Author - BRAINS

Romans 8:37-39 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NKJV)

The foot is to the body what the will is to the soul. We go wherever our will takes us. Preparation, the Christian's spiritual readiness, is our feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.
This should not be confused with the shield of faith, as we shall soon consider.
Many things have been known to set the will of man. Many have climbed high mountains and fought bitter wars because their will had been set for such a purpose.
The gospel sets the will of the Christian. It gives us a purpose and a focus. It presents us with a message and a task. It gives meaning to life and nothing else seems to matter.
There is no calling without the gospel. No sacrifice without an understanding. A barefooted man shrinks when his feet touch the hot sand and shrieks when he stumbles on a sharp stone. But when the will and heart are prepared and ready to serve the Lord, the Christian feet is shod: prepared and equipped to face any trouble he must go through to complete the task ahead.
Paul was convinced that nothing could separate him from the love of Christ. He understood the love of Christ. He knew the good news and no bad news could ruin it.
The time he had spent preparing himself in the Word was bearing fruit during time of trouble.
Many Christians take on certain battles before they are ready. There are times and seasons for everything. There is a time to prepare. God's grace will take you through those times of trouble if they come then. But remember His promise to you.

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God [is] faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear [it.] (NKJV)
Take time to prepare yourself in His word. Put on your shoes.
Equipped with something to offer - message and focus

We need to remind ourselves the reason for the battle we are engaged in. Christ has brought you out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light Colossians 1:13. He has put His spirit in you that you might work the works of GOD. Satan would love to draw you back into his domain. Failing that he will settle for your testimony. Satan hates a witness for Christ. Hence the battle. We should never forget the message we are to proclaim. Let the scriptures explain
Romans 5:6-11 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only [that,] but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. (NKJV)
I know few other scriptures that explain the nature of our salvation so adequately. Mediate on the above. Have a good understanding of it. Be prepared to explain it to others. See the love and spirit behind it. Look not just at the words but also the heart that it flows from.
The gospel gives us a message. Let your life radiate this message. If satan can get you from being a testimony in word, works and deed he has taken away a great weapon. No matter our callings or gifting the purpose is always the same. To make Christ known.
God intends us all to be walking vessels of his goodness. Spreading the love of Christ to others. As we familiarise ourselves with the gospel we shall discover a message worth living for.
How to put on the shoe of the preparation of the gospel of peace?

Prepare yourself to follow the Lord no matter what. This is not the grasping of doctrines but the laying hold of the love of God. Are you prepared to serve God no matter what? Seek His face till you are.
What is the gospel? Make sure you understand the message we are to take to the world. Whether you are a singer, writer or teacher it makes no difference. We all have one message and focus, and that is to spread the love of Christ. Here is something you have to do. Prepare your self. As the scripture says

2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word! Be ready in season [and] out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. (NKJV)
The shield of faith

Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. - Ephesians 6: 16
The shield of faith not only defends our whole body but also our armour. It keeps the darts of the enemy away from the head, chest, waist, arms and legs. No wonder the Bible says we should have it 'above all'.
The shield of faith has a very specific function, which the Bible makes abundantly clear: quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. Not some of them but all of them.
None of the other pieces of weapon mentioned so far are exalted as highly as the shield.
The shield moves with the attack. A skilled soldier can use the shield to hold back the darts of the enemy no matter the direction they come from. When the shield is down the other weapons are exposed.
What is the shield of faith?

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 1 John 5:4 KJV
Faith is what the Holy Spirit dropped into our hearts when we received the Lord Jesus Christ as our saviour. Faith is what allows us to call God our father (Romans 8:15, Galatians 4:6)
Faith is of God. Jesus said if you had faith as a mustard seed you would be able to speak to a mountain and it would move Matthew 17:20. Faith is the confidence and assurance we have in the crucified and risen Christ. Faith is lifting our eyes up to God and relying on the greater on in us to see us through. As the writer of the book of Hebrews puts it.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not yet seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. Hebrews 11:1-2 NKJV
Take a study of the different characters mentioned in Hebrews 11. Not all of them looked a roaring success from the world's point of view. In fact, as you get to the latter part of the chapter you will discover some of them suffered cruel persecutions. However they never lost their confidence in the Lord whom they served. They were persuaded of the victory they had in Christ.
Faith is what God has given us to receive from Him. Determination alone will never get you to heaven. Only faith will. You can pray from now till tomorrow but see no answers to your prayer if you have not the faith to receive it.
Zacharias and Elizabeth were both righteous people (Luke 1:6). Yet Zacharias did not have the faith to believe the word of God sent by an angel (Luke 1:11-19).
Having all the other pieces of armour without faith will not bring us into the promises of God.
How to get and increase our faith
1. Keep a firm grip on the source - 1 Peter 1:23 - 25

