Ephesians 6:15 – and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Shoes, like the belt, may initially seem superfluous in a discussion about spiritual armor, but shoes are essential part of a soldier’s preparation for battle.
The Roman battle shoes otherwise known as caligae or calcei “often were fitted with nails, or armed with spikes, to make the hold firm in the ground” (Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible). Not only would the comfortable breathable structure allow soldiers to march several miles without pain, but the spikes would help them stand their ground and stamp on the fallen enemy. These spiked shoes would help them navigate better over rough terrain.
Shoes are essential part of a soldier’s armor. A shoeless, bare footed soldier in the battlefield could experience serious pain which could throw his fighting. off course. Shoes allow the soldier to step freely and without fear allowing them to focus their full attention to the battle at hand.
The gospel of peace is one of the many ways the gospel is described. Gospel, which simply means “good news” of the Kingdom of God, which includes the good news about Jesus Christ the King, His grace and plan of salvation for all mankind. A plan that gives us peace now, and will bring peace to the whole world. This is the message God’s people are to share with others.
Jesus is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6) and we have peace in and through Him (John 16:33). Peace allows us not to be afraid (John 14:27). No matter what happens around us, we know God has the victory.
The Christian journey is long and hard, but God gives us these shoes to help us go great distances in our walk comforted by our Prince of Peace (Isaiah 40:1). Having our shoes on, we are ready to move, to spread these glad tidings to others.
The schemes of the devil – anything from family feuds, job insecurity, betrayal by friends, health challenges or any other rocky situation can rob us of our peace. But we advance onto the battlefield unafraid, because we carry with us the “good news” of Jesus’ death and resurrection. And no matter what debris the devil may throw our way, amid all the war and the chaos, we know God has everything under control and His plan cannot be thwarted.
Fear and uncertainty can threaten to stop any Christian from spreading the good news. Listening to the news and watching how the world is succumbing to darkness, we can get discouraged and distracted, rendering us ineffective as soldiers. But with the readiness of the gospel of peace, we don’t have to fear the debris of all that evil, but advance through the rough terrain, without hesitation, trusting our King who is mighty to save.
The Roman troops advanced in formation, intimidating the enemy and causing them to plow right through any threats. We as the Church must walk together, through the worries of the world, encouraging and reminding each other of the peace we have, peace that the enemy cannot rob from us.
God’s good news and the mission of the Church—our marching orders—is to preach the gospel of the Kingdom of God to the entire world!
Are my feet shod with the gospel of peace? What am I going to do differently about the situations or circumstances that are robbing me of my peace of mind, often rendering me ineffective as a soldier in battle? Who needs to hear the good news of peace from me this week?
Lord enable me to share the good news, equipped with your gospel of peace, I pray.