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Ephesians 6:11, 14-15 (ESV)
“Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil…Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.”
READY TO SHARE
Each Christian has been invited into the mission of God – the task of making disciples within our confused world. However, we have a spiritual enemy who seeks to wrestle us away from this eternally significant work. Therefore, God encourages us to put on ‘armor’ in order to do battle against the great deceiver.
The ‘shoes’ in this Biblical metaphor represent a “readiness” to share the gospel. Paul likely had Isaiah 52:7 in mind, which says: “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, ‘Your God Reigns.’” In other words,Christians are to do battle against our spiritual enemy by being ready to talk about the only One who offers peace, joy and salvation.
But let’s get real. It’s so easy to live or work next to someone and never talk about spiritual matters! In order to wear these ‘shoes’ properly, we may need some assistance.
First, we may need some form of accountability. After my wife and I were married, the Lord led us to Colorado Springs where we served as a ‘Cares Team’ through a ministry called ‘Apartment Life.’ While in this role, our task was to cultivate authentic community among those who lived within our 300-unit apartment complex. We were also expected to pray for others, connect people with a local church or share the gospel as the Holy Spirit led. We even gave a report of our spiritual conversations to our overseers each month.
At first, that kind of accountability felt legalistic. However, we came to realize that the Lord used this to remind us each day that we were not merely ‘events coordinators’ but rather ambassadors for Christ among those who were yet blind to Jesus.
What would change if you had someone asking about your spiritual conversations each month? It might be interesting to experiment with this form of accountability and see if it keeps you ‘ready.’
Second, in order to be ready to share, we need a deeper desire. Wearing the shoes of ‘readiness’ is not about checking off a to-do box or even about receiving the right theological training. It’s more about what is already happening inside our hearts. For example, when taking a trip of any kind, our daughter usually brings paper and pencils. She is always ready to draw another picture or write another story. This comes easy for her because she has a deep desire to create.
In a similar way, if we have a deep desire for Jesus, readiness to share Him will always be present. Then, when the Holy Spirit opens a spiritual door, we will recognize it and eagerly share the gospel of peace with our neighbors who are still caught in the schemes of the devil.
Are you wearing the shoes of readiness?
Lord, help us to love you so deeply that we are always ready to share the hope that lies within us and to do it with gentleness and respect. Through Jesus, Amen!