[Ephesians 6:15] tells us to stand, “having shod [our] feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace…” To stand, we need to have a sure foundation; and to walk in step with the Spirit, we need to be prepared to follow where God calls us.
I recently returned from a trip to Cambodia where I saw, and experienced what it means to have our feet prepared in the gospel of peace. We had a big team with multiple nationalities, multiple roles and responsibilities, and I was so blessed to hear the many personal testimonies my brothers and sisters had to share. These testimonies bore witness of the faith in their hearts, grown and sustained by the gospel of God. This foundation of knowing God and resting in His peace meant that these brothers and sisters were willing and obedient to go where He called them to go, and to serve in the capacity that He called them to serve. [Psalm 133:1] says, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell in unity!” There is a power when God’s church testifies in the same Spirit of God, and when we walk prepared in the gospel of His peace.
So, what does this preparation look like?
1. Prepare to stand on the
foundation of the gospel of peace.
[Philippians 4:6-7] says,
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Christ Jesus is our one and only true foundation. He is fully trustworthy, and fully able to taken every burden from us if we let Him. Philippians 4:6-7 shows us how we can remain standing in the peace of God. It is through prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, and with a heart that is open to Jesus. It is through a relationship with God that says, “God I trust you, and I will hide nothing from you.” It is the knowledge that God is great, He is faithful, and He is always in control. Therefore, even if we have times of uncertainty, we can stand in the peace of knowing that Jesus always knows, and that Jesus always cares.
Practically, we prepare by pursuing our relationship with God. We pray, we read the word of God, we spend time with Jesus, and we remember that God works salvation in and through us.
[Philippians 2:12-13] – “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.”
2. Prepare to go where you are called,
both physically and in spiritual gifting.
One of the most wonderful things I witnessed in Cambodia was the faithfulness of the church. In particular, I was encouraged by how people humbly served wherever they were serving, and how the team worked together even while focusing on their particular responsibilities.
[Romans 12:4-8] says,
“For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them; if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives; with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.”
Each one of us is called to serve, but the way in which we serve might be different. It might be that we are called to work and share the gospel in the marketplace. It might be a calling to full-time ministry in a particular country. It might be encouragement through words, or leading worship, or simply being a servant to others and blessing them. Will we go where God calls us to go? Will we do what God calls us to do? Will we serve where God wants us to serve? Sometimes we might not know the endpoint, or where things are leading, but this is where faith comes in. If we are prepared to follow Jesus with all we are, if we can surrender fully to Him, then we will be prepared to walk where He calls us to walk.
We have a commission to spread the good news of the gospel to the ends of the earth, to be God’s hands and feet, and His light in this world. I want to stand and walk equipped with a preparedness of heart; to know the assurance of God’s peace, and to joyfully serve wherever He calls me.
Are we willing to surrender our plans to Him, and ready our feet to move according to His will?
Angkor Wat (Black&White Photography):