“…and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one…” Ephesians 6:15-16
Can we all just stop for a moment and pause for the obvious right now? Shoes! I love it! In God’s goodness and generosity, He made sure to equip us with some good shoes for our feet. Ladies, don’t tell me this doesn’t thrill you a bit! At the risk of sounding terribly materialist, I’ll confess that I do love myself some shoes. There, I said it. I do. I love shoes, and so I find it somewhat exciting that God saw fit to provide us with shoes in this battle. While I’d like to imagine that these shoes are somewhat fashionable, more importantly, they are practical.
Let’s remember what we’re talking about here in Ephesians 6: We are engaged in a spiritual battle, and God has equipped us with all the necessary armor to successfully win this fight. We only need to put it on. The right shoes were just as important in the armor as the rest. Soldiers in Paul’s time wore boots with nails in them, allowing them to firmly grip the ground during combat and providing them with stability. This type of shoe gave them the ability to (don’t miss this) “stand firm” when the enemy was coming against them. In Christ, we stand on the winning side. We’ve already addressed this truth. It is so important to remember now, though, because the knowledge of this truth gives us confidence in the fight. This confidence is our ability to “stand firm” and to not be moved by the schemes and attacks of the enemy. With every piece of armor in place, including our shoes of peace, we are guaranteed a victory.
“The gospel of peace” is the good news that all who have come to faith in Jesus Christ as Savior are now at peace with God. Further, because we are now at peace with God, we can be certain that God is our strength in the battle. He fights for us. He fights against our enemy. He defeats our enemy. We have been given divine support, and it is this that enables us to stand firm in the “readiness given by the gospel of peace.” This is our protective footwear. The gospel of peace is our anchor and hope.
Now, we’ve come to the shield. I love this part! A roman shield was typically very large. About two and a half feet wide by four and a half feet tall, the shield served as full-body protection against the onslaught of the enemy. With the shield raised in place, every arrow or spear could be deflected. The shield of faith that we are called to raise refers to our trust in God. The more we trust in the Word and promises of God, the more we will be able to resist and deflect the temptations that the enemy shoots our way. When we raise our shield of faith, we are saying, “God, I trust you. You are for me, and not against me. The enemy’s fiery darts of doubt pale in comparison to your truth.” Hear this, believer: No matter how hot and no matter how many, the darts of the enemy don’t stand a chance in the face of unwavering faith in Jesus Christ.
Peace is our confidence. Faith is our shield. A confidently raised shield quenches every flame that the enemy shoots our way. Lift it up! Raise that shield. Armor up. It is time we assume our victorious position in this fight. Peace and faith are ours in Jesus’ name. Stand firm today, believer. God has given you all that you need to win this battle. Be the overcomer that He has made you to be!