, go out and spread that good news. We can really be missionaries with that. And in that context I was reminded of the verse in Isaiah 52:7, where it says, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings glad tidings of good things, who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’” And I think there we really have it summed up. I’m a bearer of good news, glad tidings; of peace and of salvation! That we are set free, we are saved from sin, through Jesus’ death and through Jesus’ life. And by following Him on that way, then we are also in that battle and overcome. And we can proclaim that good news. And then we can say, “Your God reigns.” Instead of sin reigning, and Satan reigning, as he does in so much of the world, you know, through people’s lusts. We can say, “Your God reigns!” That’s the gospel of peace. The total victory of God and His way of doing things. That’s the ultimate gospel of peace.
Eunice: And we proclaim that first and foremost with our lives.
Eunice: And it says in the next verse in Ephesians 6:16: “… above all, taking the shield of faith with which you’ll be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.” And it says “above all,” because that means it’s really important, this faith that we have to have. And what is this faith? Faith for what?
Milenko: Well, faith is the actual starting point of a Christian life. Conversion itself is an act of faith; it’s a belief, total trust, in that what God has promised is true. That’s basically what faith is. And in that we then have belief in His promises, number one, but we also then have faith in His commandments, that they will lead us to the goal. We have faith in Jesus, that Jesus has gone this way before us, that He actually also has forgiven my sins, that I can start living this life. It’s got to do with all those things. And faith that God is faithful. That God will reward me if I keep His commandments. And He loves me. So … and it says there, that we use it to quench all the fiery darts of the devil. And you can imagine that, he’s shooting at us; he’s really trying to get us down. But by faith in God, faith in His word, faith in all these things, we can protect ourselves. Then we don’t need to listen to Satan.
Eunice: It’s interesting that it’s described as a shield, because you know, a shield is something you can move around to the spot where you need it. And you can think about it that way, that thoughts come in your mind from all directions sometimes, and you need to prevent it from coming into your heart and being a part of you and affecting you. So, then you need this faith.
Milenko: And it’s a protection in that it stops it before it gets to you. So, it’s not a medicine or a bandage or something to cover up something that’s already damaged, but it stops it from damaging you. So whatever Satan throws at us, and he does his best, He really tries to deceive us. I’ve used that example before about being offended, for example. Satan tries to come with his fiery darts. “Well, right now that other person said something terrible. They deserve to hear, you know, your anger. They deserve …” You know, all these things. Satan tries to convince you that being offended now is the right thing to do. But I have faith in God’s word. I have faith that I now have to be one who seeks peace. I have to have faith that I can be obedient to what He says.
Eunice: And that you won’t lose out, too, by seeking peace!
Milenko: I won’t lose out from it! Exactly. That I will actually be one who gains eternal value from this. When I do that, then those fiery darts, they don’t even hit me anymore. I can still feel, I’ve still got the feelings because of what someone’s said. But what Satan’s trying to tell me – that this is the right thing to do – I don’t listen to that. That’s a real help. And that’s why “above all” we have to do this. Then we really can keep our head clear, we can be ready to fight, and we don’t get hurt by what Satan is trying to tell us.
Eunice: Like what you said, that we keep our head clear. Because that’s really how I’ve experienced it too. When I say the words of faith, actually, when I’m in the battle, it keeps my head clear. I actually see clearly where the enemy is, who the enemy is. You know, it’s not my friend or my situation, or sometimes you can think like, why does God allow me to suffer this hardship right now, why is He allowing me to go through this? But then, using the shield of faith will be believing in words like, that there’s 1 Corinthians 10:13, that there’s no temptation overtaken you except … You know, that God won’t give you more than you’re able. And believing in Romans 8:28, that God causes all things to work together for good to those who are the called according to His purpose.
And I thought to give a few examples, you know, of actually how amazing the shield of faith is when we take it up in the battle. There’s different examples of fiery darts Satan can come with. For example, accusation. Accusation of … he accuses other people, and then you … he gets you to try to go along with that. And then from accusations, instead, with the shield of faith, it will be, “Jesus died for this person!” I can assume the best of them, you know? I can think the best of them! And that’s faith you know, because maybe it’s not really something that you’re thinking right now. And for example, discouragement. You know, you did something wrong, and you just feel like all you want to do is crawl into bed and never see anyone again. But then, when I take up the shield of faith against these thoughts, then it will be, “Put this in the past!” I can move on, and it will succeed! It says in God’s word.
