10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
The Apostle Paul talks about the weapons we have access to in order to defend ourselves from the enemy of our soul. The armor of God provides everything we need to be victorious over the arrows the enemy shoots at us. Having the armor and knowing how to use them are two different things. Paul instructs us to “put on” the whole armor of God daily to prevail against the enemy. Today we are going to look at the 3rd piece in the armor of God which is feet fitted with the gospel of peace (Shoes of Peace).
These shoes of peace give the believer the ability to “stand” regardless of how intense the battle may be. Satan is stripped from the ability to play with your emotions when the peace of the gospel protects and rules your heart and mind.
Soldiers in the ancient army were called “foot soldiers.” Protection of their feet was a necessity because they were always on their feet. In the Korean conflict, severe frostbite took out many soldiers even before they reached the battle line.
Paul says that we are to cover our feet with the gospel of peace if we are going to remain effective in the battle. He was using imagery found in Isaiah 52:7, “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’” This is talking about the communication system of the ancient world as it pertained to getting word from the battle line. When armies went to battle, those who remained at home waited anxiously to hear the outcome because that would determine their destiny. If the messenger brought bad news, he was punished with death. So the runner could carry a burden on his journey if it was bad news.
Each city posted lookouts to watch the approaching runners and they would determine ahead of time if it was good or bad news just by the gait of the messenger. If it was good news then he would be kicking up a lot of dust with enthusiasm. That’s where the phrase, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news" comes from.
Paul is saying that there is nothing more beautiful to see than a messenger who is bringing good news, and that is what the word “gospel” means. It is good news of the peace that we have with God through the Son. This good news makes our walking light in this battle we are in and informs others of the good coming from the battle line.
It is good to know that we can be the bearer of good news when it comes to the Spiritual warfare we are in. Could it be that we are slowed down when we are weighed down by the negative chatter of the doom and gloom of the tiredness and energy spent on the battle ground? We must choose to see the battle from the perspective of victory instead of defeat.
I pray you receive this today as you may be feeling under the weight of the warfare. Newsflash… We win! Today marks the last day of our fast. It has been good. I look forward to hearing stories of victory as we come together on Sunday. Ask someone to join you as we Worship in Spirit and Truth.
Joy in Jesus!
Rev. Mike McClurg
Senior Pastor, Findlay First Church of the Nazarene