You are a warrior in training. You’ve put on the Belt of Truth. You’ve put on the Breastplate of Righteousness.
Now as you slowly flex your muscles in the arena of readiness, you think about how you will advance the Gospel of Peace.
What is the Gospel of Peace?
It’s the peace God made with us through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Therefore since we have been justified through faith, we have PEACE with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.
But how is this peace made ready in us— how is it EXPRESSED?
How Peace is Expressed
In the following verse, King David gives us the ultimate expression of the working of God’s peace in us:
The Lord is my light and my salvation — whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid? When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be CONFIDENT.
The ultimate expression of peace is extreme CONFIDENCE.
A warrior fears nothing. He walks in the confidence that no matter what comes against him, God is for him.
But what FORM does this expression of peace take in us. How is it expressed to others?
Does the warrior look for clever opportunities to insert the gospel message into any conversation? Will he speak in Christian ease, so everyone knows what he “stands for”?
Not likely. The warrior understands that peace is expressed and found by spending time in the presence of Peace. David continues:
One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock. Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the Lord.
The Warrior of Peace looks INWARD before he attempts to express God’s peace outwardly to others.
He spends a lot of time in meditation. Again, David expresses the attitude of the warrior’s heart:
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the WAY everlasting.
What is the WAY everlasting? Could it be that God has prepared works in advance for us to do?
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in ADVANCE for us to do.
How do we find these works?
1. Through the DESIRES of our heart.
You don’t have to look any further than the desires of your heart. Those desires are not there by happenstance. God placed them in you from the beginning of time. The reason they excite you and give you passion is because they are the seeds of works God prepared in advance for you to do.
Meditation has given you the time to wash and prepare your motivations. The next step is to align your desires within the seven gifts God has given to men.
2. Align your desires within the seven GIFTS God has given to men.
These seven gifts are outlined in Romans 12:6-8. They are:
Preaching, serving, teaching, encouraging, giving, leading, showing mercy (Romans 12:6-8).
Preaching is declaring the truth. Serving is practicing the truth. Teaching is explaining the truth. Encouraging is applying the truth. Giving is supporting the truth. Leading is organizing the truth. Mercy is ministering the truth.
But which gift is yours?
3. Determine your gift by understanding the EFFECT it has in someone’s life.
Different gifts cause different “effects” in people. By identifying which “effect” brings you the most joy, you can understand your gift.
Are you a big picture guy? Do you like getting people EXCITED about a cause? Can you speak well? Are you comfortable in front of a crowd and enjoy the spotlight? Then your gift is Preaching! The “effect” that brings you joy is in your ability to rally people to a common cause.
Are you more comfortable “doing” the truth than you are “expressing” the truth? Do you want your actions to speak louder than your words? Do you like to help people? Then your gift is Serving. The “effect” that brings you joy is in your ability to make someone’s life easier by what you do for them.
Is it important to you that people understand WHY they believe what they believe? Are you interested in the mechanics of why something is true? Can you explain it to people? Then your gift is Teaching. The “effect” that brings you joy is in your ability to help people UNDERSTAND why something is true.
Do you have discernment? Do you have the ability to say the right thing at the right time? Do you like to encourage people when they are down? Then your gift is Encouragement. The “effect” that brings you joy is in your ability to give people HOPE.
Do you have a knack for making money? Does everything you touch turn to gold? Do you have a desire to see worthwhile efforts get off the ground? Then your gift is Giving. The “effect” that brings you joy is in your ability to bring someone’s vision to life though your financial support.
Are you organized? Are you detail oriented? Are you able to understand the process of making something work? Are you able to inspire others to follow your lead? Then your gift is Leading. The “effect” that brings you joy is in your ability to make things run smoothly through your organizing skills.
Are you sensitive to the hurts of others? Do you see the value in people no matter what they have done? Then your gift is Mercy. The “effect” that brings you joy is your ability to validate people.
Once you find your gift or gifts (people often have more than one gift), determine what vehicle you will use to express your gift.
4. Determine what VEHICLE you will use to express your gift?
By vehicle I mean your STYLE. What is your style? Perhaps God has given you a creative way to express your gift. That is your style.
For example: You have a DESIRE to help children. You have the GIFT of mercy. Your STYLE is a magician.
You go to hospitals and make kids laugh by doing magic tricks that highlight the Gospel of Peace. In this way kids lives are validated that would otherwise feel inadequate.
Insight into which gift best fits you provides a foundation from which to build your life. It is the beginning of VISION. Vision is actually self discovery. True vision always looks inward before it looks outward.
Self discovery is “fanning into flame” the gift that is already in you.
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of hands.
1 Timothy 1:6
For other practical steps in learning how implement your purpose in life, go to my article, How to Find Your Specific Purpose in Life.
What is “Feet Fitted with the Readiness that Comes From the Gospel of Peace”?
It’s spreading the Gospel of Peace with a GIFT God has given you in YOUR STYLE.
Why is this so cool?
Because moving in the “Feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace” means that God gives us PURPOSE.
In doing so He is looking out for your EMOTIONS. He is satisfying the inner you by giving you an emotionally satisfying job towards the advancement of His Kingdom on earth.
The Process of Sanctification or Retraining
What we find is that by putting on “Feet Fitted...”, as well as the next two pieces of armor (Shield of Faith and Helmet of Salvation), God is sanctifying our SOUL. He is retraining our thinking. He is cleansing our MIND, WILL AND EMOTIONS of sin. He is preparing our hearts for battle.
In our next session, the Shield of Faith, God trains our WILL. That’s because the Shield of Faith has to do with PERSPECTIVE. Vision and perspective go hand in hand. In order to defeat your vision, Satan works to skew your perspective. We’ll discuss how training in FAITH defeats his goals.
Piece of Armor: Feet Fitted With Readiness (Ephesians 6:15)
Concept: The expression of personal purpose. The sanctification of man’s EMOTIONS.
Action needed to put on piece of armor: Developing vision for your gift(s). Practicing your gift(s).