So many Christians are concerned about wearing the armour of God (and rightly so), but there is so much unbiblical nonsense going around that it is rather disturbing. There is some truth and so much error taught in this area that many people will either get caught up in the false teachings and philosophies or avoid the issue altogether. This study will not be dealing with the whole armour (I have already written a study on that - The Armour Of God), but will be dealing with one essential part that so many neglect.
Ephesians 6:11-13 states: Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Notice that there is an emphasis on putting on the whole armour of God, not just part of it. We are not to pick and choose which pieces of the armour we prefer and then neglect the rest. Victory as a Christian only comes when we wear the whole armour.
A question today's Christian needs to think about is: Is your armour on?
While there may be areas we need to work on or study to understand a little better, for the most part, those of us who are Bible-believing Christians have no problem with ensuring that our lives are based on the truths of God's Word (Belt of Truth), that we are striving to live a righteous lifestyle (Breastplate of Righteousness), that we are studying God's Word to build up our faith (Shield of Faith), that we know we are saved (Helmet of Salvation), that we are using our swords (The Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God), and that we are praying. But there is one important component that many of us deliberately (again, I say, deliberately) overlook - Feet Shod with the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace. That is witnessing, my brothers and sisters. I am as guilty as the next person for overlooking this important piece of armour at times in my Christian walk. But this should not be so.
This study will look at that specific piece of armour and why it is so essential to living a victorious Christian life.
Take another look at the passage in Ephesians quoted above. Paul says that is is important to wear the whole armour so that we can stand against the wiles of the devil, so we can withstand in the evil day. Withstand means to stand against, to resist. If you want victory over the devil in your day to day life, if you want power to stand against him (and to withstand him), then you need to put the whole armour on, including having your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.
Two other passages that emphasize the need to stand against the devil are:
James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
1 Peter 5:8-9 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
The word resist in both of these passages is the same word in Greek as withstand in Ephesians 6. Spiritual warfare is active, not passive. You can't withstand an enemy by ignoring him, or by living your life oblivious to his wiles and schemes. We can resist the devil by wearing the whole armour of God.
An important passage about witnessing is: Romans 10:13-15 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
The word for preacher and preach in this passage is Strong's #2784 which means to herald (as a public crier), especially divine truth (the gospel). This is a reference to a proclaimer or publisher of the Gospel, a witness who shares the Gospel of Jesus Christ with someone else. In Romans 10:15, Paul is quoting from Isaiah 52:7 which is a prophecy about the good news of the coming Messiah. How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!
Someone may say, "But I have not been sent!" Maybe not by men, but all Christians have been sent by the Lord, according to these verses: Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; John 15:16; 2 Corinthians 5:18-20; 1 Thessalonians 2:4. John 20:21 says Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you. Why is it so important to share the Gospel with the lost? Because that is the only method of salvation the Lord has ordained Ė salvation through faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross. Romans 1:16-17 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
When a person gets saved, they are fervent to witness and tell others about the salvation found in the Lord Jesus Christ. They are excited about going to Heaven and want to tell everyone they meet about their precious Saviour. But as time goes on, many Christians begin to cool off in their fervency and zeal. Their hearts gradually go cold, and then their feet go cold - they stop witnessing.
Cold hearts lead to cold feet!
But the solution is not to wait for their hearts to warm up again, the solution is to get their feet warm, and their hearts will defrost by itself. Get active soulwinning and your heart will warm up. Get out there where the lost are and your heart will begin to break for them, you will begin to care for and be concerned about others eternal welfare once again. Even the prophet Jeremiah realized this important fact. Lamentations 3:51 Mine eye affecteth mine heart...
Why do you think so many missions organizations are busy showing pictures and films about the lost in third world countries? Because they realize this same truth: If you see the need, your heart will be affected by it. They believe that this might be just the motivation you need to start giving to missions, to start praying for these lost, to submit yourself to the Holy Spirit's leading to go... I don't believe love for the lost is magically induced just because you are in a different location - if you won't witness to the lost around you here, you will not do it in a foreign country either. If you come up with excuses not to go to your lost neighbours here, you will come up with excuses not to go to the lost in the neighbouring villages next to you in darkest Africa. We need to get busy here, being ambassadors for Jesus Christ in our own neighbourhoods and cities, and then, if it is the Lord's will, He will open foreign fields for us.
Another clear and concise passage about the necessity of witnessing is Revelation 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
1) They overcame him (the accuser of the brethren, the devil) by the blood of the Lamb - by being washed in Jesus' blood which He shed at Calvary for their sins (Matthew 26:28; Ephesians 1:7; Revelation 1:5), and by being cleansed by His blood on a daily basis (1 John 1:7, 9).
