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Seeds of the Kingdom

Armour of God – Shoes of the Gospel of Peace

by Philip Asselin

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes….. Stand firm then, …….with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.”
Ephesians 6:10-15, NIV

Last time I wrote a devotional we looked at the ‘Breastplate of Righteousness’, this time we move on to the third element in the spiritual armour of God, the ‘The Shoes of Peace’. It may seem odd to consider shoes to be part of your armour, but can you imagine going into battle without your shoes on? Even in today’s modern world rushing out of your house barefoot is likely to be found to be painful very quickly! Roman battle shoes otherwise known as caligae or calcei, had spikes and textured soles. Not only would the comfortable, breathable structure allow the soldiers to march several miles without pain, but these spikes would help them stand their ground in very forbidding rocky terrain. Furthermore, on a battlefield or near a fort, the enemy might scatter barbed spikes or sharp stones to slow the soldiers down.  Therefore, it was essential for soldiers to wear sturdy, protective footwear to protect their feet or they would be severely inhibited in their ability to fight.

But what are ‘the shoes of peace’ and how do they protect us spiritually and how can the gospel of peace be related to shoes? Firstly, we need to remind ourselves that “gospel” means “good news,” and that refers to the sacrifice Jesus made for us so that we can be saved. As a result of His sacrifice on the cross we can receive peace and relationship with God. Secondly, as Christians, we are called to share the good news of Christ with others. Having our “shoes fitted with the gospel of peace” allows us to do this successfully.

John 14:27 says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”  Our shoes enable us to walk through rough terrain. In the same way, having our hope and trust in Jesus helps us walk through the trials and difficulties we face. John 16:33 says, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” Just like having a good pair of sturdy shoes on our feet can help us walk across rocky areas, having confidence in Christ allows us to boldly and fearlessly proclaim His name. Having our feet fitted with the shoes of the gospel of peace allows us to be ready to share Jesus with others at all times. As Christians, we should always be ready to do this as we never know when such an opportunity may present itself. Ultimately, the shoes of peace equip us to fight for Christ in the spiritual battles we face.

It seems to me that before we can fully put on the ‘Shoes of Peace’, we need to take off our own ‘shoes’ that we rely on for protection. To understand that we need to realise what we as Christians need protection from. Anything that can hinder our progress and affect our peace of mind. The devil, during any day, can hurl sharp stones, like family problems, job insecurity, ill-health, friendship betrayals, or any other rocky situation at us in a way that can make us stumble and fall and be badly hurt emotionally.  Instead of wearing God’s spiritual shoes we may have put on confidence in ourselves, our own abilities, intellect, wisdom, strength and security. Our own abilities to give those who need Christ intellectual arguments instead of the simple gospel message of salvation. The message of the cross is simple, but we can be hindered from giving it because we are wearing our own gospel of peace instead of the peace that comes from Christ alone.

Philip Asselin Philip is on the associate ministry and teaching teams with Glyndley Manor. He and his wife Gillian attended the second Healing Retreat at Glyndley Manor in 1992, and were greatly helped. They have two grown up children, one grandson, and a step-granddaughter in California, and a daughter and granddaughter in Eastbourne. His desire is to see people healed and set free to serve God.


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