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Ephesians 6:15: Shoes For Your Feet

Ephesians 6:15
[15] and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. (ESV)

What kind of shoes should we be wearing? The Roman soldier, which is the illustration that Paul is using, would have had steel studded boots for shoes. They were for standing, not running. They were for hand to hand combat. Those boots kept the soldier grounded in the midst of the battle. What a beautiful picture. It is the peace of God which keeps us grounded in the midst of battle.

There are two ways in which we experience these Gospel Peace shoes. First of all, we recognize that it is the Gospel that gives us peace WITH God. Without the Gospel, any experiences of peace are fleeting and temporary. In the most important aspect of our lives, our relationship with God, we are filled with fear because we know that we are at odds with him. There is something just not right.

We might not be able to describe it, but without making things right with God, we are not able to be at peace. Some fill that peace-less void with sex, the pursuit of wealth, power and other things that just cannot provide peace. The Apostle John describes it this way:

1 John 2:16
[16] For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.

What is the solution? The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the solution! With the Gospel comes peace with God.

Romans 5:1
[1] Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

What shoes are you wearing? Have you turned to Jesus and asked him to forgive you of your sins? If so, you can be assured that you have peace with God the Father. Let that strengthen you in the fight that you are engaged in. There is another aspect of peace that these Gospel shoes provide. We have peace WITH God. And we also have the peace OF God!

John 14:27
[27] Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

This kind of peace that Jesus gives us is the kind of peace that is like steel studs on the bottom of our boots that keep us standing, no matter how difficult the battle. Consider that Jesus spoke these words to his disciples shortly before he died, and then ascended to the Father. He knew that the disciples would face intense persecution. He knew that most of them would be martyred for their faith. The peace that he left them was ENOUGH to get them through all of the trials that they faced.

What trials are you facing? Sickness? Stress? Loss of loved ones? Temptation of various kinds? The peace of God is enough.

Let me give you an example. Jesus’ words of peace were recorded by the Apostle John. One of the Apostle John’s disciples was a man named Polycarp. As an old man, Polycarp was brought into the Roman arena to be executed. Here is the account:

“Polycarp was brought into the arena. Instead of Polycarp begging for his life we find the proconsul pleading with this aged bishop to just curse Christ so he would be released. Polycarp's reply--
“Eighty and six years have I served Him, and he never did me any injury; how then can I blaspheme my King and my Savior.”

He was burned alive. The Christians present said there was a joyful radiance on Polycarp's face as he died. Believers were allowed to bury his remains on February 22, probably in the year 155. Churches near and far from Smyrna observed this date in years to come and drew strength from the testimony of this old, old, man who would not deny Christ, no matter what it cost him.”

I don’t want to diminish your troubles in any way. I want to encourage your heart. The peace of God will help us to stand strongly in the battle. Put on those shoes and stand strong!