Saturday, September 11, 2010
The Full Armor of God - Gospel Shoes
"...and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace..." Ephesians 6:15
My first pair of crocs were bright orange (go Illini!) and they may have saved my life. Actually, I needed them earlier than I actually got them, but in getting them, my life was probably safer.
Picture this: Kristen in her bakery apron, sweat dripping from her brow as she bends over the swept up pile of floor droppings during morning production at the bakery. Sweeping the yuck into her dustpan, she stands up to walk over to the garbage to throw the contents away, when her foot hits a wet spot on the floor. One foot goes up, the other one follows - at one point both feet were over her head, arms go flying, and said contents of the dustpan also take flight. Then she hits the ground, bottom first, then the legs land, then hands hit - count to three - and then the debris from the dust pan sprinkle down on her head.
Moral of this story: tennis shoes were not meant for the bakery.
Enter crocs. The perfect answer to a slippery bakery floor and an uncoordinated employee.
The right shoes make all the difference. As we put on the full armor of God, we already have our belt of truth holding everything together and our breastplate of righteousness in place. So what about our feet? Barefoot warriors don't last long in the heat of the battle.
So what should we put on our feet? Well, as our verse explains, our feet are covered with preparation. Yep - preparation of the gospel of peace. Let me make this a bit clearer:
The gospel is the good news - Jesus saves, God forgives, the Spirit indwells and we can have a restored relationship with the Creator of the universe.
The gospel of peace is the same good news - we now have peace with God.
So, the preparation of the gospel of peace is the knowledge by which the believer understands the peace that he now has with God through the blood of Jesus Christ - he gains this knowledge by immersing himself in the Word and purposeful righteous living. He understands that if he chooses to sin, he is choosing to suffer. He also understands that with obedience comes blessing. This preparation time is what protects his feet as he goes into battle.
How is the preparation of the gospel of peace a protection to one's feet, you ask? The shoes you wear are what gives you traction in the battle. It is what holds you firm. If you are slipping all over the place, then you will be more likely to fall in the heat of the battle.
So the knowledge of the gospel message is what will give you traction in the battle. Knowing that God's word is truth, knowing that your sins are forgiven, knowing that you are not battling alone but with the Holy Spirit indwelling you - these are the things you need in order to stand firm.
And don't miss the fact that "preparation" means effort. Spending time in the Word, in prayer, with the Lord...this is part of your preparation.
So be prepared to stand firm - be prepared to resist.
Don't forget your crocs, because from personal experience, the floor is wet more often than not.