How many people do you know who buy and wear shoes that don’t fit? There are many reasons for this. My late husband confessed to me that as a young adult he bought shoes a size too small because he thought it somehow unfitting for a man to have a big foot. (He only wore a size ten!)
I must admit I have many confessions on selecting the wrong shoes. I used to think one should never buy shoes that felt comfortable because they would stretch with wear and become uncomfortable. For years I walked in shoes that pinched my toes! I recall, at 16, walking barefoot down the streets of Philadelphia with my shoes in hand and blisters on my feet. Did you ever try to wear someone else’s shoes? I remember, as a 12-year old, begging and pleading with my mother to wear her ankle-strap, two-inch-high wedgies on an all-day orchestra and dinner with my sixth grade class. Reluctantly, she agreed. My joy lasted but a short time. My sore feet went without shoes most of that day!
SHOES THAT NEVER WEAR OUT?
Can you imagine a pair of shoes that not only fit and feel comfortable but that don’t wear out for 40 years? If your feet are shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, you have shoes that will never get old. They’ll keep you from slipping and sliding through whatever comes into your WALK of life. The Lord told His people in Deuteronomy 29:5: I have led you forty years in the wilderness; your clothes have not worn out upon you, and your sandals have not worn off your feet. The Lord wants you to wear these symbolic kingdom shoes. They will last forever!
GOOD NEWS! THERE IS A SHOE THAT FITS!
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 (Ephesians 6:15, Amplified).
The word “shod” simply means “having shoes on.” The shoes referred to in this passage of scripture are the military sandals of the Roman private soldiers and centurions. They were made of very strong leather, and the soles were thickly studded with hobnails in order to give a sure footing. Thus Christian soldiers, having the gospel as a sure footing, can stand firmly against the attacks of their spiritual foes.
Michaeis says, “Barefooted was a term of reproach and probably signified a man who had sold everything, a spendthrift and a bankrupt.” The prodigal son certainly fits this description’ When he came back to his father’s house, shoes were put on his feet (Luke 15:2). Obviously, this was symbolic of the son’s departure from his corrupt and perverted ways (barefoot, shoeless). Now he needed preparation to walk firmly in his new life–the shoes would give him “sure footing.”
When the angel came to bust Peter out of prison, he said Gird thyself and bind on thy sandals (Acts 12:8)…Fasten them. Be sure they aren’t just slipped on or they’ll fall off.
Peter had been sleeping in prison, but now he had to get back into the firing line of ministering in the kingdom. He must not slip nor fall. He must prepare for battle knowing that “peace” comes to those who are prepared for any and all circumstances of life.
When you face life’s everyday challenges, it is imperative that you wear shoes that will protect you from gravel, tar, hot pavement, fires, forests, marsh, nasty weather–you name it! You need to have assurance that you will have PEACE as you travel through these various situations. The shoes PREPARE you for peace. You know they will protect you from the thorns and briars; therefore your mind is at peace.
THE KEY WORD IS PREPARATION
The footwear of the Christian soldier is suggested by Isaiah 52:7: How beautiful are the feet of him that brings good tidings…that publishes peace. (See also Romans 10:15.) The gospel of peace is itself “the equipment” which the warrior wears. There is something paradoxical in presenting the warrior in the midst of battle: equipped with the gospel of peace. To establish peace of God in your heart—you must do battle against the spiritual evil which disturbs that peace.
When I was about ten years of age, I desired to go play in my neighbor’s yard because she had made a nice playhouse tent over her fence. My mother said “no;” but I knew she was busy with her baking and probably wouldn’t miss me, so I decided to sneak over to my friend’s house just to take a peek inside her tent. However, I did not prepare ahead. I did not think. I went barefoot and stepped on a tent peg that pierced my foot. Now, not only did I have a bleeding, gaping hole in my foot, I would have to face my mother knowing I had rebelled. I had not PREPARED FOR PEACE!
You don’t go ice skating on roller blades.
You don’t go hiking in sandals.
You don’t play football in house slippers.
Yet, spiritually, you’ve been trying it… getting hurt… blaming God and others.
Everywhere you walk, God has made provision for you to have the “good news of peace.” Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path (Psalm 119:105).
When changing your shoes, be sure you always wear the same brand: the Word of God! Don’t borrow advice or preparation tactics from the world. There is a way which seems right to man but the end thereof is death (Proverbs 14:12, 16:25). Get the scriptural shoe that FITS the situation.
For example, Are you tired? Weary? Rejoice! He gives power to the faint and weary, and to him who has no might, He increases strength–causing it to multiply and making it abound (Isaiah 40:29; 2 Corinthians 12:9). The battle is won or lost in the mind. Just think of Him who endured from sinners such grievous opposition and bitter hostility against Himself–reckon up and consider it all in comparison with your trials–so that you may NOT GROW WEARY or EXHAUSTED, losing heart and relaxing and fainting IN YOUR MINDS (Hebrews 12:1-3, Amplified; Isaiah 40:29-31). This shoe will fit!
