Ephesians 6:15 – and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
I have thought about this verse and what to write. So I commit this to the Lord and hope that it is His words written so that He is exalted. As I think about this verse, it comes on a day when I have no strength and am extremely tired. A long week with another busy week ahead. But what I am reminded of in this section of Scripture is that I can be tired all I want. I can have no energy and no strength, but the attacks and the battle does not stop. In fact, it seems the battle gets worse. As we have talked before, the hardest days for me are when I am being led by things that shouldn’t lead me, like hunger, illness or tiredness. Without God, I am nothing.
I get stuck on my dependence on self that I forget to do what I need to do and am supposed to do by depending on the Spirit. The only way that I can please God and do His Will is by the Spirit, His Spirit. So once again, God has to poke me to get me back on track and keep seeking Him. I need to keep wearing the armor He has given us and never start trying to do it on my own. The way that God will be exalted in my life is by relying on Him that way He gets the glory. If I try on my own to please and exalt Him, I will fail. I will fail miserably. But if I depend on Him to do His will and be ready for whatever His will calls for me, then He gets the glory. He gets the honor because it was all Him.
As we look at this verse, I want to share the KJV with you since it offers a different word:
And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace (italics mine)
Preparation. The act of making ready or being made ready for use. As I think about that, I really like that translation. It makes me think that we always need to be ready. We always need to be ready for whatever God has next. Whatever He wills for us, we need to be ready or prepared for. That may be something pleasant or…not pleasant at all. It may be the birth of a child. Or the loss of a child. It may be the sweet joy of beautiful new relationship. Or the hurt and deep pain of a broken heart. Whether it is joy or sadness, God is not waiting for the right time when we say we are ready. There will never be a perfect time or a favorable period in our life. We need to be ready now.
David and Moses both ask God to teach them to number their days since it is like a fleeting breath. We don’t know when the last one we take will be. At the same time, we don’t know what God has in store for us next. We don’t know the battles and struggles that lie ahead. So as we take this moment, are you ready? Am I ready?
I have found that all too often in my life I am not. Through the struggles come some of the most intimate and amazing times of growth with God in my life, but they have so much pain and hurt sprinkled in. Loss of loved ones, broken hearts, illness and pain that seemed like it was never going to end, yet God uses these times to refine us and purify us. He makes us ready and prepared. Sometimes we go with Him. Other times we refuse to let Him teach us. We don’t want to be taught. We want to stay in our pit of depression.
God may well have some type of loss ahead of you or a move to a new place. There may be trials and struggles. There may be some amazing happiness. What is He preparing you for? What do you need to be ready for? Do not be afraid to ask. Ask Him to lead you, to prepare you for service. For the future. For whatever he has next. Are you ready? I know I could use some work. Are you ready for what the enemy will throw at you next? God will help us. He will prepare us if we let Him. And if we seek after Him. We need to be ready. We need to be ready for the battle. In Jeremiah 29, it is written, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Seek after God.
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. (The Amplified Bible)
But this verse doesn’t leave us with just preparation, but with a great reminder. And a beautifully vivid imagery of a great battle going on around us yet we have an inward peace. Chaos on the outside, yet tranquility inside. While the battle wages on, God gives us the beautiful opportunity to find rest and stability on His solid Rock. God promises us to give us our daily bread and He does. Without even asking, He gives us what we need every day to succeed. In the times of trial and great struggle, there is a way to find peace and hope. One way is turn to what God has told us in Scripture. To look upon His promises and see the hope that we have in Him. As we read, we find people who have gone through our struggles. We see how God works all things out for the good of those that love Him. God has a great and mighty plan. Do not fret. Do not be anxious but come to God. Come to Him in prayer and seek after Him in His beautiful Word. Listen to what He is telling you. Listen to the promise that even though you may feel desperate and alone, you are valuable to Him. So valuable in fact He sacrificed His Son and you who believe now are a child of God.
While the storms come, the Gospel stands firm. Hide it in your heart that in times of trial, in times of persecution, in times of temptation, in times of great blessings you will know Who is in charge and those words will come to life in you.