I walked into a shoe store the other day, and I realised anew the same thing I realise every other time I visit such a store; there are so many different types of shoes! It is so overwhelming when you are looking to buy a new pair of shoes, because you are given hundreds of different choices, especially if you are a girl! Does it have to be a closed shoe like sneakers or boots? Should it be a pair of sandals or flip flops? Does it need to be flat or have a heel? Do you want buckles or a shoe that slips on and off easily? What brand should it be? Then what colour!? So many options, and even then you might not find what you want.
There is a shoe for every occasion. People get/are obsessed with shoes! It is all about having the newest shoes or the most designer shoes or the most comfortable. While the obsession with shoes might be a tad over the top, they are necessary (the shoes not the obsession) and I have to admit very useful. Shoes were not invented to look pretty, they had a purpose. They were made to protect our feet from the hazards of the ground, thus allowing us to walk further.
The wrong pair of shoes can have a crippling effect, literally. I’m pretty certain that almost everyone has at least one story about how a shoe has hurt their feet because something wasn’t right. Maybe it was the wrong size or the shoe was just old and worn or being used for something it wasn’t designed to do. Moving around wearing a pair of shoes that are busy hurting you in some way, is an unpleasant and frustrating experience. Walking is usually slow and with difficulty, and can leave you vulnerable.
When Paul wrote to the Ephesian church about the armour of God he chose items of armour to describe the purpose of every attribute he mentions. Assigning the gospel of peace to shoes may seem a little strange though. Shoes play a huge role in how well we can move and how far we go, but how does this help in our spiritual battle?
“With your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace” – Ephesians 6:15 NLT
With the right pair of shoes we can be ready for anything, whether it is a long hiking trip, a trip to the beach or a day at the mall. Spiritually, putting on the right pair of shoes can prepare us for withstanding the attack of the enemy. It means that we are ready. Not wearing the right shoes can leave us vulnerable and crippled.
The Gospel is the good of news of how God sent His Son to die for our sins. With this good news we can march through all the trials that life throws at us, because we can have complete faith in the good news and it will make us stand firm. Nothing and no one can come between us and God if we have accepted the Gospel.
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:38-39 (NIV)
This good news also gives us peace. If we have truly accepted the gospel and given our lives over to God, and we start trusting him fully; a peace that we can obtain in no other way will settle into our lives.
“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:7 (ESV)
Can you imagine being in the midst of a battle, a terrifying battle where you are fighting for your life, and all of a sudden all you experience is peace. You are at peace because someone far stronger than you is in control. Wouldn’t that make the battle easier for you?
We can go into battle with confidence knowing that because of the gospel we have received we can be at peace in every aspect of our life. It will protect us from the hazards of this world, helps us to stand firm and to march confidently through life and all its battles. We have the perfect pair of shoes for the job!