Here’s another description of the shoe that fits: And let the peace which comes from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts–deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds … and be thankful, appreciative, giving praise to God always (Colossians 3:15, Amplified). Let the peace of Christ determine your mindset. Don’t let panic rule you. Don’t let hysteria rule you. Don’t let emotions rule you. Don’t let feelings rule you. Don’t let your circumstances determine your state of mind. Let the Word of God dwell in you richly in all wisdom…(Colossians 3:16), and allow what the WORD of God says to determine your state of mind–how you deal with the circumstances you are going through.
ONE APPLICATION OF THE SCRIPTURE:
PREPARING FOR PEACE IN MARRIAGE AFTER STARTING OFF ON THE WRONG FOOT
My husband and I did not consummate our marriage until after our wedding took place, but out of many years of experience in counseling I know that one of the major reasons marriages in the United States are troubled and often end in divorce is due to premarital intimacy. Even people who are believers often fall into the trap. It grieves me to see couples, even in the Christian ministry, who are still bitter about their spouse’s actions toward them before marriage. What a hindrance it is to their work in the kingdom!
If you and your spouse had an intimate relationship before you were married, you need to ask each other and God for forgiveness for allowing it to happen (even if it is now years later). God holds you both accountable for your actions. The consequence of not dealing with this sin openly is that each secretly blames the other. When verbal forgiveness is neither sought nor given, each (perhaps subconsciously) makes the other suffer for it. The idea is conveyed either by words or body language: “Don’t touch me.” “I don’t feel like it now; after all, you got it before you were supposed to so now you’ll just have to do without.” “How can I trust you not to do it again with someone else?” “You think you can be a Christian, a role model, a leader after what you did? I can never respect you.”
Without realizing it, the couple has not prepared for peace but war. And war it is! So what to do now? God’s Word comes to our rescue. The gospel shoes you need are those of “forgiveness.” Jesus taught us to pray to the Father to forgive us our debts (sins, faults, trespasses, shortcomings, wrongdoing) as we forgive others theirs (Matthew 6:12; 18:35; Mark 11:26; James 2:13). You need to sit down together and share your failure to keep under [your] body and bring it into subjection lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway (1 Cor. 9:27). A “castaway” is someone who has experienced God but chosen not to sacrifice self to have a relationship with Him. Ask for forgiveness. Thank each other for asking and receiving that forgiveness. Pray together thanking God for forgiving you as you have forgiven each other (Matt. 6:12). Now it is your responsibility to become useful and helpful and kind to one another, tenderhearted [compassionate, understanding, loving], forgiving one another [readily and freely], as God in Christ forgave you (Ephesians 4:32, Amplified).
Now you are PREPARED for peace! You are able to WALK together having your FEET SHOD with the PREPARATION of the gospel of peace. You can pray for each other without guile or resentment. You can share your failures and successes with each other without hypocrisy knowing you will be loved and accepted. You can encourage one another through all the difficulties of life, against all the enemies that come against you.
This principle of forgiveness works in ALL situations where there has been a break in relationships due to ungodly behavior. What if the other person is not receptive to this scriptural approach to PREPARATION for PEACE? Then your own heart is cleansed and free from guilt because you have asked for forgiveness and extended it to the other.
OTHER LIFE APPLICATIONS? Write to me.
Space does not permit me to give examples of the other symbolic scriptural shoes you must wear to face the enemies of life. Most Bibles have a Concordance or Index in the back that lists where you can find certain words in Scripture. Look up a word that has to do with your circumstance and read all the scriptures listed with it. Ask the Lord to show you how to deal with it so that you may be PREPARED for PEACE.
If you wish to write to me about a situation, I shall do my best to respond with the scriptural approach to dealing with it so you can have peace in your life–even in the midst of the storm. The “peace” that is talked about in scripture is the peace in your heart–down inside you–which no man can take from you no matter what happens. That’s the peace that passes all understanding and keeps your heart and mind in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7). MyPeace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid (John 14:27).
REMEMBER: God’s Word is your PREPARATION for peace. Be certain your feet are WALKING in THE WORD!
(c) C. Yvonne Karl. The Alabaster Box. Vol 14 No 05 & 06. 2000.
IF THE SHOE FITS – MFC WOMEN’S CONFERENCE – 2000
(c) C. Yvonne Karl. The Alabaster Box. Vol 14 No 05 & 06. 2000.
The article above and all three parts below are from the Maranatha Fellowship Women’s Conference in 2000. All are on this website: http://yvonnekarl.com or you can click on the link following each part:
Part 1 – There is a Shoe that Fits (c) Yvonne Karl – https://yvonnekarl.com/2019/06/28/there-…a-shoe-that-fits/
Part 2 – Does the Shoe fit? (c) Virginia Wright; UBP. https://yvonnekarl.com/2019/06/28/does-the-shoe-fit/
Part 3 – If the Shoe Fits – (c) Yvonne Karl – https://yvonnekarl.com/2019/06/28/if-the-shoe-fits/