Every morning before school I find myself repeating the same things over and over again. We have a morning routine that I've repeated so many times the kids can recite it back to me, which seems odd since I often find them sword fighting with their toothbrushes or arguing over who got to the sock drawer first, instead of following the plan. It's just your average list of jobs to do before school that starts with getting dressed, and ends with getting their shoes on. It takes quite the effort to get to this point every morning, I assure you, but those shoes or boots stomping around in the entry way are my signal that it's time to grab the keys and head for the door.
Shoes are last on the list for a couple of reasons. First, and perhaps the most obvious, we don't wear them in the house. The second reason is also pretty obvious; I don't know of any school in our area that allows you to show up to class barefoot, and I'm not sure I'd send my kids there if that was the case, anyhow. Yikes! The last reason, and the most important one, in my opinion, is because of the season we are in right now. It's often too cold or wet to go without shoes (unless you'd like to risk serious discomfort or even injury if you are out for too long...frostbite, anyone?). Going without shoes can even lead to long term health issues- such as losing a toe or foot, when you live where we do. I think you would agree with me that shoes are pretty important in order to be able to go about your everyday life in these parts.
I've been studying the word peace in the Bible lately, since it's my word for the year, and thought about our whole morning process as I read about the armor of God. As you probably already know, our feet are to be “sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace.” (Eph. 6:15, CSB) while on our spiritual journey. Merriam-Webster defines peace as “a state of tranquility or quiet.” I've often heard our spiritual life described as a battle, but feet of quiet and tranquility? I'm confused.
Read that same verse in the New Living Translation, though, and it starts to make more sense: “Put on the peace of the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.” When we know the truth of God's Word, we are enabled to live a life of tranquility and quiet-- peace, because we know that the lies we are faced with every day simply aren't true.
Now, it's obviously important to me as a parent that my kids are prepared for the physical elements of cold and ice, so it's rather ironic that I so often find myself spiritually barefoot-- slipping and sliding into the lies of Satan-- instead of putting on the shoes of peace that are available to me. Perhaps you find yourself there sometimes, too.
It's often difficult to remember that when Satan tries to cut us down with guilt over past mistakes, we can answer with the truth that says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us...” (I John 1:9). This enables us to dig our heels into the rock of the Gospel and keep fighting. When we are tempted to believe the lie that our flaws are too many and that God can't use us, we can shout with confidence that “I am fearfully and wonderfully made...” (Psalm 139:14), instead of throwing our hands up in defeat.
We don't have to be anxious or fearful when facing the enemy (Satan), because we have access to the peace that comes from knowing and believing the truth; the truth that he doesn't have to win this one, and that in the end he's ultimately going to lose forever. It's imperative, though, that in order to fight well, we must stop to put on our shoes before walking out the door to do battle each day.
Father God, when the lies of Satan begin to creep into my heart and mind today, help me to remember to stop and put on my shoes of peace. Help me to remember that You have given me all of the ammunition I need to fight, and You can enable my feet to stand firm on Your rock of truth when I'm tempted to slip and fall. Thank You for giving me Your word- it is inspired, powerful, and true. Help me not just to read it, but to speak it with my words and my actions. Amen.