The Armor of God: The Feet of the Gospel

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, April 18, 2014 0 comments

In continuing my series on the Armor of God in Ephesians 6:10-18, this week I will discuss the Feet of the Gospel. For quick reference, you can review my previous posts on The Belt of Truth and The Breastplate of Righteousness. The next piece of the Armor of God is having your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the Gospel of peace. There is quite a bit about this piece of Armor that seems so minor and yet is so critical.

As a competitive fencer with nearly 16 years of being involved in the sport, there is one thing I know is drilled more than any other thing: footwork. Why is this so important? It is your footwork that gets you where you need to be to make your attacks, to get out of an opponent’s attacking range, and positions you to move in and out as needed. What is more is that a fencer must be able to execute his/her footwork without thinking about it. Fencing is an incredibly fast sport. Scientifically speaking, out of every Olympic sport, there is only thing that moves faster than a fencing blade: the bullet out of a rifle. The electronic scoring machines can distinguish the different between a simultaneous hit where both fencers hit each other at the same time within a 1/25 of a second. No time to think about footwork at those kinds of speeds. We have to be able to think only about our opponent’s blade and our blade and train our bodies to move our feet automatically. And this is so true on a spiritual level. We need to train ourselves to be so familiar with who our God is, what the Bible says, and what he has done in our lives that we can easily move in and out and use what needs to be used in a particular situation by instinct.

What do I mean by all that? This is what Paul is talking about with the word ‘readiness’. Peter even mentions this in 1 Peter 3:15. We need to be ready to give an answer and know what we believe. What does it mean to be ready? As a fencer, readiness speaks of one thing: On Guard. For a fencer to be on guard, they need to be in a position that enables them to perform every basic move in the sport. To be on guard, means you need to have your feet positioned roughly under your shoulder blades so that you can advance forward easily or retreat quickly. If your feet are too far apart, you can’t move either direction. If they are too close together, it puts a nasty torque on your knees which makes you stand up, and an easy target. Being on guard means you have your body upright. If you lean backwards to avoid being hit, you still make yourself an easy target but you are off balance. If you lean forwards, you really don’t gain much reach, but it brings your shoulder so much closer to your opponent’s blade. Being on guard also means have your blade up and ready for action. Fencing has eight primary defensive parries and three basic attacks. All of these are able to be executed from the on guard position.

We need to be spiritually on guard. We have to be ready and anticipating needing to move on offense or defense. It is tiring to maintain a constant state of readiness. It is easy to drop our guard, especially when we don’t sense the enemy is going to do something. And that is exactly what the enemy is waiting on: for us to drop our guard. But beware. Even if we drop our guard, the enemy may not attack right away. A favorite attack I have seen the enemy do is to wait for us to drop our guard, move on for a while so we get comfortable with our guard down. Then he will wait until we get engaged in another battle, and then make his move. While we are occupied with one battle, he will come in and flank us from another direction. We must be alert and know how the enemy moves. He doesn’t change tactics, only how the tactics are packaged. Study the book of Nehemiah. You will find many of the enemy’s tactics used there. And we must be on guard and ready for whatever is thrown at us.

All this rests on the Gospel of Peace. I will do another post on the Gospel of Peace itself at another time, but we need to understand peace. Peace is often misunderstood as the absence of war. This is not so. You can have peace in the midst of war. It is a confidence in the God of Peace that no matter what circumstances we are going through, we know God has it under control. Peace in the midst of war can come from knowing the outcome before it arrives. We may lose some battles here and there, a skirmish here, a confrontation there, but in the overall grand scheme of things, we serve a God who has already told us how the Great War will end. We know the end of the book before we get there. God wins! No matter how dark and hopeless it may seem, God wins in the end. So why fear what the enemy can do? After all what can they do to us? Mock us? Ridicule us? Torture us? Kill us? As Christians, we have eternal life. The worst they can do is threaten us with heaven. So why fear them? We can have peace now because we know the end results. We win.

Have your feet set and ready to move with the Gospel of Peace. Train yourself to move fluidly by the instinct that God wants to train you with. Keep your guard up and be ready for anything that may come your way. The Gospel will carry you where you need to go, when you need to go, and position you to move in any way God needs you to. It will give you sure footing so that you do not slip. Have your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the Gospel of Peace.

Next week, look for my post on the Shield of Faith.