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 (see February 22), 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. First, the greaves — the metal that covered the Roman soldier’s legs from his knees to the top of his feet — were designed to protect the soldier’s calves when he was required to march through rocky and thorny terrain. If he’d had no protection on his legs, he would have surely been gashed and cut by the environment.
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.
Now let’s talk about the spikes on the bottom of the soldier’s shoes. These were intended to hold him “in place” when in battle. His opponent might try to push him around, but the spikes on the bottom of his shoes helped keep him in his place, making the soldier virtually immovable. Additionally, those spikes on the bottom and front of the shoes served as weapons of brutality and murder. One good kick with those shoes, and an enemy would be dead. Just a few seconds of stomping on a fallen adversary would have eradicated that foe forever!
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 (see January 1 to read more about the supernatural peace of God). 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!
My Confession for Today
I confess that God’s peace rules my mind and emotions, protecting me from the ups and downs of life. When storms are trying to rage against me and situations are hostile toward me, God’s peace covers and safeguards me from all harm. Because divine peace is operating in me, I am not easily moved, quickly shaken, or terrified by any events that occur around about me. This mighty and powerful piece of spiritual weaponry is mine to use day and night. Therefore, although the devil may try to kick, punch, pull, and distract me, that conquering peace empowers me to keep marching ahead, oblivious to the devil’s attempts to take me down!
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
Questions to Answer
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?