11Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Most Christians are familiar with the description of the armour of God. My wife always enjoys hearing a new sermon on the topic to see what aspects they bring out. While emphasis is often paid to the shield of faith or the sword of the Spirit, I have never heard anyone talk about verse 15;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Verse 11+13 say the armour is for the purpose of overcoming the devil. It can be clearly understood how the other components would help us in accomplishing that, but the taking out of the Gospel, how does that help us overcome? Well there are a few aspects that I have noticed in my own life.
- When we are sharing God with others, we are more dedicated to prayer
Trying to tell people in this world about a God who loves them is very challenging, even in the ‘Christian nation’ of America. When we are focusing on this work we realise our inability and need of God to work in and through us so we pray more.
2. We remember where we come from or could end up
For me, coming out of a life of drugs and alcohol and all that lifestyle entails, ministering to someone in that same condition puts me back into that setting and reminds me how far God has brought me. I remember the heartache that I felt and it renews my faith in Christ. For those who haven’t experienced life like that they, in ministering to those who don’t know God, can catch a glimpse at what their life could be if they didn’t know God or fall away from Him.
3. We are renewed by the joy in others
If our focus is purely inward we can become stagnant and start to feel that the important truths of the Bible are just information. That stagnation gives us a desire to find ‘new’ truth to ignite that first excitement when we heard the Gospel. But sharing with others breaks that too. Sure, I have heard messages and Bible studies on Daniel 2 probably close to 100 times. And, yea I know it pretty well. It could be easy to get bored with that message. But when you share that message with someone who has never heard it and you experience their excitement it rubs off on you. Or when you share with someone who thinks suicide is the best option because their Karma is too much that they have been forgiven and all they have to do is accept it and you witness the peace of Christ fill that heart, there is a renewal in your life as well.
In summary sharing the Gospel was a commission given to us to keep our relationship with Christ fresh. Just like the Children of Israel were given feasts to celebrate and retell their deliverance from Egypt to their kids so they would remember God’s faithfulness, so we too are called to share of our deliverance from sin and death so that we too keep His faithfulness in the forefront of our minds. There are people on every continent who have never heard the Gospel. Let us pray that we can be useful tools in His capable hands.