Everybody has hurt their feet in some way or another. Myself, I’ve hurt my feet many times; broken bones, torn achilles tendon, infections, ankle injuries, lost a few toe nails, and so on. I noticed many of those times came when I wasn’t wearing the proper shoes on my feet. Some shoes are all about fashion but the main purpose of your shoes is to protect your feet.
Do you pay attention to your feet when they are not hurt and you are wearing good shoes? I bet your answer is no. Your feet are at peace. You don’t think about them when they are at peace. When you have issues with your feet (wrong shoes, injuries) only then are you focusing on your feet. Your attention is being divided between your feet and whatever else you are doing.
In Ephesians 6:10-20 Paul introduces us to the Armor of God. I believe the key in the armor of God is the footwear, or what Paul calls the “Preparation that comes from the gospel of peace.” When Paul was describing the Armor of God he was comparing it to Roman armor. The Romans had a special shoe they used for combat. It was designed like modern-day cleats. They had nails at the bottom of their shoes so they could have a firm foundation when they are fighting.
All of the armor the Roman soldiers wore meant nothing if they didn’t have the proper shoes on. Without their shoes they could get pushed around on the battlefield. It was very important for them to hold the line when the enemy approached. If they slid back the enemy could overtake them. With their shoes, they could hold their ground and even push forward without slipping. Their shoes were foundational in winning battles.
The spiritual shoes Paul is talking about is having a firm grasp on the gospel. Gospel literally means ‘good news.’ But it also means ‘reward.’ Who doesn’t like good news and rewards, right? The good news and reward Paul is referring to is none other than the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ. The good news is the entire Bible. The best way to understand what gospel means is to know what the ancient English word meant. When the Bible was first translated into English gospel meant something. It literally means God-story. So every time you read ‘gospel’ in the Bible you should think of God’s story.
Therefore, our firm foundation comes from knowing God’s story. Without this firm foundation, putting on the other armor won’t be as effective. We will still be pushed around by the enemy—the Devil. We must make an effort for ourselves, to learn and practice what Jesus taught. The more we know God’s story for ourselves and live it out, then the more we will be at peace.
The purpose of our foundation in Jesus Christ is so we won’t lose focus much like when our feet are at peace. When you don’t have a firm grasp on the gospel you can be manipulated by the enemy. You can lose your footing, lose your peace, and lose your salvation if you don’t have your foundation in Jesus Christ.
Peace doesn’t mean we will be absent of conflict. Peace means that when we are in the middle of conflict, we won’t be worried, anxious, or fearful. We will be at peace during the storm. God doesn’t promise to get us out of the storm. He promises to give us peace during it.
This is a brief summary of my sermon I preached on 7/27/13. Click here to hear the sermon in its entirety.