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Concluding Thoughts on Chapter 4 – Feet Shod with the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace
In Ephesians 6:15, Paul tells us to have our feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace. What he means there is that we must be prepared. We must be ready to stand firm in the face of affliction because the battle will surely arise.
Whether we are struggling in our marriage, having a difficult time at work, or fighting temptation we can be sure of one thing: we’re not at war with the flesh, we’re at war with the spirit. There are angels fighting on our behalf but there are also demons determined to take us down.
The Bible tells us to resist Satan and he will flee. The word resist means “to hold out against,” like Job who stood firm regardless of what came his way. We can all stand firm for a minute, perhaps even a day, but we need God’s power and strength for the long-haul. We need perseverance and fortitude for those out-of-the-ordinary afflictions that bring us to our knees and keep bringing us down day after day. We need to stand firm like Job who after he was afflicted fell to the ground and worshipped God. We need to be like Job who maintained his integrity after everything dear to him was taken away.
Let’s look at five ways to stand strong:
- Recognize sin when you see it lurking. Don’t toy with it.
- Flee temptation as soon as you realize that you are being drawn away.
- Study the Bible regularly so that you are equipped to destroy the lies with truth.
- Pray asking God to take the temptation away, and if possible confide in friend who will lift you up in prayer and keep you accountable.
- Keep a safe distance between you and those things or people that you view as a potential temptation.
In closing, here’s a beautiful portion of scripture that fits in so well, not only with this chapter but with our entire study:
For thou art my lamp, O Lord: and the Lord will lighten my darkness. For by thee I have run through a troop: by my God have I leaped over a wall. As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him. For who is God, save the Lord? and who is a rock, save our God?
God is my strength and power: and he maketh my way perfect. He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet: and setteth me upon my high places. He teacheth my hands to war; so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.
Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy gentleness hath made me great. Thou hast enlarged my steps under me; so that my feet did not slip. I have pursued mine enemies, and destroyed them; and turned not again until I had consumed them.
And I have consumed them, and wounded them, that they could not arise: yea, they are fallen under my feet. For thou hast girded me with strength to battle: them that rose up against me hast thou subdued under me. (2 Samuel 22:29-40)
Answer Key for Chapter 4
Q. What were the sandals Roman soldiers wore made of?
A. Caligae were heavy-duty leather sandals with hobnailed soles. The hobnails were hammered into the soles of the sandals to offer the soldiers extra grip much like the modern-day cleats worn by football players
Q. Who were singing hymns and praying in prison in the middle of the night?
A. Paul and Silas
Q. How do we rebuke Satan’s lies?
A. With the truth of God’s Word.
Q. List some of the trials you have experienced in your life. After each one, mark down whether you think you were strengthened or defeated by it:
A. This answer is personal and will be different for everyone.
Q. What outweighs our momentary affliction?
A. Faith tells us that that eternal glory outweighs our momentary affliction by far. It reminds us that we have a home beyond the scope of this world, and points us straight to the salvation of God.
Q. What does God promise to those who wait upon the Lord?
A. They shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)
Q. How did Josephus describe the soles of the Roman soldiers’ shoes?
A. Full of thick and sharp nails.
Fill in the Blanks:
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, _________________. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not _____________________.
(1 Corinthians 15:58, NIV)
A. Stand firm, in vain
Q. How do we stand firm in our faith?
A. Don’t waiver when you’re tested and tried. Don’t run when you’re standing alone. Don’t give up when the going is tough.
Q. When was the last time you let Satan steal your joy? What happened? How should you have reacted instead?
A. These two are personal answers and will be different for everyone.
I have two free printables for you this week. The first one is a Bible Reading Checklist. There are three pages for this one (I posted the links below). The second printable is a Bible verse print from 1 Corinthians 16:13. Click the links below to view and print your copies.