Stand firm then. . .with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. -Ephesians 6:14-15
It has been said before that shoes are a girl’s best friend. When I take a look into my own closet, I would have to guiltily agree! I see shoes for all occasions. Flats for work, flip-flops and sandals for summer days, hiking shoes, running shoes, boots for winter, and, of course, high heels for formal gatherings.
While there are many different types of shoes that prepare us for the events in our lives, Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:15 that the most important shoes we can put on our feet are part of the armor of God-the shoes of the gospel. Paul says to stand firm “with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.” The shoes of Roman soldiers were thick leather sandals that wrapped around the ankle and foot. Many times, the bottoms even had spikes or nails to allow the soldiers to have firm footing in combat.
Just as Roman soldiers were required to wear armor to help fight the enemy, God has given Christians His armor to use as a spiritual defense. When we put on the shoes of the gospel, we are firmly standing in our readiness to take on Satan’s evil schemes and to share the gospel of peace with everyone in our path.
God is extremely transparent with letting his sons and daughters know that we will be attacked by the enemy. He tells us that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12). The devil is proactive and prepared in his attacks. They are specific and, unfortunately, perfectly timed. He follows us like a dark shadow and lingers in moments of joy. He stabs our open wounds and rips open new ones. He is ruthless, and oftentimes successful. But he doesn’t have to be! If we choose to put on the full armor of God, we have the shoes that allow us to stand firm in the devil’s attacks. We will be able to hold on to God’s word and His truths. Instead of being knocked over and thrown around, we will be ready to fight against the evil one.
In addition to our readiness to take on Satan’s evil schemes, the shoe is also associated with the readiness to share the gospel wherever we go. The word gospel literally means “good news.” As Christians, it is our responsibility to tell people of Jesus’ love for us and the sacrifice He made on the cross. However, this can be a daunting and frightening task if we are not ready and prepared. How many times have you felt the Holy Spirit nudge you to talk to the woman at work who’s always stressed out, or to the mom on your son’s tee-ball team who’s going through a divorce or to your own father who does not know Jesus as his savior? I know I feel the Holy Spirit “nudging” me every single day, but when I’m not wearing the shoes of the gospel, when I’m not wearing my armor of readiness, I back out! I lie to myself and say, “I’ll talk with them later” or “Now is not the right time.” However, when we, through faith, put on the shoes of the gospel, it changes our perspective on how we live our lives, the words we say, and the actions we take. It rids us of the fear that Satan has placed on the idea that God will use us for His glory. When we have the right shoes, we walk without fear because we have the protection we need!
As I was getting ready for work one morning, my phone rang and it was a friend from church, who has never called me before. She apologized for it being so early, but she said she was listening to worship music in her car when God told her to call and pray with me. She knew from the previous Wednesday night Bible study that I had been battling anxiety and struggling in my prayer life. When she prayed for me, she asked God to transform my anxiety into obedience and that I use my anxiety as a way to serve and honor Him. Needless to say, this friend of mine and woman of God put on her armor that day and what a blessing she was to me! It is wonderful and necessary to think about what God will do when we actively choose to wear the shoes of the gospel, but we also must remember that there are people out there who are depending on our words and our actions to be different than that of the wicked, chaotic world. If my friend had not called me that morning, I would have missed out on hearing the good news of Jesus’ love for me and the reminder to trust and obey.
I know that there have been many days, months, seasons, and, sadly, even years when I’ve chosen not to faithfully wear the shoes of the gospel or any other armor of God for that matter. In those times, I found myself fearful, intimidated, beaten down and exhausted. Even though I knew that Satan was winning the battle and was successful in destroying my life, I still chose to not take action. However, when I place my faith in God daily and put on the armor He has provided, He fulfills His promises and turns my life from a world of chaos and distress to a world of peace and joy that I am able to share with others. And while I still have a plethora of shoes in my closet, I know that the most important shoes will allow me to remain ready in facing the enemy and for sharing the gospel of peace.
1. Is Satan stealing your joy and attacking your life? If so, read/reread Ephesians 6 and pray over the armor of God.
2. Do you feel that God is nudging you to share the good news to the people around you? Pray to Him that he will rid you of any fear and use you for His glory.