"having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, because All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, And its flower falls away, But the word of the LORD endures forever. Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you." 1 Peter 1:23-25 NKJV
The Word of God, which we heard, produced our faith in the first place. This Word of God will also preserve us and keep us in the faith. The word breeds prayer and praying increases our faith. Never allow anything to take the place of God's Word in your life for it is the source of your faith. The mystery of faith is hidden in the Word. It does something in your heart that your mind and intellect is not always aware of.
2. Keep a pure conscience - 1 Timothy 1:5

"Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith,"1 Timothy 1:5 NKJV
If faith is the treasure, then our conscience is the bag that holds it. The Holy Spirit within us makes our conscience alert to the promptings of God. If your conscience condemns you for doing something then stop it. Sin and faith do not go together. Sin will only allow holes in the bag that is supposed to be holding faith.
A good conscience will lead you to live right before God. A clear conscience before God is vital if our faith is to develop.
3. Exercise your faith

We do this by telling people about our faith (2 Timothy 1:6-8), by doing good works, i.e. praying for the sick, and attending Christian gatherings (Hebrews 10: 24-25), listening to people share their testimonies and insights from His Word (2 Peter 1:13) and by pondering and studying the life of other men and women of faith (2 Peter 3:1-2).
4. Take heed of your weakness - 1 Timothy 4:1
satan will attempt to use your known weakness to his advantage. He approached Jesus after forty days of fasting. He thought he could use Jesus hunger to his advantage.
If you have been set free from a drinking problem (alcohol), then don't spend your time around wine. You will only be tempted back in again. It you are the curious type then give no time at all to reading strange doctrines or exploring the teachings of evil. Many Christian have been seduced out of the faith by satan's tricks, lured into all kinds of traps by the evil one who has taken advantage of their weakness. You know yours. Guide against it.
How to use the shield of faith

1. By holding God to His promise - 2 Peter 1: 3-4
God's precious promises have been given to us.
Use them to fulfil His will. Search them out in the scriptures. Believe them for the circumstances you are in. Read them out aloud and silently. Speak them to your circumstances. Hold unto them until they become a reality in your life. Use them to establish the will of God for the people and lives around you.
2. By being fervent in prayer - James 5: 15-17
Pray expecting God to answer. Pray until you see the answer. You would do no less if you were praying with faith. God's word will establish God's will in your heart. Prayer will fulfil that will on the earth. Jesus said we should pray for God's will on earth as it is in heaven. Let your prayer life reflect your faith.
3. Live the life of faith - Acts 17:28
Live your life as if it depends on God. Let your character, life style and expectations be governed by your faith in God. Faith is not something we do and say in church only. If you believe in God you will tell others about it. Share your Christian life style with your family. Pray and study the word together as a family.
The helmet of salvation

And taking the helmet of salvation Ephesians 6:17
In 1 Thessalonians 5:8 Paul, the writer of Ephesians sheds more light on the helmet of salvation.

1 Thess 5:8
8 But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.NKJV
The next piece of armour is a helmet. Something to cover the head. The importance of the head does not need much convincing. A soldier can survive a broken arm, but a broken head, depending on the severity of the wound, can be life threatening.
By calling salvation a helmet we have a clear understanding of what salvation refers to here.
What is the helmet - the hope of salvation?

The hope of salvation is for the head. It covers our minds, intellect or reasoning. Hope has a very different meaning from what we use the word for in the normal sense of the word.
When we say 'I hope it does not rain' the very sentence itself contains doubt and an expectation we cannot do anything about. Hope from the Bible's point of view is much more powerful. Hope is one of the three essentials. Listen to the following scripture.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13 NIV
Faith, hope and love are all essential. Faith is of the heart. God gives it to us. We may not entirely understand all that God does but we can still put our faith in Him.
Hope on the other hand is of the mind. It covers the head. It is our helmet. A man can survive several days without food or water but take away hope and he will commit suicide immediately.

