Busy! I feel like this past month has been crazy busy which led to a whole lot of hurrying around on my part. I have hurried from one event to the next, from one store to the next and at home, I have hurried from one chore to the next. Sometimes hurrying can get us into trouble! As I hurried to get the dishwasher emptied the other day, mysteriously, one of those bowls that are advertised as ‘unbreakable’ came flying out of my hand and crashed to the floor! What had been advertised as unbreakable shattered into a thousand pieces. Of course I didn’t have any SHOES on, and in trying to navigate through the land mine of broken shards, I took one in the bottom of my foot! IT HURT! I hobbled over to the chair, sat down and pulled the glass out of my foot. I was down for the count, unable to clean up the mess, unable to stand…and unable to empty the rest of the dishwasher!
Things have broken in my kitchen before, no surprise there, and this broken bowl will not be the last. Sometimes broken glass ends up on the floor…but it doesn’t have to lead to a foot injury! The injury could have been avoided.
If only I had my shoes on…
Shoes…they don’t just look cute. They serve a purpose.
God has given us shoes to wear in Ephesians 6. We have been given the shoes of the readiness of the Gospel of Peace and these shoes serve a purpose!
In Ephesians 6, Paul writes about the fact that we struggle. The word ‘struggle’ that he uses in verse 12 is a word that means face to face combat, wrestling, where one has the intent to pin his opponent to the ground, rendering him unable to move, unable to stand. Paul doesn’t say if we struggle or when we struggle, he simply says we struggle.
We are always in a battle, always in the struggle. Things can become chaotic around us, life gets shaky, broken glass somehow ends up on the floor, but God has given us spiritual shoes to protect our spiritual feet and these shoes are HIS PEACE. God is faithful, and has given us HIS peace so we can stand.
Interesting thing, the battle we are in. In the natural world, a country cannot experience peace and war simultaneously. A kingdom is either at peace or at war. But in Jesus Christ we are part of a greater Kingdom, a different country. In the Kingdom of God, we are in the battle, but we have been given peace IN the battle. The Kingdom of God is not one of peace or war. It is one of peace IN war.
Paul used the picture of a Roman soldier as a pneumonic device as he wrote the armor of God. The shoes the Roman soldier wore laced up his leg. Some say they were even knotted as they were laced to make them more secure on the soldier’s feet. Lacing up these shoes was not a quick task if done correctly. Paul said to put on our shoes of peace…
And he never said to take them off. If there is one thing I have learned in 2016, it’s that unexpected things happen. Unbreakable bowls fly out of our hands and end up broken on the floor. We cannot take off our shoes! When the battle comes, there is no time to lace our shoes back up. I don’t know about you, but I am not usually given advanced warning that a challenge is coming my way. I don’t usually have time before the challenge hits to make sure I have my shoes on and they are laced up properly. We need to have our shoes on, soldiers already suited up, as we start a new year serving Him!
We struggle. In order to stand in the struggle, we need to have our shoes of peace ON!
Peace in the battle. Peace in the struggle. It isn’t natural, it’s actually supernatural. And in Christ, it IS possible.
There is a quote by Beth Moore that inspires me daily. I like it so much that it will soon be on a sign in my study room. It simply says…
‘Go now sister, and do what you were called to do.’
2016 taught me that I cannot attempt to do what I have been called to do barefoot. I have to be wearing His shoes of peace.
This year, regardless of the challenges behind us or the challenges ahead, let’s put our shoes of peace on and do what we were called to do. Let’s walk the road He’s called us to. It may be the road less travelled. It may be bumpy or rocky, there may be broken glass on the path and there may be unexpected twists and turns. It may be a battle. But wearing the shoes of the readiness of the Gospel of Peace, we will stand!
Ephesians 6:13-15 ‘Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.’