I like shoes. In fact, I really like shoes. I would not go as far to say that I am a shoe lover, like Imelda Marcos with 2700 pairs of shoes discovered in her closet and a shoe museum exhibiting 800 pairs, yet I would consider myself a fan nonetheless. Between styles and purpose, the variety of shoes seem endless, and my closet has its fair share.
Upon entering kindergarten my Mother tells me that I had the notion that I needed a different pair of shoes for every outfit. Audacious, but as an only girl in a sea of brothers, I was given clothes and shoes since birth, so I knew nothing else. Reality taught me differently in my middle class home, and each year I chose a new pair of school shoes, gym shoes, and church shoes. Each had their purpose, and I would stare at my feet as I walked proudly in their newness.
When choosing an outfit, whether for daily use or for a special occasion, certain items complete the ensemble. Accessories like jewelry, scarves, or hats can change something bland to fabulous or casual to elegant. Shoes however; can change an attitude. The right athletic shoe helps us feel like we can run a little faster and farther. The right flip flop gives the whim of carefree joy. The right wing tip can create a sense of confidence. And the right stiletto can put a smile on our face as we walk just a bit taller.
While physical clothes and shoes are a necessity, God reminds us in Ephesians chapter 6 verses 10-18 that we are also to dress in spiritual clothes, or armor. For the believer, to walk out of the house spiritually naked sets us up for failure. The NIV 84 text says, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 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. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 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. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. And pray in the Spirit, on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep praying for all the saints.” Traditionally, armor is defined as the metal coverings worn by soldiers or warriors to protect the body in battle. The armor of God, although not a metal covering, protects us in daily spiritual battle. Look at the strength of the articles He gives us-a belt, a breastplate, a shield, a helmet, and a sword setting us up both defensively and offensively, ready for battle. But wait, there is more. He also gives us shoes! Glorious shoes. And not just any shoes, these shoes are specially fitted, custom tailored if you will, with readiness. Readiness that comes from the gospel, or good news, of PEACE. What? Peace doesn’t sound very warrior like. At least not our feeble understanding of warring. But remember, God says His ways are not like our ways, and if we believe His ways are supreme, then peace shoes it is. Enemies are inevitable; however when we choose to please God, whether it makes sense or not, He does something remarkable. Proverbs 16:7 NIV 84 says this, “When a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord, He makes even his enemies live at peace with him.” Putting on the shoes fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace brings the peace of God into the battle or circumstances. We become His peacemakers. These shoes create a whole new attitude, the attitude of peace. The Prince of Peace wants us to show His peace to a desperate world.
So whatever you dress in today, whether workout clothes, business attire, a uniform, or evening wear, be sure to include the armor of God. But DON’T FORGET THE SHOES. These custom made beauties set us apart, ready as peacemakers of good news, warring against the enemy and fighting for the lost.