“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 unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!’” Romans 10:14-15
A. Situational Analysis
We are writing a series of articles on Spiritual Warfare. If you didn’t have a chance to read them, I highly recommend you read our entire 7-part series on Spiritual Warfare. The Bible tells Christians they can be protected from and overcome Satan and the forces of darkness by putting “on the full Armor of God” because “each piece has divine power to demolish strongholds.”
First, recall that Pastor Parker reminds Christians “that we believe in a personal God.” He continues with “The Bible also teaches that a personality lies behind the evil in this world. The devil is as real as God, although he is not the same as God…he, like us and like all the angels, is a created being, dependent on God for his continued existence. But for all that, never forget he is also a personal being. He communicates with us, after a fashion…he can develop special strategies for individuals. There are people in which he takes special interest. And he is constantly seeking out those whom he can devour, metaphorically speaking.”
To battle Satan, the Apostle Paul instructs Christians to “put on the full armor of God, so…you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand” (on its divine power). Spiritual battles take place in your mind. “He (Jesus Christ) calls his own sheep by name…and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger (Satan); in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice…” (John 10:3-5). The challenge for you is to discern which voice to listen to and to believe (trust) the word of God, instead of Satan’s lies and temptations to manipulate your feelings. This includes the lies he has taught others who are trying to get you to believe those lies.
The purpose of this article is to help you understand how to “Put on The Gospel of Peace” so Satan can’t derail you from becoming a mature Christian or being effective in building Christ’s Church (The Great Commission, Matthew 28:16-20). And for those who desire to build and lead a Kingdom business you had better know the enemy and how to defend yourself against Satan or he will make your life miserable.
B. Putting on The Gospel of Peace
“Stand firm then,…with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.” Ephesians 6:15
The armor of God enables you to “stand against the devil’s schemes” and “they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” “A shoeless soldier could run into real trouble in the heat of battle. Unless he is fighting on Astroturf, he is going to encounter some debris…but to a bare foot that can cause serious pain—and one of the last things you want to deal with in the middle of a fight is worrying about where you step…Just as shoes allow us to walk on otherwise painful terrain without fear, so the preparation of the gospel of peace allows us to traverse the otherwise painful trials and tribulations of life without fear, knowing that what awaits is greater than anything we could possibly suffer in this world” (Romans 8:18). (From Bible Study Guides at www.freebiblestudyguides.org).
Satan’s “schemes” will create a lack of peace in your life and in the “body of Christ” as we obey “The Great Commission.” Parker says that “his chief objective is to knock us down, while our primary goal is to remain standing.” Parker continues “If we’re going to stand against the enemy’s onslaught, we need a good foundation. That’s why we’re to have our ‘feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.’ It is the good news that God has declared peace with those who believe in Jesus that enables us to stand and face whatever the enemy may hurl our way.” “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).
When you share the Gospel of Peace with others and they accept Christ into their life as Savior and Lord, you are putting on Gospel shoes and “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace” and bring true peace into the life of another person by helping to bring them into God’s family and the projection of His Kingdom. Read on to discover why.
Battles/Struggles in This Life
As discussed in previous newsletters, Christians are engaged in three struggles in this life with: 1. The Sinful Nature “sin living in” you (which we discussed in issue 3, Real Christianity – Why You Should Consider It), 2. The devil (Satan) (which we discussed in issue 4, Spiritual Warfare – A Cosmic Battle for Your Soul) and 3. The World.
The World and Tribulations
“Teachers of philosophy give their lives to examining convictions by which people live in order to develop a consistent world view and way of life based on reliable evidence. The Bible warns against philosophies whose highest realities and concerns are atoms, energy, cosmic laws, or humanity-those founded on “the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ” (Colossians 2:8). Christians ought to beware that their minds not be taken captive by such philosophies as secular humanism, communist materialism and capitalist materialism. But these philosophies are best fought with spiritual weapons. “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world” (2 Corinthians 10:3-4).
Christian wisdom appears to be foolishness to the people of the world (1 Corinthians 1:18). But it is wiser than the philosophy of this age, which comes to nothing (1 Corinthians 1:25; 2:6). Christians “speak the wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 2:7), which is revealed through His Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:10) and received by His Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:12-14). Christians have the highest and most complete wisdom in Christ” (Colossians 2:8-10).
“Satan’s influence in worldly affairs is also clearly revealed (John 12:31). His various titles reflect his control of the world system: “the ruler of this world” (John 12:31), “the god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4) and “the prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2). The Bible declares, “The whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one (1 John 5:19).” (from Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Copyright © 1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers)
Since the world’s belief system is based on man’s philosophy which is a mixture and God’s truth, Satan’s lies, and man’s opinions, the children of God do not “fit” in the world any better than Christ did. So you can expect tribulation in Satan’s world. “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me” (John 15:18-21).
You can obtain peace in the midst of this tribulation by “keeping your eyes on Jesus” (something my earthly father taught me.) “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
Satan’s Power vs. God’s Power
As a result of his original status and authority, Satan has great power and dignity. So great is his strength that Michael the archangel viewed him as a foe too powerful to oppose (Jude 9).
Satan exercises his evil power through demons (Matthew 12:24; 25:41; Revelation 12:7-9). An outburst of demonic activity occurred when Jesus came to earth the first time because of the Savior’s attack against Satan’s kingdom (Matthew 12:28-29; Acts 10:38). Another such outburst is expected just before the second coming of Christ, because this will bring about the downfall of Satan and his angels (Revelation 9:3-17; 12:12; 18:2).
