The Armor of God: Strap on Those Shoes of Peace

Shoes are not my forte. One time I wore a pair of brown, wedged heels to church (which I’d owned for approximately 150 years), only to have them fall apart in real time as I walked down the aisle to the fourth pew from the front. By the time I got to my seat, pieces of brown-wedge debris were littered every few feet down the aisle. I must have looked like some strange combination of breadcrumb-dropping Gretel, shoe-losing Cinderella, and lost-in-Munchkinland Dorothy, half-shoed and worried I wouldn’t find my way out of the sanctuary and back home to Kansas. 

There’s no doubt, I desperately needed to buy a new pair of shoes. But for some reason, shoe shopping feels hard to me. Perhaps it’s the expense, the overwhelming options, or the comfort gamble a person takes every time they buy a new pair of shoes. As I’m sure you’ve experienced, it’s one thing to wear a new pair of shoes up and down the store aisle (my toes and heels feel fine then), but it’s a whole different ball game when I have to wear those shoes longer than five minutes. 

But there is one pair of shoes I don’t need to worry about. They fit perfectly every time I slip them on. They’re comfortable, they don’t pinch my toes, and they never wear out. The only trail they leave behind is one of God-centered assurance. Why? They’re my God-given shoes of peace. 

Putting on Those Gospel Shoes 

In Ephesians 6, the apostle Paul does a brilliant job (via the Holy Spirit) of likening our spiritual armor to that of a Roman soldier’s armor. Just as a soldier needs to be armed and ready at all times for whatever might come at him, so a follower of Christ needs to be prepared for whatever spiritual darts our enemy tries to throw at us. It’s not hocus-pocus to say we have a spiritual enemy—it’s reality.

So far, we’ve discussed the belt of truth and the breastplate of righteousness. Then in Ephesians 6:15, Paul says, “and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace.” 

Now it’s one thing to go barefoot at the beach, but I wouldn’t advise it on the battlefield or a construction site or in the hog barns at our farm. There are just some situations in which you need to wear shoes—good shoes, maybe even steel-toed boots. Spiritually, the Christian life is one of those situations. Think about it, how can a soldier advance on the battlefield or stand firm for any given length of time without shoes? Allow me to answer: they can’t, and they won’t.

In the same way, when a believer’s foundation is peace, it’s much easier to move about or stand firm for long periods of time. Perseverance and stamina are needed to follow Christ, and our shoes of peace provide the necessary support.

On the flip side, one of the quickest ways for the enemy to render us useless is to steal our peace, leaving us worried, anxious, and afraid. If I had a penny for every time a Christian told me they were anxious, I’d be a wealthy lady. I, too, sometimes struggle with anxiety, and every time I do, I find myself paralyzed. 

Shoes of Peace Are Must Have Gear

When I’m worried about the outcome of a situation, I can think of nothing else but my circumstances, which means I’m certainly not thinking about advancing God’s kingdom. Instead, I’m stuck in a web of apprehension and “what-if” scenarios, and the enemy has me right where it wants me: distracted, distraught, and disabled from effective kingdom-building work. I need peace, and I need it quickly. 

Yet, we often skip putting on our gospel-sealed, faith-filled, shoes of peace when we get up in the morning. As a result, we allow anxiety to rule over us like an eight-foot-tall taskmaster who’s watching our every move.

But what did Jesus say to us about peace? He said, “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Don’t let not your heart be troubled or fearful” (John 14:27). 

The apostle Paul went into further detail about Christ’s peace by stating in Ephesians 2:14, “For he is our peace, who made both groups one and tore down the dividing wall of hostility.” Then in verse 17 he adds, “He came and proclaimed the good news of peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near.”

How did Christ preach peace to us? Through the gospel—the good news of His death, burial, and resurrection on our behalf. By grace through faith in Jesus, we are no longer at odds with God but are reconciled to Him. Our position in Christ is one of peace, but is it our state of mind?

Our Shoes of Peace Keep Us Grounded

Colossians 3:15 says, “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.” In other words, let it be at the forefront of your mind. Let it be what’s on our feet, no matter where you go or what you encounter. The human mind doesn’t enjoy turmoil. If we do not look to God for peace, we will naturally look to food, drugs, relationships, pleasure, things, desires, or some other substitute to calm the mayhem brewing within us. 

The truth is we will come up empty-handed anytime we search for peace anywhere other than God. He alone is the keeper of peace—a peace that surpasses understanding (Phil. 4:6–7). A peace that begins with the gospel. 

Jesus said in John 16:33, “I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.” The only way to cling to peace in this troubled world is to cling to Christ. If we cling to any other hope, it will leave us with that all too familiar horrible feeling in our bellies. 

There’s a lot of uncertainty in our world right now. In many ways, peace feels like a thing of the past. There are so many things I could spend time worrying about, but all that does is give me heartburn and keep me distracted. The truth is that while there are many things to pray about, I have nothing to worry about. God is still God, and He’s still in control. I am His child, and He is trustworthy. 

Our Shoes of Peace Are Still in Style 

As much as I would love to see a resurrection of biblically-centered policies and godly leadership worldwide, the true, life-changing answer to our problems is Jesus. Our gospel shoes never have and never will go out of style. And the enemy will quake in the presence of every believer dressed and ready with the gospel of peace. 

Yet when I look around, I don’t see peace-filled believers readily sharing the gospel. Instead, I see us living scared. I see us fighting spiritually barefoot, distracted by the mayhem around us. I see us more concerned about physical health than spiritual destinies. I’m not saying we can’t voice biblical wisdom on current topics. We can, and we should. But shouldn’t we take a hard look at our primary concerns? Do they have anything to do with the gospel?

No matter what’s in store for us on this side of heaven, we have much to look forward to in Christ. And that’s the message we need to preach. What a joy it is to live at peace with God even amid present circumstances. This world is not our home, and that alone gives me peace. 

Our biggest problem (separation from God due to sin) is taken care of in Christ. In Jesus, we are forgiven and cherished and known and loved, and God has granted us peace. The question is, will we wear it like a pair of steel-toed boots so no matter where we go or what we come up against, we’ll be anxious for nothing? 

The enemy would give anything to see us fret, but God gave everything so we don’t have to. Precious sister, don’t live your life anxiously. Instead, put on your gospel-sealed, faith-filled shoes of peace—even in the face of uncertainty—because you know who holds this world, and He is your Savior. 

Did you discover God’s Truth today?

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About the Author

Stacey Salsbery

Stacey Salsbery

Stacey Salsbery is a farmer’s wife and mother of four. When she isn’t serving a meal on the side of the road, riding in a tractor with her husband, or driving kids to practice, you’ll find her escaping the crazy by writing devotionals at Deeper Devos, where she gives readers a weekly practical and deeper look at God’s Word. Her favorite things in the world (not counting her Savior, husband, and kids) include flipping houses, buying new books, and going for a nice long run. Stacey and her family reside in the cornfields of Indiana.

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