Read His Words Before Ours!
At the first glimmers of spring, my toes begin to long for the freedom of my summer sandals. All winter long they have been safely guarded by the socks and shoes the cold temperatures my Midwest climate require. The hope of warmer days to come reminds me it’s time to prepare for the adventures that await.
You see, I have summer feet and winter feet. During the winter months, color does not grace my toes and tan lines from my sandals fade away. I fully admit to forgetting about my feet somewhat in the winter other than ensuring they stay warm and dry.
But in the summer, I prepare for them to be seen.
I prepare for them to carry me to both new and beloved old places. I intentionally select the color I paint my toenails (does anyone else pick the color based on the name of the color? No, just me. Noted.) and consistently apply lotion to moisturize my feet.
As I ponder the reality of my investment in summer feet, I am convicted about the level of investment I place in my spiritual feet as well. In Ephesians 6, the Armor of God is listed as head to toe wisdom for living our daily lives with the Lord. A true warrior would never approach a battle ill-prepared and un-protected, so why do I so willingly walk out my days without seeking the presence and protection of the Lord?
NIV: “and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.”
NASB: “and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace.”
AMPC: “and having shod your feet in preparation [to face the enemy with the firm-footed stability, the promptness, and the readiness produced by the good news] of the Gospel of peace.”
CSB: “and your feet sandaled with the readiness for the gospel of peace.”
KJV: “and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.”
As I looked at all the versions, two consistent things (besides the obvious element of feet) stood out to me: shod and preparation related to gospel of peace.
Shod speaks to the reality that we absolutely must put on this piece of the armor. Think back to the last time you went shoe shopping. You didn’t simply look at the shoes and assumed they fit. Pairs were tried on and steps were taken. You put them on with intentionality, looking for a fit that would support you in the manner required for whatever setting you wore them.
So it is with the preparation of the Gospel of peace. Jesus came to save all who were lost and He did so by way of the cross. He took our sin and, in place of its shame and weight, traded us His blameless righteousness. He came to bring us peace with the Lord.
He is our Prince of Peace.
Through His sacrifice, we are invited to become partakers of the gospel and allow Him to shape us to become more like Christ. The Holy Spirit dwelling within us produces fruit (Galatians 5:22-23), especially when we actively submit our will to the Holy Spirit, allowing Him to grow it within us. This fruit enables us to live this life for His glory and with His joy. It is through our relationship with the triune God we are prepared to take the gospel of peace to those around us. It is through that relationship we are prepared to face everything that comes our way.
My mind drifts to the last time I had a professional pedicure. How I loved the feeling of soaking my feet in the warm water and feeling the water bubbling around my toes. The heat and moisture prepared my feet for their beautification. The pumice stone removed the rough edges of my heels, and the nail polish brought a pop of color to my toes. My feet were summer ready and prepared to journey through the coming months.
As delightful as that sounds to experience right now, I am more drawn to spending time with the Lord in order to prepare my spiritual feet.
Lord, would you soften my heart to hear Your voice?
Would you use the truth of Your Word to remove the rough edges still so evident in my life? Would you breathe upon the fruit of the Spirit within me to add beauty that draws others to You?
Today I’m choosing to shod my feet with the preparation of Your gospel of peace.
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!