Milenko: And that’s the thing, that the feelings might be there. And the, you know, what’s been said to me has been said by someone else, for example. And the situation’s very real. But what Satan comes with is these fiery darts, that he tries to take that situation and turn it upside down so that I am the one who is supposed to sin to make it better. Like, that’s what he tries to tell me, right? And that’s like, “Get offended now,” or yes, “Become discouraged, you feel this way so go, just give up!” That’s his fiery darts. But faith says, “No! The situation’s here, but that doesn’t mean that I have to give in. I don’t have to become offended. I don’t have to become discouraged. I don’t have to become envious.” All these different things that Satan really tries to deceive me with. That’s his fiery darts. I can deflect them and not be affected by them, if I have faith in God and I’m obedient to Him. It’s an obedience too, you know. I have to go there and do something. I have to hold up my shield. I can’t just have it lying on the ground. I have to actually do something with it. I have to be alert. See these darts coming, then I put up my shield.
Eunice: Yeah, it’s actually super important to put it up right away. Because I think also, things like doubt or fear and worry, if you give in to a thought or two, suddenly you’re drowning in thoughts. Like, what if this happens, what if that happens. And then … But that shield of faith, when it comes up right away, I’m pretty sure Satan runs the other direction. He gets hurt.
Milenko: He does, he does. And you see here, we’ve talked about the shoes, or the footwear, of the preparedness of the battle of peace. It’s the same kind of thing. It’s a protection that you have. That you’re aware of what Satan comes with, you’re aware of the situations, the temptations, but you’re protected against them. And you use the shield of faith in the same way. You protect yourself against whatever he throws at you. And in that way, we’re like, protected from all directions, and we can actually use our energy and the strength God gives us to actually fight the enemy, instead of being distracted and hurt by them. And then having to patch that up later.
Eunice: So, to sum it up, using the shield of faith is simply believing God’s word. I’d say, simple faith. Right away I use that shield. And it says also, we have this quote actually on our Facebook page, “Faith in the word of life is the greatest power that exists in the universe.” And I believe that with my whole heart, because I’ve experienced that it is true. It can chase the enemy away, chase the dark days away. And we speak so much about battling and victory over sin. That’s also faith. I’m in that battle, but I already see the goal. Then you do all that you take to get there. And faith has been a huge help for me in life.
Milenko: And it’s called the armor of God. It’s not something that we have to figure out ourselves. It’s armor that God gives us. So, this faith is something God gives us. He gives us the shoes; He gives us all these different pieces of the armor so that we can overcome. That’s what he wants in our life. And now we have to be obedient use it.
In 1 Peter 4:1 it’s written that having the mind of Christ, we can cease from sin. It actually says to arm yourself with the mind that Christ had. To suffer in the flesh and then you will cease from sin. And suffering in the flesh, that’s that battle against the lusts in my flesh that we’ve been talking about. So, we have to arm ourselves with that mind. And it’s amazing that God’s given us these promises. And we can cease from sin, it’s written there. Go back and read that, 1 Peter 4:1. Arm yourselves with that mind. If I suffer in the flesh – that is that I don’t give in to the lusts of my flesh, that’s that suffering, that’s the fight. Use the armor we’ve been given, and then we can actually be overcomers, as it’s written in the whole Bible.
Eunice: It’s a promise!
Milenko: The whole Bible’s full of that promise, that we shall be overcomers. And more than conquerors. So, I think this is a fantastic series, that we can talk about the different parts of that armor and how they help us. And what we talked about today, that we can be prepared to fight. To fight, not the people, but the sin that comes in our flesh from the situations we’re in. So, it’s amazing.
Eunice: So, we’re not done with the series yet. Next week Kathy and Julia will talk about the helmet of salvation. So, remember to tune in. Thanks for listening today. Bye!