" a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time, " Titus 1:2-3 NIV
" if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.
Col 1:22-23 NIV"

The above two scriptures help shed light on God's definition of hope. Our hope is based on the eternal life of God. Our hope is held out to us in the gospel.
An understanding of what God has promised us brings us hope. God does not lie. Our hope is based on Him. A Christian with the helmet of the hope of salvation will not get confused with the fleeing pleasures of sin. Nor will they trade their birth right (salvation) for the temporary lusts of he world.
Take time to meditate on the following scriptures
Ps 25:3-5
No one whose hope is in you
will ever be put to shame,
but they will be put to shame
who are treacherous without excuse.
4 Show me your ways, O LORD,
teach me your paths;
5 guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.
Ps 33:20-22
20 We wait in hope for the LORD;
he is our help and our shield.
21 In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
22 May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD,
even as we put our hope in you.
Ps 119:81
My soul faints with longing for your salvation,
but I have put my hope in your word.
Isa 40:31
31 but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
How to put on the helmet?

Hope is the confidence we have in the Lord Jesus Christ. We develop it the same way we develop faith. God's word touches our hearts and heads. It is essential you have a clear understanding of what God has promised you. This will give you hope; an unfailing expectation in the ability of your God to fulfil His promise.
Hope is something you think about and understand. Faith is something you believe and confess even if you cannot understand it.

Hebrews 6:19
19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain,

Hope provides us with an anchor. Something to hold unto with our soul (intellect, emotions and faith). Faith needs hope to sustain it.
Mediate on the following scriptures for a dose of hope
Ps 25:3-5
No one whose hope is in you
will ever be put to shame,
but they will be put to shame
who are treacherous without excuse.
4 Show me your ways, O LORD,
teach me your paths;
5 guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.
Isa 40:31
31 but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
The sword of the spirit

And the sword of the spirit which is the word of God - Ephesians 6:17
A sword is an unmistakable weapon of offence. No doubt that it can also be used as a tool for defence. This however is no ordinary sword. This sword is made of the Spirit and the Word. In spiritual warfare the battles are fought with words. Words packed and backed up with the Spirit of God.
What is the sword of the Spirit?

This question hardly needs answering. The answer is obvious. The sword of the spirit is the Word of God spoken with the power of the Holy Spirit.
First let us establish the importance of this weapon with another reference to scripture

2 Corinthians 10:3-6 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare [are] not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. (NKJV)
Strongholds, arguments and thoughts are all darts that the enemy uses against us. The Sword of the Spirit is equipped to deal with them all.
How to use the Sword of the Spirit. - against arguments and thoughts.

The soul of the Christian is of principal interest to satan. He will use thoughts and arguments to distract us from our faith. One of the greatest battles ever fought is recorded in Luke Chapter 4 - the three temptations that satan brought to Jesus. Jesus overcame by the sword of the Spirit.
We can use the sword of the Spirit to protect and hit back at the enemy by
1. Provide yourself with an understanding of the ugly and destructive nature of sin.
When you appreciate the true nature of sin it will be difficult for the flesh to tempt you down that route.
For example, lust hides under the darkness of ignorance. Like Jacob sleeping with Leah all night long expecting to see Rachel in the morning. A night of drunken passion cost him seven years of hard labour and a lifetime with an unwanted wife (Genesis 29: 16-29).
Before we laugh at the folly of Jacob, having a sexual delight with a woman he obviously could not see, hence making himself completely ignorant of the consequences of his action, lets examine our own life in the light of the lustful desires we have entertained, the consequences of which are painfully obvious to all those who would care to see them.
Why do we do it? Is it because we have not taken enough time to consider the consequences that scripture so adequately warns us of? We need to ponder on these things until the filth and destructive nature of sin becomes a light beam that shines bright even during the dark hours of night when the enemy comes prowling for a victim.
Lust leads us to believe that it is good, fun and exciting; whereas when we awake we discover we have been sleeping with the enemy.
2. Provide yourself with scripture answers to satan's false reasoning's and arguments.
When the enemy presents us with these false arguments, like Goliath before David, it is not the armour of Saul, representing the flesh, that will bring us the victory, but the stones in a sling, that which David had been using and practising with as a Shepherd boy, that brings the victory. Have an answer to the common lies that the devil comes along with. Practise the Word by becoming familiar with it. It will equip you against the Goliath's of life.
For example, the enemy will say 'one little sin is harmless, do it quickly and repent, what harm can it possibly do'.
Much harm, you will hear the scripture screaming. This is when you should pull out the sword of the Spirit; the Word of God, but only if you have sharpened it before hand. Let the following scriptures speak to you. Then take time to mediate on the message and life they bring.

