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Keep Your Shoes On

Earlier this week, I was running a quick errand. My goal was to pop in the store for one thing and get back to the house before my husband needed to leave for the office. I parked, hopped out, and walked around the car to get our youngest out of his car seat. 

As I open the door, I see his socks and shoes flung all over the backseat and a huge grin on his adorable 2-year-old face. My “quick errand” hit a speed bump while I stopped to put his socks and shoes back on before continuing on our errand. Callum’s newfound ability to take off his shoes means that wherever we are- little league games, at the park, in a restaurant, or in the car- if he’s sitting for more than a few minutes, his shoes are coming off. It’s a frustrating habit for a parent responsible for executing the day’s itinerary, so when I saw his shoes off AGAIN that morning, God took the opportunity to speak to me “keep your shoes on”. 

I remembered the passage in Ephesians 6 where the Armor of God is described and how it urges us to “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” (verses 14 and 15). 

“Your feet fitted”… if you dig into these words in context, you’ll find a picture of affixing something by wrapping and tying it to the feet. Shoes of the day would’ve been bound to the feet to secure them. When we’re fitting our feet with God’s style shoes, we’re wrapping ourselves in His good news. It’s a repetitive action. Over and over and over remembrance of His Words, promises, and testimonies that affix to our feet the gospel of peace. 

The “gospel”- or “euaggelion” in the Greek- would’ve been known at the time as a proclamation of a new ruler who was declaring to the people of the land that He had defeated the previous rulers and that they were now under His Kingdom. Our news is the same… that through Jesus every other principality and power has been defeated, and, as Jesus taught us, we can pray for Kingdom of Heaven realities to be brought to earth. Our gospel is the Kingdom of God being at hand. That is the reality that we walk in and walk on as we put on our “shoes”.

Because of this gospel we have “peace”, and this peace is so much more than a good feeling. This peace, or eirḗnē is from eirō, which, according to Strong’s concordance, means “tie together into a whole…i.e. when all essential parts are joined together”. God reminded me that that is often how we “take off” our shoes of peace. We view some pieces… maybe our circumstances or the attacks against us… but we don’t view them in light of the whole picture that includes the gospel of God’s Kingdom having overcome. 

This word for peace can also mean “a state of national tranquility; exemption from the rage and havoc of war”. How would we walk differently if we put on a peace that recognizes that because of Jesus, we are exempt from the havoc of war? We may still be walking through it, but He has already overcome it, so we walk in the peace of the exemptions He paid for. 

This “peace” word also refers to “peace between individuals”. This part reminded me of a day a few weeks ago when I came to pick up Callum from Mother’s Day Out. The teacher told me that they had trouble with him wanting to “help” by taking off everyone’s shoes. She was laughing as she told me, but as funny as that problem is, it’s a real problem! Teaching a class of two-year-olds is hard enough- especially when you are having to stop and re-shoe everyone multiple times. God reminded me that there are times when someone else is trying to take off our shoes. They may even be trying to help, but what they’re speaking is not focused on God’s good news or His peace. Sometimes the person trying to “take off others’ shoes” is us! The great news is that the shoes of gospel of peace are freely given to us all, and we alone make the choice to receive them or take them off. And just like in a class of two-year-olds, if one person puts on their shoes, it inspires another after another to want to do the same.

This word “peace” is also defined as “quietness” and “rest”. Often when we think of “readiness”, it seems like we should be doing something to get ready. Rest and quietness seem the opposite of ready. But when we relax into the Lord’s safety and get quiet enough to hear Him, we are more ready than all the preparing we could do by our own wisdom or effort. 

There is an invitation to keep your shoes on. Often we can, like our son, take off our “shoes” of God’s peace for various reasons. We’re overwhelmed by a problem and feel like we can’t be at peace, we think we can do it by our effort, or we feel unworthy of the peace we’re given to walk in, we can be tempted to take off our shoes. When my son takes off his shoes at inopportune times, it doesn’t change my plans for Him. It does require the redirection of stopping to put our shoes back on before we continue. In the same way, whatever tempts you to take off your peace doesn’t negate God’s plans for you or His love for you, but the faster we can put those shoes of the gospel back on, the faster we are back on track with where the Spirit is moving us next. 

Whether you are in a season where you are feeling the tension of spiritual warfare or a season of peace in which the Lord is teaching you more about abiding in Him, there is an invitation to see our place in the WHOLENESS of the view of the Kingdom. To live in such a way that our peace of the Lord and His good news for us is the buffer we walk on between us and any circumstances. Let’s ask the Lord in our seasons: What good news do you want to remind me of that will bind my peace shoes on today?

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Amen & Amen! Beautifully written - and simultaneously convicting & encouraging. Thank you!!

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