They say you can tell a lot about a person from the shoes they wear. To a certain degree, I think that’s true. It’s hard to run a marathon in high heels, and flip-flops won’t do a fireman much good. Shoes offer stability and protection.
I’ve always liked shoes a lot. When I was 8, I had a pair of red patent leather shoes with a half-inch heel that fit perfectly. I felt like Dorothy from “The Wizard of Oz.” Years later, I remember the thrill of trying shoes on at a Jimmy Choo store in New York.
Now older and wiser, I’m equally excited about some sneakers I recently got. They feel great and offer super support. Proper footwear really offers a multitude of benefits. When Paul wrote about the armor of God in Ephesians 6, I think he realized this, too.
Shoes of peace
As you read through the armor of God, there’s no surprise to see words like “shield” and “breastplate.” Even in 2020, those things sound like good military wear. But when you get to “shoes of peace,” you may wonder how they fit into a soldier’s gear.
But Paul was so clever to use this illustration. You see, a Roman soldier’s shoes were no ordinary shoes. A better name might be killer shoes. You may picture leather sandals with straps going up the calf. You’re on the right track, but the soles of these sandals had metal spikes to offer stability and security.
Whether an enemy tried to push the soldier around or the terrain was hazardous, his shoes gave him secure footing. He also could inflict injury on an opponent with a kick.
Ephesians 6:15 says, “And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace” (KJV).
“Shod” comes from the Greek word “hupodeomai,” a combination of “hupo” and “deo.” “Hupo” means “under,” and “deo” means “to bind.” The meaning of “shod” is more akin to binding something very tightly to the bottom of one’s feet.
Ladies, these are better than stiletto security. They are bound tightly to the foot and leg and won’t come off. They are combat-fighting shoes.
Put your shoes on
Have you ever gone out without wearing shoes? No, I don’t mean to the backyard or the beach. I mean, completely barefoot to the grocery. Gross, right! Of course, you haven’t. You put your shoes on when you go out. The thing is, shoes only offer protection when you put them on.
Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:11 to “put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” It doesn’t say put it in your purse or in your backpack. No! You must put it on for it to work.
Paul writes about the armor of God because he knows we’re in a war.
“For 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).
I don’t know about you, but some days are a lot bloodier than others. I know I have a real enemy who wants to do everything to tear me down and separate me from Christ. But Romans 8:31-39 says that there is nothing that can separate us from God’s love. That’s wonderful news.
The enemy has no hold on my salvation. My hope is in Christ, but that doesn’t mean he is going to lay low and give up on me. He’s happy to wreck my day with worry, guilt and sin even if he has been defeated.
So how does one put on their shoes of peace? Peace simply means calm in the midst of chaos.
On this side of heaven, there will never be perfect peace, but we can still experience peace by trusting completely in God’s word. It takes practice, and it takes some work.
Putting on the shoes of peace means you’re aware of the schemes of the enemy throughout your day, and when you sense an attack, you also realize who you are in Christ and what you’ve been given. You dig in to the security of God’s Word with those spikes and you obey Him.
Only God’s peace can offer the anchor we need to stay upright when the enemy takes a swing at us. The Gospel stabilizes us. Salvation isn’t just about heaven. God wants us to experience that power right here and now.
Priscilla Shirer writes, “Peace intimidates our enemy. He knows we’re coming when we’re all marching in unity with our peace-shoes securely in place. The sound will serve him notice that we are ready, at our post, standing our ground, and fearlessly advancing against his kingdom.”
If you have had enough of the stress, anxiety and the chaos of the world, it’s time to switch out your shoes. Take a leap of faith and put on the shoes of peace!
Amy Potter, a member of Southeast Christian Church, is a prayer warrior, wife, mother, teacher, worker, writer, and a few other things—a Supermom.