PART 20 – PUT ON GOSPEL OF PEACE SHOES (29/1/19)
During this week’s devotionals, we will be considering how David fell into sin with Bathsheba, and how we can protect ourselves. Each day we will look at a different piece of the ‘Armour of God’ (Ephesians 6:10-20), which is God’s power and wisdom on how to overcome temptation and evil.
The process of David’s defeat
David went through a process that led to his defeat. This process was:
Passivity + Seeing + Asking + Inviting + Acting
David ‘saw Bathsheba’ and rather than ‘fight at first’ sight - bounce his eyes away, he decided to take things to the next level - to get to know about her. We read,
‘And David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, ‘She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite’ (2 Samuel 11:3)
If you’re single, and desire to be married, it’s a good thing to find out about someone who attracts you - Do they love Jesus? What are their ambitions? What are their interests…? However, if like David, you are married, and you find out that the person you’re attracted to is also married, I think it very clear that this is not God’s will for you - I don’t care how you feel! You need to fight right now!
Gospel of peace shoes
Today we will consider the third piece of armour that will help us to stand in the fight against temptation. Paul writes,
‘And with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. (Ephesians 6:15).
Feet are vital in a battle. The devil wants to knock us off of our feet by robbing us of our confidence and experience of the peace that we now have through Jesus - through the ‘gospel of peace’. As we protect our ‘feet’ with the gospel of peace, we will be in readiness to:
Stand, prepared to serve God because we are enthused by God’s love demonstrated in the gospel.
Share the gospel with unbelievers.
Encourage other Christians who have lost heart by reminding them of the gospel.
Be reconciled - make peace - when relationships are strained (See Ephesians 4:26). We can forgive as we have been forgiven. I think that this is what Paul has in mind in particular. If the devil can rob us of gospel shoes and bring disunity in the church, He renders us ineffective.
RESPONSE - PUT ON GOSPEL OF PEACE SHOES
Each response this week will be around putting on each part of the armour of God.
Are your, ‘feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace’?
Are you standing on the gospel of peace - Do you know that through Jesus you have peace with God as your sin has been swallowed up in the death of Christ?
Secondly, are all your relationships directed by the gospel, for example, bringing non-believers to Jesus? Being reconciled when relationships are strained? knowing that your own relationship with the Father is one of ‘peace’ and love? Perhaps you might find it helpful to refit your gospel shoes as you meditate on this text from Paul,
‘He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.’ (Ephesians 2:17-18)
2. PUT ON THE ARMOUR BY MEMORISING THE TRUTH
Let’s put on the gospel fo peace shoes by making a commitment to memorise the armour of God this week.
‘Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.’ (Ephesians 6:14-17)
3. BE HONEST ABOUT YOUR STRUGGLES
The ‘gospel of peace shoes’ assure us that we are loved and can be forgiven, no matter what we’ve done. Often, we fall into sexual sin because we are looking for affirmation that we should be finding in the love of God.
It’s easy to live and struggle in silence. A key to freedom is confession - bringing things into the light. A couple of specific questions for you:
1. If you are married - Have you ever spoken to your spouse about struggles that you have with temptation? Will you make some time to talk this week and answer this question: Where, if at all, are you being unfaithful in action or thinking, or being tempted to do so?
2. If you are single - Will you make some time to talk to a friend (of the same sex) and answer the following question: Where, if at all, are you being sexually impure in action, thinking or feeling tempted to do so?
TIPS ON MEMORISING SCRIPTURE
We will only do this, and persevere in doing this, if we believe that it's truly important to hide God's word in our heart. So get faith!
Don't disqualify yourself if it's hard - it is hard!
Write the text somewhere that's easy to find and use
Include the reference throughout the process
Read it slowly and carefully x 10 (Don't rush or dismiss this accurate repetition)
Recall it, without looking as much as possible x10
Do this a few times through the day
Revise regularly (and revise previously memorised verses)
Make it a habit to learn new verses - skill comes over time