By bridcf, Jul 19 2020 12:48PM
This week Aileen treated me to some new shoes, but she was being generous for a reason. I had worn my old shoes for a number of years and they were no longer fit for purpose. In fact, things had become so bad that they were causing me pain and discomfort. I needed to be properly equipped with shoes that would support my feet and legs so that I could walk and exercise to stay healthy without issue.
Just as we need to be properly equipped for day-to-day life with such things as good shoes, so Christians need to have the right equipment to deal with their day-to-day spiritual lives. In Ephesians 6 the Apostle Paul reminds us of the important truth that we are in the middle of a spiritual battle. Reliable footwear is a vital component of the equipment God gives us to face it, as verse 15 says: 'with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.'
Paul lived in the Roman Empire and their soldiers wore footwear that was fit for the purpose of warfare; strong, supportive and supple as well as having big studs (hobnails) in the soles so to give an excellent grip. So why is this footwear such a good picture of readiness in the gospel? How is it fit for purpose? Here are two reasons:
First of all, as we keep ourselves regularly reminded of what God has done for us in Jesus then when we are attacked by God’s enemy we have made sure that we have a firm grip of the gospel ground underneath us and can stand firm in Him.
Secondly, being ready in the gospel means that we need to be ready to advance as well as to defend. We need to be certain of God’s gospel in our own lives so that we can obey Jesus’ command to ‘go’ and share it with others.
Just as Aileen bought me good shoes that were fit for purpose in helping me to do the exercise I need, so we need spiritual footwear that is fit for purpose for the work that God wants to lead us to do. It is only as we rely on the gospel’s good news of Jesus that our lives can be fit for God’s purposes for them. May we take care to be rooted in that ‘gospel of peace’ so that we are ready and equipped to obey His commands.