…your feet shod with the… GOSPEL OF PEACE

Shoes

-Timeless design no more worrying about changing styles

-Providing incomparable balance and sure footing

Soles of indestructible material standing up to the toughest punishment

-Durability unmatched guaranteed never to wear out

-At a price that CAN’T be beat!

The above advertisement is not a gimmick! How would you like to wear a pair of these shoes? Fine, now that we have your interest, may we give you the pertinent information and explicit details concerning them?

These shoes have been designed specifically to meet the needs of the Christian, who must daily struggle against Satan and his emissaries. They are an integral part of the believer’s armor, “. . . that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil” (Eph. 6:11, NASB). This same concept is echoed in the 13th and 14th verses of the same chapter – STAND FIRM! How shall you stand firm, and in what shall you stand firm?

Construction of the Shoes

The materials that these shoes are made of are described in Ephesians, chapter six and verse fifteen: “And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.” In this sixth chapter of Ephesians, Paul likens the Christian’s battle armament to that of the Roman soldier. A special sandal that the soldiers wore provided the vital protection and firm footing needed in war. “Caligae” were sturdy boots which had thick leather soles, often studded with nails, and were attached by numerous leather thongs bound around the ankles, but leaving the toes exposed.

The believer, however, is not fighting “. . . against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Eph. 6:12). He must thus be shod with something which offers far more protection and leaves no area exposed. The believer must be shod with “the preparation of the gospel of peace.” The word preparation is two fold in its meaning. One is that of preparedness or habitual readiness. The second meaning is that which connotes establishment and firm foundation. The believer is instructed here to put on something which offers a firm foundation and affords a readiness to spring into action.

Gospel of Peace

The word “Gospel” is interpreted as a proclamation of good news or glad tidings. And the word “peace” literally means that which has been bound together. The Amplified Bible renders this passage as follows:

And having shod your feet in preparation to face the enemy with the firm-footed stability, the promptness and the readiness produced by the good news of the Gospel of peace.

Here we can easily see that our readiness for action and our firm-footed stability are a direct result of the good news of peace. This peace, or act of being bound, must be in relation to the Almighty God and is accomplished through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. We simply cannot be at enmity with God and stand united with Him against the devil.

But God commendeth his love toward us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us . . . For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the reconciliation. Romans 5:8, 10-11

As can be noted in verse eleven, the good news is, in fact, that we have been reconciled to God. The author of the Epistle to the Hebrews also gives further insight. Speaking of Jesus, he writes:

Forasmuch, then, as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same, that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil, And deliver them who, through fear of death, were all their lifetime subject to bondage. Hebrews 2:14-15

Because we have been reconciled to God through Christ, we can be established and be in perpetual readiness to withstand the enemy.

What is Your Shoe Size?

(How great is your confidence in God?)

The key to having our feet shod with “the preparation of the gospel of peace” remains in our having daily, growing confidence (trust) in God. We have an excellent Old Testament example of this confidence recorded in Isaiah 26, verses 3 and 4. Isaiah is speaking here of a future time for Israel – Israel when she has been restored and renewed. Isaiah records that they have a new relationship and a new confidence in God.

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord forever; for in the Lord God is everlasting strength.

The mind which places its trust in Jehovah is kept by Jehovah. The words “perfect peace” are actually the Hebrew word “shalom” rendered twice. It speaks of a deep and constant peace that abides within. Verse 4 actually gives the proper name of God – The Redeemer. ‘Hang confidently onto Jehovah forever, for in the Lord Jehovah is an everlasting Rock.’ Those who have been redeemed can have confidence and are able to stand firm.

How great your confidence is is dependent on how well you know your Redeemer. Your ability to be perpetually prepared and withstand the devil is in direct proportion to your confidence and trust in God.

We often look at characters of the Bible and stand in awe at the courage of these men displayed in fighting their adversaries – physical or spiritual. The book of James records that Elijah was a man subject to like passions as we are. Paul had been bruised and riddled with infirmities, and Jeremiah was depressed and actually wanted to resign as a spokesman for the Lord. How do we differ from these men, and why don’t our lives and testimonies have the same impact? Why are we often such easy prey for the devil?

Unshod

It is because many times we find ourselves in the midst of combat and find that we are unshod. Unthinkable! Yes, how often we are spiritually unshod. In such a condition, we will trip and stumble or get trampled upon. Our exposed feet are prone to getting cut and, if left unattended, infected. Only when we grow in the knowledge of the Word of God will we begin to grasp the breadth and depth of His promises, His peace, His protection, His VICTORY. Then we shall begin to have that confidence, preparedness and firm foundation to withstand the devil. It is a confidence in the fact that we have been redeemed. That confidence can only be made manifest if we are living the life of the redeemed (see 1 Pet. 1:13-19).

Slipshod

One final lesson we might learn is from the Israelites after they had wandered forty years in the wilderness. Shortly before crossing the Jordan into the promised land, Moses had summoned all the people. He had given testimony of God’s deliverance from Egypt and His faithfulness in providing for them while they had wandered.

And I have led you forty years in the wilderness; your clothes have not become old upon you, and thy shoe has not become old upon thy foot. Deuteronomy 29:5f

Skeptics will tell you that seeing is believing, but these people had seen and heard, yet their lives remained virtually unchanged.

Moses’ charge to the people was at a crucial juncture, the Palestinian Covenant was being made. The purpose was simple; that God might establish the children of Israel as His people and that they would fulfill His purpose as a nation of priests and chosen vessels. The balance of the Old Testament illustrates how they failed – miserably – in their responsibility. Webster defines the word “slipshod” as “having shoes down at the heel . . . slovenly, untidy.” The Israelites had seen, tasted, touched and heard God’s greatness, His might and His grace, and yet their actions belied this. These people witnessed God’s faithfulness and yet did not possess the trust and the confidence and so were defeated. Which are you:

Shod – Unshod – Slipshod?

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