The Maxfields

The Maxfields

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Shoes of the Gospel of Peace

Recently, I've been going through a book of Charles Spurgeon's sermons on spiritual warfare with a couple guys from church (Spiritual  Warfare in a Believer's Life, by Charles Spurgeon).  The timing has been appropriate, as all three of us are going through period's in our lives in which we are particularly susceptible to "the flaming darts of the evil one." (Ephesians 5:16)

In the second half of the group of sermons Spurgeon preaches on the armor of God in Ephesians 5.  The most recent chapter was on verse 15, "and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace."  There were several passage that were very helpful to me and I thought I would quote a few for the benefit of all 3 people that read this blog.  I think you'll understand why they spoke to me as you read.

"If we continue in the love of Jesus, pleasing Him in all things, jealously watching and carefully observing His will, our mind will be kept by the peace of God that passes all understanding, and our road to heaven will be a pleasant one.  While it may indeed be very rough in itself and in the judgment of others, it will be so smoothed to us by the peace that reigns within that we shall glory in weakness, exult in suffering, and triumph in distress, knowing that the Lord is with us and no harm can come to us." (pgs. 142-143)

"It is also a grand sandal for a pilgrim's foot when the gospel of peace has fully conformed the pilgrim's mind to the Lord's will.  Some children of God are not at peace with God, because they do not fully acquiesce in the diving purposes.  To them, the pilgrim path must be a painful one, for nothing can please them.  Their unfortified self-will creates swarms of vexations for them, but to hearts that have crucified self and yielded all to the will of God, the most thorny paths are pleasant.  He who can say concerning all things 'Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in they sight,' is prepared for all ways and weathers and may march on undismayed. Fully conformed to the divine will, saints are invulnerable and invincible, 'none shall be weary nor stumble among them; . . . neither shall the . . . latchet of their shoes be broken' (Isaiah 5:27).

Surely it is when the heart is completely at one with God that the true beauty of the Christian character is seen.  Shod with perfect delight in the will of the Lord, we are able to surmount all the difficulties and trials of the way, for it becomes sweet to suffer when we see that it is the will of God.  Resignation is good, but perfect acquiescence is better, and happy is the man who feels it.  No silver sandals were ever so precious, no buskins of golden mail adorned with precious stones were so glorious to look upon as a mind molded to the divine will, perfectly in tune with the mind of the Lord Most High." (pg. 143)

If this is not foolishness to the world, I don't know what is.  I continue to pray that I will not be like the authorities of Jesus' time that believed in him, but did not confess it because they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.  (John 12:42-43)

We are doing a "foolish" thing.  It is a strong temptation to hold in great esteem the glory that comes from man.

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.  For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, "The righteous shall live by faith." (Romans 1:16-17)

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