"...and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace." – Ephesians 6:15 (NIV)
Isn't it odd that every time you set out to do the work of God, you seem to be pushed back, resisted, or bombarded with attacks to your mind, relationships, and perhaps even your physical body itself? It can be really daunting, disheartening, and make you feel like you are in a battle for your life! Well, I hate to tell you this, but you are, in fact, in a battle for your life! Because of Satan and the evils of this world, we as believers are in a battle for our lives and for the whole of Christianity. We are fighting for God and the fight is hard! There is however, hope since God understands our battle and our needs to fight.
Paul tells us in Ephesians that we must put on the armor of God to stand against the schemes of the devil. But, what is the armor of God anyway? Today, we are on our fourth part of our series all about the armor God gives us to stand against the evil one and what it means to put it on as a soldier of Christ. Last time, we learned all about how Jesus' righteousness is illustrated by a breastplate used to guard our hearts and today we move forward to the Shoes of Peace.
I would venture to guess that if you were thinking of armor your first thought would not go to shoes. I'll tell you why that is, or why I think that is at least: shoes are such a normal piece of everyday clothing. They seem so ordinary! We don't even really think about it ourselves when we put on our shoes; really just something that we feel like we have to wear. Shoes, like our underwear, are really just the most basic necessity when it comes to clothing that I could think of. Why then, would Paul Define the armor of God with such a basic article of clothing?
Perhaps shoes are the best way to define at least in part, the armor of God. This is why I say that: why do we wear shoes? Well, let's think about it for a second. Sure, she is can be fashionable and often times they are; shoes can Define us in a certain way and show our character. But, more so than a fashion statement, shoes really do protect our feet. Every morning I walk about three miles to start my day. I traverse cobbled terrain, dirt, thorny paths, and I walk up hills and without my shoes I think this might not be possible for me. You see, the soles of my feet are quite tender. They don't like anything to disturb them whether it be a rock, a prickly piece of grass, or even a puddle full of sloppy muddy water. My feet are delicate but what I require of them is a lot. I require them to take me from A to B to C to D to Z all without feeling discomfort or pain or even immense fatigue. My feet are probably one of the most important parts of my body! So, that makes it ever so important to protect them.
On a spiritual level, our walk really matters as well. Our understanding common knowledge of, passion for the gospel should take us beyond the Comforts of our own homes or pews at church and lead us to the far reaches of the Earth. I'm not suggesting but you do one of those cross-country walking challenges, so you are welcome to try; what I mean, is that we should be constantly walking in the knowledge of the Gospel which as a believer brings us great peace. And our shoes, what Paul calls the Shoes of Peace, ready us for the task at hand. If we are not walking with God, or in the knowledge of the Gospel as it shapes Our Lives begin to look more like Jesus call Mom we will never be ready to share such a truth with anyone else. So our Shoes of Peace really prepare us for that walk. Now you might be thinking, how do I get prepared to walk in the Shoes of Peace?
The easiest way to do this, is to really know and understand at your very deepest part of your heart the gospel, it's truth, and how that transforms and affects your everyday life. This is where you need experience with Jesus, because if you don't know the peace that surpasses all understanding with him then you're never going to be able to show that to anyone else. That's why it's so important, like we said last week to really have an individual relationship with Jesus. It's not enough you only know this because your mom, or your dad, or your grandma has a really great relationship with Jesus and feels this way or understands the gospel deeply. You yourself really need to know this first hand. If you don't, if you're not quite there yet which is okay, you need the first and foremost work on that relationship in your life before you can move forward to branching out into the world.
Well next time, we will continue our study of the armor of God with the forth piece of armor that Paul describes: The Shield of Faith.
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