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How To Use The Armor Of God: The Shoes Of Peace

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This article is the third in a series of six which deals exclusively with the shoes of peace as part of the armor of God for Christian spiritual warfare described in the sixth chapter of the book of Ephesians. The reader is strongly recommended to study the articles in sequence as previously taught truths will not be repeated.

Ephesians 6:12-15 reads, "for we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore, take unto you the whole armor of God that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand, stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth and having on the breastplate of righteousness, and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.

The belt of truth and the breastplate of righteousness are the first and second articles respectively on the armor of God. The focus is now on the shoes of the gospel of peace.

Many Bibles and biblical commentaries refer readers of this verse on the shoes to Isaiah 52:7 which speaks of the beauty of the "feet of him that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation...". It might be concluded that the faithful preaching of the gospel shods the feet of the Christian soldier. However, God's armor is given for the express purpose of protecting the spiritual life of the follower of Christ during battle. He may loose his physical life, but it's not God's will for his spiritual life, (his salvation), to be lost. Keeping this in mind, if sharing the gospel protects from losing salvation, why did the faithful preacher, the apostle Paul say, "but I keep under my body and bring it under subjection, lest that by any means, when I have preached to other, I myself should be a castaway (lost)" (1 Corinthians 9:27)?

There are three questions the Bible student would do well to ask himself. First, what is meant by "preparation?" Second, what is the gospel of peace? Third, what part do the shoes of the gospel of peace play in dressing for battle?

The "preparation" does refer to the believer's readiness and willingness to proclaim the gospel of Jesus. Nevertheless, it must be understood that the mere act of preaching the gospel of peace is not what shods the believer's feet. Again, there's a difference between the preaching of the gospel of peace and the gospel of peace itself. Any doctrine can be preached but, preaching it doesn't transform it into the gospel of peace.

This note leads to answering the second question. What exactly is the gospel of peace? The first article on the armor expounded on the belt of truth which was scripturally revealed as the word of God. The second article on the armor expounded on the breastplate of righteousness which was also scripturally revealed as the word of God. The pattern should be visible by now. The shoes peace that shod and protect the feet during spiritual war are none other that the word of God.

What part do shoes play? Are they not worn to protect the feet even when one is not in battle? Shoes are worn on a daily basis to guard the health of the physical feet. If a person's feet are injured, he or she will quickly fall and not be able to stand or walk. Standing on one's feet is symbolic of strength and victory. This is evident in sayings such as "stand on your own two feet." When speaking of overcoming financial battles, people will often say, "when I get back on my feet...." When speaking of the victor of a duel, people will hear, "he was the one left standing." When speaking of enduring hard times, it's common to say, "he took some hard knocks but he's still on his feet." The list could go on. What is significant is that the Bible also compares standing on one's feet to strength, victory and ultimately, salvation. It plainly teaches that it's the gospel of peace, the word of God, that shods the feet of the servants of Christ.

What does the very passage that teaches on the armor of God give as the whole reason for dressing for battle--to be able to stand. Ephesians 6:13-14 commands, "...having done all to stand, stand....."

King David said to God in Psalm 19:105, "thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path." When one walks in spiritual darkness, he trips and falls from grace. Galatians 5:4 says, "...whosoever of you are justified by the law, ye are fallen from grace." The scriptures of Matthew 7:27 and 15:14 are among many that associates falling with a loss of fellowship with the Lord. Power and victory are associated with the feet in other ways as well. Earth is God's footstool which is a reminder of his perpetual dominion (Matthew 5:34-35). The apostle Paul wrote to the believer saying, "and the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet...."

The Bible repeatedly refers to salvation as walking with Christ (Genesis 17:1, Romans 6:4, 2 Corinthians 5:7, Ephesians 5:8, Colossians 2:6, 1 John 1:7, Revelation 3:4).

A person cannot walk without feet or having fallen from his or her feet. Jesus said to his followers in Luke 10:19, "Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy...." One can't tread without feet, with injured feet or having fallen from his feet.

Since the armor of God is all spiritual, the shoes of peace, like the belt of truth and the breastplate of righteousness, are spiritual. Just as the belt of truth protects spiritual loins and the breastplate, the spiritual chest, likewise, the shoes of the preparation of the gospel of peace, protects the believer's spiritual feet so he doesn't fall during battle. These spiritual parts of the spiritual body correspond to the various parts, or thoughts of the Christian's mind. Again, this is proven in the Bible as the battle is truly won or lost in the mind.

Scripture is given to the believer as his example and instruction in righteousness because it's a biography of the lives of real people who served God until their death. They battled against the fury of the same principalities, powers, rulers of darkness, and spiritual wickedness as God's servants today. They, like Christians in modern times, were viciously attacked with the spirit of fear and dread, bitterness against God, despair, and confusion. God did not hide their mistakes, shortcomings or failures from scripture. It's now time to take a look at the shoes of the preparation of the gospel of peace in action to see what happens when they come off.

Matthew 14:22 - 31 reads, "and straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side while he sent the multitudes away. And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray. And when the evening was come, he was there alone. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves, for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, 'it is a spirit.' And they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them saying, 'be of good cheer, it is I, be not afraid.' And Peter answered him and said, 'Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.' And he said, 'come.' And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid and beginning to sink, he cried saying, 'Lord, save me.'"

It should be observed in scripture that Peter walked on the water until he took his eyes off of peace, Jesus, God's living word, and placed them on the boisterous wind. This shifting of sight caused him to be troubled, resulting in the loss of his peace, the removal of his spiritual shoes and he fell from his feet, sinking into the waters.

King David also came close to falling from his feet by letting his spiritual shoes come off. He let the enemy steal his peace in focusing his eyes on the injustice in the world. He left his account in psalm 73:1-3 which reads, "truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart. But as for me, my feet were almost gone. My steps had well nigh slipped. For I was envious at the foolish when I saw the prosperity of the wicked."

The reading of the entire 73rd chapter of psalms is recommended. When David became envious of the prosperity of the wicked, especially in light of his own troubles, his spiritual feet became vulnerable without the protection of the spiritual shoes. What thoughts could he have entertained in order to keep his feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace? David had received God's word that instructs, "fret not thyself because of evil doers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity" (Psalm 37:1). Obedience to God's word is the only thing that dresses one in the armor.

As soon as David let obedience to that word slip, his shoes began to come off. Fretting over something removes one's peace. This doesn't mean that the Christian will never fret over anything. Scripture said specifically not to fret over the prosperity of the wicked and become envious of them.

It requires work, concentration, dedication, and determination to dress and stay dressed in the armor of God. However, the prophet Isaiah, who faced persecution for his faith, worshiped the Lord saying, "thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth thee" (Isaiah 26:3).

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Recommended reading:

How to Use the Armor of God: The Breastplate of Righteousness
The Armor of God for the Christian: The Belt of Truth

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