2) And by the word of their testimony - These Christians were victorious because they were witnesses, they shared their testimonies with others! On the other side of the coin, this verse indicates that if we will not witness about the Lord Jesus Christ and the eternal salvation found only in Him, we will not be overcomers! (Note: this is referring to overcoming on a day by day basis - though born again believers are more than conquerors in Christ - we are overcomers through faith in Him according to Revelation 2-3 and 1 John 5:4-5 - we do not always walk in light of that victory. This is a key passage for showing us how we can obtain that victory on a daily basis, as we walk in right fellowship with the Lord.)
3) And they loved not their lives unto the death - They were more concerned with pleasing God than they were about being menpleasers; they were more concerned with being obedient and faithful to the Lord than they were about compromising to keep their lives. They would rather die than turn away from Jesus Christ, rather die than betray their Saviour. (See Matthew 16:24-26; Colossians 3:22-24) Their integrity and spiritual well-being was more important to them than their comfort and physical well-being. (See Daniel 3:16-18)
I would like to give a word of caution at this point: When you share your testimony, don't glorify your sin and the darkness you came out of, glorify the Saviour who saved you. Too many people give details that only fill the minds of others with sinful, graphic thoughts. That is not necessary. Paul never went into detail about how he slaughtered Christians, and never shared the specific ways and words he used to blaspheme God, he just said he murdered Christians and blasphemed the Lord. (See Galatians 1:13, 23-24; 1 Timothy 1:12-16) For example, if you came out of a past of drug and alcohol abuse, just state that. Don't go into detail about what type of drunken binges you've had and how many drugs you've abused. That doesn't glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, only the sin. Only go into as much detail as is appropriate and needed according to the person you are witnessing to. If you were a drug abuser witnessing to someone who is currently in bondage to drugs, you might go into a little more detail about how empty the drugs were, how they affected your family, and how they wrecked your life (so they can see that they also can escape that bondage and life of sin), but you don't need to give that kind of information to everyone you share your testimony with.
Go into detail about the Saviour and how the Saviour brought you out of the darkness you were previously living in. In my testimony on overcoming my depression, I didn't go into great detail about my thoughts, my sins, and my struggles during that time, only what was neccessary, but I did go into detail about the influences, the Scriptures, and the Lord Jesus Christ who helped me get out of that pit.
A perfect example of how witnessing helps us to claim the victory is found in the Song Of Solomon. I believe the primary interpretation of this book is the relationship between Jesus Christ and His bride (born-again Christians). While I donít understand all the symbolism at this point in time, there is still much I can glean from this book. Chapter 4 verses 11-12 state Thy lips, O my spouse, drop as the honeycomb: honey and milk are under thy tongue; and the smell of thy garments is like the smell of Lebanon. A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed. First Solomon (and the Lord) declare that the Christianís speech is comely (see also verse 3), but then He states that she is closed up Ė there came a point in time, that she stopped telling others about the Saviour, her mouth was sealed. In verse 16, we have the Lordís solution to get her back on track Ė blow the winds of affliction and comfort on her. Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon My garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Both these winds, at various times, will cause the fountain of praise to flow again. Affliction, because it causes us to turn back to the Saviour and cling to Him. And comfort, because it makes us realize how much He loves us and cares for us.
In 5:1, we see the King in His garden. In verse 2, we see Him knocking on her door, but she is unwilling to get up and answer to His knock. She is backslidden Ė I sleep, but my heart waketh. She is filled with excuses why she canít go out. I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them? Itís just too inconvenient, too uncomfortable. She is at her ease. Finally, she gets up to look for her king, but she goes looking in the city (she knew He was in the garden, the place of fellowship and seeking the Lord. (See Genesis 3:8; Matthew 26:36) She gets into trouble and the watchmen wound her and disgrace her (take her veil away). In her discouragement, she cries out to the daughters of Jerusalem, to tell her where He might be. These daughters then ask her, why is her beloved so special? She gets her eyes back on her King and waxes eloquent, so much so that the daughters now want to go with her to seek the King! (See 5:10-6:1) Suddenly, she remembers where her Beloved has been all along (in the garden!) and reminds herself of her relationship with her Beloved. 6:2-3 My Beloved is gone down into His garden, to the beds of spices, to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies. I am my Beloved's, and my Beloved is mine: He feedeth among the lilies.
Sometimes a bit of affliction is what we need to get out there and be the witnesses we are commanded to be. Acts 8:4 Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.
There is a great world out there, filled with a great harvest if we will just get busy and work in the fields. Strap your armour on and let's go!
Matthew 9:36-38 But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith He unto His disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth labourers into His harvest.
When Jesus calls, looking for someone to go for Him to speak to the lost, I pray that you (and I) will reply as Isaiah the prophet replied in Isaiah 6:8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.
If you want to be an overcomer, put on those Gospel Shoes.
If you want daily victory in your life, then go.
Tell the Lord, Here am I.
Is your armour on?
Study written June 11th, 2002
By Jerry Bouey
Eagle's Wings Ministries
Other studies on this theme:
The Christian Counter