Satan also has high intelligence. Through it he deceived Adam and Eve and took over their rule of the world for himself (Genesis 1:26; 3:1-7; 2 Corinthians 11:3). His cleverness enables him to carry out his deceptive work almost at will.
Yet Satan’s attributes, impressive as they are, are not limitless. His power is subject to God’s restrictions (Job 1:12; Luke 4:6; 2 Thessalonians 2:7-8). The reins of God on his activities are illustrated by Satan’s request to God for permission to afflict Job (Job 1:7- 12).” (from Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Copyright © 1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers)
For these reasons you have to know your enemy. But even with Satan’s great power you can have peace in your heart and mind. Why? “Because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4b). “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land” (Job 1:9-11). No matter what you face in life, God is enough!
Suffering and Trials
“The Bible makes it clear that some suffering is the result of evil action or sin in the world. This type of suffering came upon man after the FALL in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:16-19). But some suffering is not related to the past. It is forward-looking in that it serves to shape and refine God’s children (1 Peter 1:6-7; 5:10). The Book of Hebrews declares that Jesus learned obedience by the things which He suffered (Hebrews 5:8), and that He was perfected through suffering (Hebrews 2:10). Suffering has the potential of demonstrating God’s power (2 Corinthians 12:7). Those who suffer are in a position to comfort others (2 Corinthians 1:3-6).
Suffering also helps believers to identify with Christ, which is more than suffering for Christ. Paul speaks of the “fellowship of His [Christ’s] sufferings” (Philippians 3:10). Believers share in the suffering of Christ in the sense that through suffering they identify with Christ. To be a disciple involves suffering like the Master. Christ as Lord and His believers as disciples are bonded even further through the experience of suffering.” (from Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Copyright © 1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers).
No one likes suffering and trials. But you will like the outcome! “And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us” (Romans 5:3-5, New Revised Standard Version).
Solution and Benefits
People on planet earth have plenty of suffering, trials and tribulations to make their lives turbulent, stressful and painful. So what is the solution? The Gospel of Peace! “God’s Church is sent to announce the good news of God’s Kingdom, which will spread His way of peace around the whole world. Having our gospel shoes of peace on, we are ready to move, to spread these glad tidings to others.” (From Bible Study Guides at www.freebiblestudyguides.org ).
“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 unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!’” (Romans 10:14-15).
“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” (Isaiah 9:6-7).
“Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord” (Psalm 31:24).
When Satan attacks you, when “the world” hates you, and when you feel you are losing the battle with your “sinful nature,” stand on (believe in) the teaching in the Bible, “The Gospel,” and you can have peace in the midst of suffering, trials and tribulation. Why, because the armor of God “have divine power to demolish strongholds!”
How does this work? “Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:1-2).
If you truly believe the Gospel of Peace, you are putting on your Gospel Shoes and you will have peace because:
- You no longer doubt God’s Love (I Corinthians 15:3).
- You obey God (Romans 7:24-25a).
- You have complete understanding (Colossians 2:2-4).
- You no longer fear death (Romans 8:28-39).
- You have victory over Satan (Revelation 12:10-11).
- You understand how to have victory over the “sinful nature” (Romans 8:1-17).
- You no longer fear God’s judgment or hell (Romans 8:1, 1 John 5:13).
- You no longer have to fear “man” (Romans 8:38-39).
- You no longer fear that your life counts for nothing (I Corinthians 15:58).
- You participate in the divine nature (2 Peter 1:3-4).
- You will have sincere love for others (2 Peter 1:5-7).
- You will experience real “life” (John 10:10).
C. How to Stand Firm after You Put on the Armor of God
Note that Paul says “when the day of evil comes,” not if. When the devil tempted Christ in Luke 4:1-13 Christ ALWAYS used Scripture, and ONLY Scripture, to take his stand against the devil. Knowing God is much more powerful than Satan and that Scriptures “divine power demolish stronghold…, demolish arguments…, and…take captive every thought,” Jesus simply stood His ground with only Scripture as His weapon!
Why? Because Christ knew Satan feared God the Father and that if He stood on (had faith in) the truth of God’s word, Satan would give up and go away, “When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time” (Luke 4:13). “Is that it” you ask? “Is that all I have to do?” Yes, that’s all there is and that’s all you have to do! Do not battle with people. Do not battle with your flesh. Just quote Scripture to Satan, believe the Scripture and then trust in God’s power and obey God. “‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s” (2 Chronicles 20:15b).
And always remember that sanctification is a process, not an event! “For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin — because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him” (Romans 6:5-8). To succeed in sanctification rely on the power of Christ living in you, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body (of sin), I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” (Galatians 2:20-21). If you don’t have a Bible, you can go online to www.netbible.org. In the upper left corner where it says Display Bible, scroll to John and click on Go. And if you want someone to talk to about the things in this letter, call us at ABA!
In the next issue of The Spirit Led Business™, Part IV on Spiritual Warfare, we will continue with insights on how to use the rest of the Armor of God to take your stand against the devil (Satan) and his forces of evil.
Note: All Bible verses are from the New International Version unless otherwise noted.
The Spirit Led Business™ is published by American Business Advisors, Inc. to provide business and personal improvement information and ideas. All material is presented to provide general and broad information only. The information found in this publication does not constitute business, tax, financial, or legal advice and should not be acted upon without seeking the counsel of a professional advisor.