Ready, Steady, Go
"Stand firm then … with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace." (Ephesians 6:14-15)
Having the right footwear for the right occasion is obviously important. We wouldn’t give Wellington boots to a soccer player, or spiked running shoes to a ballet dancer. Having the right shoes is half the battle; wearing the wrong shoes will almost certainly mean we will lose that battle. The Roman army certainly understood this principle. While their soldiers might wear sandals for normal everyday use, they wore "half–boots" with studded soles to give a good grip when marching or in battle. Firmness and mobility were essential requirements for such occasions.
We, too, as Christ’s soldiers, need our boots on, Paul says, so we are ready to "stand firm" or to "go" or to share our faith at any moment. The gospel sets us at peace, so we can be at peace in our readiness to share it with others. This isn’t something we need to be fearful about or that we have to "wind ourselves up for"; it should be as natural as anything. After all, we have the good news that everyone needs; and as Isaiah put it, "How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation" (Isaiah 52:7).
Probably all of us have experienced times when we did feel timid about speaking up in some situation or about sharing our faith. When we did, however, wasn’t it great? Remember: we are here today trusting in Christ because someone dared to speak to us; so how can we rob others of that? As we do speak up, God has promised that He will strengthen us, encourage us, and use us. Who knows what the outcome might be today if we do!
"Get yourself ready! Stand up and say to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified by them … Today I have made you a fortified city, an iron pillar and a bronze wall to stand against the whole land … They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you," declares the Lord. (Jeremiah 1:17-19)
Copyright © 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont
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