“Stand firm therefore…by fitting your feet with the preparation that comes from the good news of peace…” (Eph. 6:14a,15 NET)
A few years ago, a Christmas series on God’s Armour was featured in the Nugget, with one of the parts focusing on the idea of “fitting your feet with the preparation that comes from the good news of peace…” I don’t usually like to write again about something that is already written, and therefore, when God began placing this devotional on my heart, my response was, “Can’t do that, Lord! Already wrote about that!”
But God was persistent… (Isn’t He always?) … And here we are.
I will admit that although I thought I had a complete understanding of Eph. 6:15 back in 2017 when this series was published, God has been really working on my heart lately about the whole concept of fitting my feet with the preparation that comes from the gospel of peace… Could it be that this is because there is so little peace in the world right now? Could it be because of the global pandemic and all the emotional baggage that it has brought? And, more personally, could it be because God knows how easily I am persuaded to give away my … peace?
To borrow a bit from the former devotional, let’s take a closer look at what “…fitting your feet with the preparation that comes from the good news of peace…” means.
When you look back to the Greek, we see that a better translation for the word “preparation” would actually be “foundation” or “base”. In other words, this support for our feet that will keep us from slipping, that will help us to “stand firm”, is achieved simply by allowing the gospel of peace to be our foundation!
Now the gospel brings us many things – Salvation, joy, love, etc., all of which are very important. Isn’t it interesting that Paul specifies “peace”? I mean, we all know that peace is important, but why would Paul encourage us to put “peace” on our feet as our firm foundation?
I believe the answer is this: When we have that overwhelming sense of relief that comes over us when we receive God’s peace, then and only then are we standing on a foundation that will keep us from slipping back into the devil’s traps! Only with the peace of God in our hearts – and not just about salvation, but about everything going on in our lives! – only then do we have any hope of standing at all in the face of spiritual combat!
I’ve been thinking a lot about this of late and because I am who I am, someone who has to have proof of everything, someone who values personal experience, I’ve been doing some experiments on this. Here is what I’ve learned: When there is even the tiniest bit of worry or unrest in my heart, the devil has an open door. It’s like that tiny bit of worry – about anything! – literally “pulls the rug out from under my feet” so to speak, and I start down that steep, slippery slope that results in my being dumped … yet again … into one of the devil’s traps that I so easily fall into.
Take depression, for example. I so easily fall into that trap, especially in the fall, and especially this fall, with so many disappointments becoming realities. If I dwell on those disappointments, I do not have peace. By dwelling on those things, I am, in essence, stepping off my firm foundation, putting my feet on a steep, gravel-covered path! And you can bet where that leads me: Down to the depths of depression! Another of the traps I so easily fall into is control. I’ve come to realize that if I give whatever it is I want control over to God, I have peace. But the moment I allow myself to take it back, the peace is gone, and I begin slipping back into my habitual pattern of being controlling. Unforgiveness is another of my habitual traps. When I give whatever it is I’m angry about to God, when I allow Him to help me work through my anger to forgiveness, I am overwhelmed with peace. But the moment I allow myself to get angry again, my peace is gone, and it is only moments before I’m back in the pit of unforgiveness.
I could go on, but the point is this: Having God’s peace in our hearts – about everything! – ensures we are standing on a firm foundation, a base that will never shift. It is only when we give away that peace, when we take back the worries and problems and circumstances that we have given to God, that we slip back into the devil’s traps.
The following has become my prayer, and I encourage you to join me in praying it over yourself and your family every morning: Lord, I want to give You ________ today. I ask you to help me to leave it in Your hands. I accept Your peace. It is my firm foundation, the strong base I need to keep me from slipping back into the devil’s traps today! Thank You, Lord!
With Christmas just two days away, remember that a major part of Jesus’ ultimate gift to us is the gift of peace. Accept it today at all its levels. “Put it on”, so that you are standing on a firm foundation, for when you do, the devil can’t pull you back into His traps! And when you do, you will be fully embracing this beautiful, all-important part of Jesus’ Christmas gift to you.
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two adult boys, Author — “Aboard God’s Train — A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer”, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, The Illustrator, a four-times-a-week internet newsletter, and the Sermon Illustrator website, all with Answers2Prayer Ministries.