James 2:10 For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one [point,] he is guilty of all. (NKJV)
Romans 6:16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey, whether of sin [leading] to death, or of obedience [leading] to righteousness? (NKJV)
Matthew 6:24
No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. (NKJV)
Sin gives room to the devil. He who gives his time to the devils tools will soon have satan at his elbow aiding him along. Give no room to the enemy (Ephesians 4:27).
The enemy does not give up easily, again he will say to you 'do it in secret and no on will know'.
The enemy hides the main point on purpose. It is not getting exposed that is the real damage of sin but the influence it has on you. Whether done in secret or in public the influence of sin is the same. Ask Gahazi (2 Kings 5) or David (2 Samuel 11). They both sinned in private but still reaped the consequences.
However Jesus (Luke 4) and Joseph (Genesis 39) all faced their temptations to sin in private and overcame. Imagine what the result would have been if any of them had given into sin. Probably a forfeited ministry and even a lost soul. Is the price worth paying?
3. The enemy will show you scores of other Christians who have disobeyed or sinned against God and seem to have got away with it. 'You can do it too' he says.
Some have no light in them. They appear godly and yet they are not of God (Isaiah 8: 20). There are also many old prophets around (1 Kings 11: 13 - 29). People who have made a decision to walk in disobedience. Their judgement will come. Meanwhile you fall into more sin by following their example instead of God's Word. What danger, what folly.
Using the Sword of the Spirit - against the powers of darkness

The enemy sometimes comes against us directly. Bacteria and viruses cause not all sickness. Not all circumstances are natural. Sometimes it is easy to discern that we are up against the forces of darkness. Satan will resist our attempts to preach the gospel and press into the will of God. The Sword of the Spirit is given us to enforce God's will. Lets see some practical applications of the sword of the spirit.
1. See the value of God's word. Get a hunger and desire for it.
- If you are one with Christ then His promises are for you (Galatians 3:29)
- Satan's lie brought the fall (Genesis 3:4) and God's word will enforce the victory (2 Peter 1:3 - 4)
- Place your hope and confidence in the promise. Don't break His word. Make this your desire (Psalm 119:114)
2. Know the promises that are relevant to your circumstances. Don't just assume. Read the law book yourself. Sort them out and use the relevant ones for your specific circumstances accordingly. The best time to do this is when you are in sound health and free of severe oppressions. This is the time to get prepared for the evil day.
3. Have a good overview of the promises available to you. Know that you are to rely on His grace and not your gifting.
4. Meditate on the promises. This will fill you with the Holy Spirit. Godly wisdom and revelation comes to those who dwell on the word. Don't treat them like a passing stranger; rather like Abraham did the angels (Genesis 18:1-15) bid them to stay. By this Abraham received the promise of a child. His persistence brought life. For some reason the Almighty God has ordained it to be this way. We see the same example with Jesus (Luke 24:27-32).
5. Plead the promises at the throne of Grace. Meditation is similar to a lawyer preparing his brief. Once your heart has been filled with the riches of the promises then is the time to execute them. Bring them before the Lord and spread them before Him. Speak them to the circumstances and forces that oppress you. Use them as a sword to dismantle every intention of the enemy against you.
6. Act your faith. A soldier does not drop his guard immediately after wounding the enemy. Watch your words. Idle words can be destructive. Believe the promise and do not let sense and reason defeat you. Live and act as if the promise is true because they are.
Ephesians 6:10-18
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;
18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints-- NKJV