"... having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace" (NASB)
- Ephesians 6:15Now, if you know me you know I love shoes. So forgive me if my analogy to this verse is about shoes.
|One or both of my children may also be obsessed with shoes ... I was not involved in whatever happened here.|
I have house shoes ... but more often than not I forget them somewhere around the house (or they are painstakingly, tediously scooted to another place on feet less than half their size) and when I hop out of bed in the morning they are nowhere to be found.
Now imagine that you are meant to fight a battle AND run and spread news of this battle. On bare feet.
Ouch. I may be a farm girl, but I don't even like to walk out to the compost bin without some boots on. Much less wrest out the fight of my life or run to someone with good news.
Because, what is the gospel? It is good news! Good news of peace! We are not only preparing to fight a battle but preparing to spread the news of the peace that will follow when the fight is over!
Try to imagine, pre-iPhone, pre-75mph speed limit, that you have just heard the news that a deadly war is over. That your rescuer is coming. And you know there are people who don't know! You will want to run and tell everyone you can find! I don't know about you but I can't run down the road on bare feet.
"How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!"
- Romans 10:15
"How lovely on the mountainsAre the feet of him who brings good news,Who announces peaceAnd bring good news of happiness"
- Isaiah 52:7So how can we shod ourselves with the preparation of the gospel of peace?
Preparation ... we make ready. Readiness, to me, implies a certain confidence. So I'm picturing heels, because nothing makes me feel quite as confident as clacking loudly down a hall with my footsteps punctuated by the staccato of stilettos.
Readiness to defend. To defend the truth of the gospel. To defend in prayer against an unrelenting enemy. Ready as my trusty boots ... I can swish through tall grass without the fear of snakes. I can slog through mud without chilling my toes. I can dig in and not loose ground if I need to shoulder a heavy load or push something out of our way.
"... always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence ..."
- 1 Peter 3:15But when it comes time to run, tennis shoes is the only answer. A pair of well worn, but not worn out, shoes that won't blister my feet in the stiffness of not having been tried and tested, but which won't fall apart before I reach my destination.
"They will run and not grow tired,They will walk and not become weary."
- Isaiah 40:31And yet, the gospel of peace is a comfort. When we are battle worn and weary, the gospel itself that is our inspiration to stand and fight and the very lifeblood pouring through our veins as we boldly speak its truth ... it is also our comfort, like a well worn pair of slippers, when the battle seems uphill and our audience is not responding.
"... continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard ..."
- Colossians 1:23
You won't make it far on bare feet.