Thursday, January 24, 2008

Did you put your SHOES on this morning?

This is the day that the Lord has made! I will REJOICE and be glad in it. I hope you will join me in doing so.

I believe that God wants us to walk in PEACE. God's Word gives us direction on how we can do just that. Let me share something that I read from Rick Renner's "Sparkling Gems from the Greek" this morning.

Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Ephesians 6:14,15

If you had seen the shoes of a Roman soldier, you'd have wanted to make sure you didn't fall in front of him or get in his way where he might accidentally step on you. Those weren't normal shoes — they were killer shoes!

Paul refers to these killer shoes in Ephesians 6:15 as he talks about the spiritual weapons God has given to the Church. Just as God has given each believer a sword, He has also clothed every believer with the shoes of peace.

Now, I realize that these shoes may sound like a passive, peaceful part of our spiritual armor. However, these are actually killer shoes, such as those worn by a Roman soldier.

The shoes of a Roman soldier were vicious weapons. They began at the top of the legs near the knees and extended down to the feet. The portions that covered the knees to the feet were called the "greaves." They were made of metal and were specially shaped to wrap around the calves of a soldier's legs. The greaves were uncomfortable but essential for the safekeeping of a soldier's legs.

The shoe itself was made of heavy pieces of leather or metal, tied together with leather straps that were intermingled with bits of metal. The bottoms were manufactured of heavy leather or pieces of metal. The bottom of the shoes were affixed with sharp, dangerous, protruding spikes. These spikes had several purposes, which we will get to in just a moment. In addition, two sharply pointed spikes extended beyond the front of each shoe.

Let me explain to you the reasons for all this gear on a soldier's legs and feet.

Thus, the greaves gave the soldier protection so he could keep walking, regardless of the obstacles he encountered. The metal barriers also gave him defensive protection in those moments when an adversary kicked him in the shins, trying to break his legs. Because the soldier's calves were covered with these greaves, his legs could not be broken and the enemy's attacks were in vain.

When Paul writes about these shoes in Ephesians 6:15, he says, "And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace." Notice that he connects peace with these killer weapons! In just a moment, you'll understand why.

The word "shod" is derived from the word hupodeomai — a compound of the words hupo and deo. The word hupo means under, and deo means to bind. Taken together as one word, it conveys the idea of binding something very tightly on the bottom of one's feet. Therefore, this is not the picture of a loosely fitting shoe but of a shoe that has been tied onto the bottom of the foot extremely tightly.

Just as the greaves of a Roman soldier protected him from the environment and from the blows of his enemy, the peace of God — when it is operating in your life — protects and defends you from the hassles and assaults of the devil. The enemy may try to disrupt you, distract you, and steal your attention by causing negative events to whirl all around you, but his attempts will fail because the peace of God, like a protective greave, stops you from being hurt and enables you to keep marching forward!

Just as those spikes held a Roman soldier securely in place when his enemy tried to push him around, the peace of God will hold you in place when the devil tries to push you around! And as the soldier used those spikes to kick and to kill his opponent, there is no need for you to ever stop moving ahead just because the devil tries to block your path. If he is foolish enough to try to get in front of you, just keep walking! Stomp all along the way! By the time you're finished using your shoes of peace, you won't have much of a devil problem to deal with anymore!

Paul uses this illustration to tell us that we must firmly tie God's peace onto our lives. If we only give peace a loosely fitting position in our lives, it won't be long before the affairs of life knock our peace out of place. Hence, we must bind peace onto our minds and emotions in the same way Roman soldiers made sure to bind their shoes very tightly onto their feet.

But wait — there's one more important point. Paul continued, "And your feet shod with the preparation." The word "preparation" is the Greek word etoimasin, and it presents the idea of readiness or preparation. When used in connection with Roman soldiers, the word etoimasin portrayed men of war who had their shoes tied on very tightly to ensure a firm footing. Once they had the assurance that their shoes were going to stay in place, they were ready to march out onto the battlefield and confront the enemy.

When peace is in place in your life, it gives you the assurance you need to step out in faith and make the moves God is leading you to make. But before you take those steps, you need to be sure His peace is operating in your life. This mighty and powerful piece of your spiritual weaponry is essential because, without it, the devil can try to kick, punch, pull, and distract you. But with that conquering peace firmly tied to your mind and emotions, you will be empowered to keep marching ahead, impervious to the devil's attempts to take you down!

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, I thank You for the peace You have placed in my life. This powerful spiritual weapon protects me from the assaults of life, enabling me to stand fixed, even in the face of the occasional storms that try to blow into my life, my family, my church, my friendships, and my business. How can I ever express how much I need this peace or how grateful I am to You for covering me with this protective shield that fortifies me and makes me strong? When adverse situations arise against me, help me remember to immediately release this divine force to safeguard my life. I pray this in Jesus' name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

1. Have there been some very difficult times in your life when the peace of God protected you from the turmoil that was happening around you?

2. Do you recall how you felt when you were enveloped in this supernatural peace? Think about it.

3. If the devil is trying to shove you around emotionally right now, what can you do to stay in the peace of God?

I love you guys, and pray that you have a PEACE-filled and directed day! Blessings!

Pastor Rusty

Today's "Through the Bible in a Year" reading-January 24, 2008: Leviticus 8:1-10:20

This week's "Hide in your heart" memory verse:

2 Corinthians 6:17 (KJVR) Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.

(MSG) So leave the corruption and compromise; leave it for good," says God. "Don't link up with those who will pollute you. I want you all for myself.



2 comments:

Treasure Seeker said...

What a powerful Word for today! I never knew that about the Roman soldiers shoes!

I was just thinking, that the KJV says "with the preparation of the gospel of peace". That goes right along with your blogs on praying the Word. Again, the gospel of Christ is a weapon we use in our prayer life. The Word prepares us for battle and ensure victory during the battle!

This blog spoke to my spirit!
Thanks!
dorinda

Allison said...

Thank you for your post! I was searching for information about Roman soldiers' shoes for a Sunday School lesson on the Armor of God. I was thinking along the lines that "shoes of peace" doesn't sound very armor-like, but your information with the original meanings was very helpful - I'm going to use it to explain the shoes better to the kids. Thanks again!