God's Armor, Not Ours - Part 4 (Shoes of Peace)
Shoes, most of us wear them daily to traverse our world to and fro. There are so many variations now-a-days, trying to keep up is a challenge. We have athletic shoes, dress shoes, work shoes, casual shoes, things called flip-flops, sandals and boots.
When Paul mentioned the shoes of peace in Ephesians, he was looking at the shoes of a Roman soldier. These shoes were sandal-like at first glance but had an additional feature about them.
The Roman soldiers marching to war would make a loud sound when approaching their enemy. This was not just due to their shear huge number of troops, but what was on the bottom of their shoes. The shoes of Roman soldiers had knobs, spikes or ancient cleats that they used not only to get a grip on their terrain but also to "keep the peace" if the case warranted.
This visual image aligns with the Christian's life by remembering the earlier stated perception in Ephesians 6:12 that life is not only a physical and mental challenge, but a spiritual struggle also. Scripture supports this by speaking of the very spiritual mission of Christ - "The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work." (1 John 3:8). Christ did that through His death on the Cross and victory from death, Hell and the grave.
However, Paul informs us that God now spiritually equips His own family with spiked-shoes that are meant to control and defeat the enemy, while establishing peace.
Jesus said in His sermon on the mount - "Blessed [happy] are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God." (Matt. 5:9) Peacemaker here, according to the original Greek word eirenopoios (i-ray-nop-oy-os) is a term that refers to actively promoting and making the peace. In keeping with the soldier imagery, everyone, especially Christians, acting as peacemakers should always try to exhaust every effort to diffuse a situation peacefully before resorting to firmer measures. Keeping the peace is everybody's responsibility.
However, peacemakers "will be called children of God". The original Greek word for "children" here, uihos (hwee-os) means offspring or kin. So, in essence, one of the ways unbelievers can tell if you are part of the family of God, a Christian - is to be a peacemaker, an active seeker of peace.
One of the many marvelous names of God found in Isaiah 9:6 is "Prince of Peace." When the Christian has lost their composure or calmness in this world, he/she can regain both by having quality time with the Prince of Peace. Perspective, strength, restoration, rejuvenation and the like are found in His presence of peace. With this regular meeting with The Prince of Peace, believers in Christ can go forth and wear effectively The Shoes of Peace.
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