By Caleb Duncan
From the time I was in high school, Iâ€™ve always been a big runner. I started with track and field in middle school, then cross country, and since then, I have always enjoyed lacing up and going outside for a run. For some people, they think thatâ€™s crazy! But we all have our ways of relieving stress.Â
In college, I decided to start running 5ks (3.12 miles). I started running a 5k daily, trying to beat my record time. Then, one day, I woke up and couldnâ€™t get off my bed to walk because my feet were in so much pain. I basically hobbled my way to the car to go to the doctor.
He said I had Plantar Fasciitis. Inflamed tissue in the heels of my feet occurred because I wasnâ€™t wearing the right shoes. After I recovered, I learned my lesson. I needed to invest in a good pair of running shoes that would allow me to run without all the extra pain.
We all wear different shoes for different seasons. But did you know the Bible talks about the type of shoes we should wear daily? In Ephesians 6:15, the Bible says, â€œAs for your shoes, put on the readiness of the gospel of peace.â€ Paul encouraged the Ephesians to stand firm against the Devilâ€™s schemes by putting on the Armor of God. So, he used different examples, such as a helmet, a belt, and a sword.
Growing up, these â€œShoes of Peaceâ€ always confused me. I understood the Belt of Truth, the Helmet of Salvation, and the â€œSword of the Spiritâ€¦â€ but the shoes of peace? How does that come in handy in spiritual warfare?
In the Christian life, we have three enemies. The first enemy is the Devil, who is called Satan in scripture. He attacks us with lies and accusations. The Bible says he is the accuser and a deceiver. Second, the â€œworld systemâ€ is our enemy. The Bible says that friendship with the world makes us an enemy of God. Third, our flesh acts as an enemy because it opposes the Spirit living in us. So, to stand firm against these enemies, we must put on the whole armor of God.
Oh, shoes of peace? Right. Shoes of peace. The shoes of peace represent the gospel message in our hearts. â€œHow,â€ you ask? Because one thing that the gospel gives us is peace with God. Romans 5:1 says, â€œSince we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.â€ The gospel has granted us peace. Simple! Butâ€¦why shoes?
What do we do with our shoes? We stand, we walk, we run. Hereâ€™s what Paul is saying:
First, we need to stand firm in the gospel. In battle, one must wear the proper shoes to have a firm standing against the attacks of the enemy. We have to understand our identity in Christ and stand firm in that. Second, we walk daily in the gospel. Wearing the shoes of peace means we live out the gospel daily and walk daily with Jesus. But third, these shoes of peace represent that we carry the gospel to other people. Romans 10:15 says, â€œHow beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!â€
So, if youâ€™ve been confused about what it means to put on the shoes of peace, hopefully, this helps! God wants us, each day, to remind ourselves of the glorious gospel that has made peace between us and God. Then, we are to walk daily in that gospel truth and carry that gospel message with us everywhere. Since we have experienced this peace, we can help others have that peace as well.
What shoes are you wearing?
Caleb Duncan is the Director for the West Florida Baptist Association in Chipley and holds an M.A. in Ethics, Theology, and Culture from Southeastern Seminary. Email him at WfbaDom@outlook.com or follow his Twitter @calebtduncan.