What does it mean to be strong?
Our world often defines it as a person’s ability to rely on themselves, not needing anyone or anything.
Sadly, that definition of strength is often incorporated into our relationship with God. God knows that we can do nothing on our own. This life in Him cannot be lived with our own wisdom and understanding. Being the people He wants us to be cannot be done in our own strength. Standing against the devil and his schemes can never be done in our own strength.
So, when God says be strong or stand firm, it’s as if He says, “lean on me, look at me, look at my face, trust me, trust my strength and wisdom for you”.
On our own, we are clueless about how to fight the devil. In the book of Revelation he is called the old dragon. He has been in this game of warfare for as long as the earth has been standing, but God invites us to learn from Him. It is time to retire our efforts and lean on Him.
One of the pieces of clothing that can be so uncomfortable when not right are shoes. When your shoes hurt, it can greatly affect your efficiency and movement. You will see someone pull off their shoes when they become a hindrance rather than a help. A person can have on the most expensive and stylish clothes, but without shoes, their appearance would not be complete.
For this warfare against the devil, we cannot go into battle without our shoes. A soldier does not go into battle with everything and forget his shoes.
Shoes signify that we are ready to move. The gospel provides the footing, flexibility, protection, and mobility for everything we do as children of God. If one is wounded in the foot when in battle, that person becomes an easy prey for the enemy.
The gospel is the message of peace, salvation, and truth.
As children of God who want to stand firm and be ever alert to the schemes of the devil, we must always be ready with the truth. When we’re faced with lies, we can refute them with the truth of God’s Word. We are to be in a constant place of readiness and mobility to refute the devices of the devil with the gospel.
If I want to run a marathon, I would not wear stilettos. I would look for the most efficient and comfortable sneakers money can buy so I would be able to run, and run well.
The same is true for our ongoing spiritual warfare. We can’t fight or win on our own, with our own words, or the world’s wisdom. We complete our armor with the truth that is embedded in God’s Word. God’s Word brings completeness and wholeness to everything.
When God’s Word enters a place, no matter how long darkness and chaos has reigned, it changes everything. God’s Word has the great power to transport us from the mundane to the divine. It has the power to overthrow every enemy and barrier. It’s power is made available for us to stand firm, ready against everything the devil wants to throw at us.
We are swiftest and most ready to fight against the devil when we have on the right shoes: the gospel of peace.
See how Jesus fought in Matthew 4:3–4:
“The tempter came to him and said, ‘If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.’ Jesus answered, ‘It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’’”
When faced with His own battles, Jesus did not use any supernatural power to fight. He simply quoted the written Word of God.
We have our Bible and we have the Holy Spirit who speaks to us – we have both the written and spoken Word of God with us daily. Friends, you have all you need.
Stand and fight!
The LORD is on your side.
Week 3 Challenge:
This week, focus on praying over areas of your life where you struggle to find peace. Maybe it is the anxious thoughts that fill your mind the moment you wake up or the thoughts that continue to bombard you as you try to fall asleep. Whatever your struggles are that cause you to lack peace, write them down in your prayer journal or on a notecard and pray over them every time an anxious thought comes your way. Learn to replace negative thoughts with what is true, noble, right, and pure.