REFLECTIONS # 135: WHAT ARE YOU WEARING? PART 4: SHOES OF THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE
Shoes of the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace
“and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace” ~ Ephesians 6:15 NKJV
“and having strapped on your feet the gospel of peace in preparation [to face the enemy with firm-footed stability and the readiness produced by the good news]” Ephesians 6:15 AMP.
Having put on our belt of truth and our breastplate of righteousness, Paul tells to then put on our shoes. The Roman soldiers didn’t just wear the same kind of soft leather shoes the civilians wore—they wore heavy military sandals that were securely strapped, or bound, to their feet with leather thongs that went half way up to the shin.
shod = hypodeo, Greek, Strong’s #5265: to bind under ones’ self, to bind on
In those days, much of the fighting was hand-to-hand, close combat, and a soldier who lost his footing was going to be at an extreme and, perhaps, fatal disadvantage. So the Roman military sandal Paul was describing had hobnails, or short heavy-head nails driven into the bottom of their shoes which acted as cleats do on athletic shoes to give you solid footing.
Our battles with the enemy, the “principalities, powers, and rulers of the darkness of this world” are up close and personal. We need to be firmly and well-grounded to successfully “stand against the wiles of the devil” (see Ephesians 6:11). And that is where the preparation of the gospel of peace comes in.
WHAT IS THE GOSPEL OF PEACE?
First and foremost, the gospel of peace is the good news that Jesus has brought peace between God and man! This was the message the angels lit up the sky to deliver to the shepherds watching their sheep in the fields of Bethlehem. “The Savior has been born, peace on earth, good-will to men.” See Luke 2:14
Before this grand event of the birth of Jesus, man was condemned, separated from God, and spiritually dead because of the sin nature inherited from Adam. After 400 years of silence, God split the sky to announce that He had sent the Savior, Jesus, His Son, to redeem mankind! And this Savior came as a tiny baby, fully God and fully man. It was the miracle of miracles!
“For this is how much God loved the world—he gave his one and only, unique Son as a gift. So now everyone who believes in him will never perish but experience everlasting life.
God did not send his Son into the world to judge and condemn the world, but to be its Savior and rescue it!
So now there is no longer any condemnation for those who believe in him, but the unbeliever already lives under condemnation because they do not believe in the name of God’s beloved Son” John 3:16-18 TPT.
This is the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ! He took our sins and our punishment upon Himself on the Cross so that we could be forgiven, born-again, and become children of God. He died and was resurrected so that we could die and be resurrected. No longer spiritually dead and separated from the Eternal Creator GOD who created us, but reconciled and brought to life to live eternally with Him as sons and daughters and to rule and reign with Him in His Kingdom of love, peace, and joy! That is GOOD NEWS! That is AMAZING, ASTONISHING, ASTOUNDING NEWS!
WHAT IS THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE?
preparation= hetoimasia, Greek, Strong’s #2091: readiness, prepared for, prepared foundation
This Gospel of Jesus Christ is our core truth, our core belief as Christians. This is the foundation upon which everything else rests. This is a significant part of our belt and what makes our breastplate of righteousness possible! See how all of the armor fits together! Without an understanding of this Gospel of Peace, we do not have a firm foundation to stand on. I couldn’t help but think of the nails on the bottom of the soldiers’ sandals—in the natural, it was nails that held Jesus on the Cross as He suffered the punishment for our sins. He could have called angels at any time to come remove those nails and free Him from the Cross. So it was His love for us that kept Him on that Cross until He could look up to the Father and say, “It is finished.” (See John 19:30)
Those nails of love can keep us grounded as we are in battle. They can keep us from slipping and sliding until the victory comes. We need to understand and receive what Jesus has done for us. We need to understand and receive what Jesus has secured for us. We need to understand that the foundation of the Gospel of Peace is the great, unconditional, everlasting love of the Father for His creation--us.
Satan does everything he can to try to get us to doubt the Father’s love for us. He does everything he can to try to cause us to question God’s faithfulness and goodness. When those thoughts come, I hope we will remember the thorns that dug into our Master’s scalp and the nails that brutally held Him to the tree; and then I hope we will use the nails in the bottom of our shoes to dig our feet into the Gospel of Peace and stand steadfast and resolute that our God IS GOD, and He is good, and He is just, and He is faithful, and He is trustworthy—and He causes us to win—all the time!
“Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written:
‘For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” Romans 8:33-39.
Wearing the right shoes for the occasion is critical. You don't wear flip-flops to play tennis or boots to water ski. How much more critical is it to have on the right shoes for battle! Our shoes are attached to our feet, so they go where we go. They enable us to go places where we might not be able to go without them. Wherever the Christian goes, the the gospel of peace should go with them. If it doesn't, then we aren't prepared for what we might encounter, either in terms of sharing the Gospel with someone who needs to hear it or being prepared to fight the enemy with the Gospel.
"Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine" 2 Timothy 4:2.
Be prepared. Don't leave home without your shoes!
Love, Hugs, and Blessings,
His will, His way, whatever it takes!