The Joy of Socks
I love cute socks! I have socks for almost every holiday, but I haven’t seen a Groundhog’s Day sock yet. I have striped socks, polka-dot socks, Cat socks, dog socks, zebra socks…well’ you get the picture, as I said, I love socks! I mean why wear just plain white socks when you can wear cute colorful socks.
This past December, as I was trying to decide which pair of Christmas socks I would wear that day, I noticed that I didn’t have any socks with the real meaning of Christmas. I had Santa, reindeer, polar bears, penguins, packages, trees, holly, and elves, but no true Christmas socks. And I thought, I need to design and sell Christian socks!
A “zabillion” ideas exploded in my brain at once. I could call the line “Soul Mates” and sell them in Christian bookstores. Some would have the fish symbol or crosses. I could put bible verses on some like, “Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and all thy strength.” I’d put hearts on those for Valentine’s Day. I could make camo socks and put “March on, my soul; be strong!” Judges 5:21 “ I will sing and make music with all my soul.” Ps. Music notes and instruments would be on those. I would make wonderful Easter and Christmas socks, but then I thought, “Would it be sacrilegious to stuff baby Jesus in a smelly tennis shoe?” All my plans came to a screeching halt!
As I sat in my bare feet thinking about that, the Lord brought this scripture to mind, “Stand therefore having… your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;” Ephesians 6:14-15. And that is what led me to write this devotional. Little did I know that this would be used on Memorial Day, it fits so well. See how God works.
Sometime back in the 80’s I lead a Bible study on Ephesians 6 and since then it has become one of my favorite scripture passages.
The Armor of God
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.
Today I want to talk about verse 15, ““Stand therefore having… your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;”. When Paul wrote to the Ephesians he was in prison and very familiar with the footwear of the Roman soldier, on their leather sandals they fastened hobnails to help give them firm footing. Every soldier knows that if he is having problems with his feet, he will not be able to fight well. Likewise, Christians need firm footing that comes from the Gospel of peace to be able to keep their balance while fighting Satan.
The death, burial, resurrection of Christ, and the salvation He offers us is the Gospel of peace that we stand on. That is our firm foundation. We are told to be steadfast, unmovable, and to keep working for the Lord. Now when it comes to serving the Lord, we should always be on the move, flexible and ready to share the Gospel. But we must stand firm in our faith; the Gospel of peace is never changing.
We are all sinners, but the good news is that we don’t have to stay that way. The world needs to know this and we’re supposed to tell them. As Christian soldiers we have our feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace. When we take our stand on the Gospel, God gives us exactly what we need to hold our ground and defeat the enemy. God gives us stability. Unfortunately many Christians today are unstable. Paul said, “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.”Eph.4:14
Unstable Christians are not grounded in the word of God and are easily led astray by faults teachings. A well-grounded understanding of God’s word gives you stability so that your faith may not be shaken. There are a lot of “Tumble weeds” out there, people running from one teaching to another. The church of the “What’s happening now” is on the rise. If you know God’s word, you will know the truth and will be able to stand.
No soldier would ever think of entering the battle without his shoes, they protect his feet and give him stability and mobility. Christians should wear the shoes of peace so that wherever we go we are firmly standing on the gospel. Then when other people try to blow our faith off course, we will have the stability to stand firm.
Not only do the shoes of the Gospel of peace give you stability they also give you balance. A soldier doesn’t just wear one shoe into battle, he wears both. If he didn’t he could easily lose his balance. In order to be balanced, Christians need a thorough understanding of all the Bible’s doctrines, teachings, and commands. We’re not to pick and choose the things we like and ignore the rest. When we are resting firmly on the truths of the Gospel, we will have balance and stability in our Christian lives.
Our shoes also give us mobility. Even the best equipped soldier will likely be killed if he stands in one place to long. He needs to be able to move and respond to the attack of the enemy. One of the problems of many churches today is that they are standing still. One of the things that hinders the work of God today, is the unwillingness of many Christians to change. I’m not talking about changing the Gospel, but to change our tactics. Satan is always changing his approaches and adjusts his tactics, we need to be mobile when we respond to these challenges or we may get trampled underfoot.
When we take our stand on the Gospel of peace, God not only gives us stability, balance, and mobility, but he also gives us opportunity for ministry. When soldiers go to war, they know what their fighting for and as believers we need to keep our goal in mind. Our goal is not to merely stand our ground and fight. We must also move forward and spread the Gospel. If we keep our shoes of peace on continually, we will be ready when the opportunity to witness comes.
We are soldiers of peace and the Devil is our adversary. If you think there is not a war going on for the lives and souls of all mankind, you are misguided. We are at war and the soldier who will be victorious on the battlefield is the one who is stable and balanced, who has good mobility and uses every opportunity to share the good news of the Gospel of peace. Are you that kind of a soldier?