Monday, June 22, 2009

The right shoes

…having shod your feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace… - Ephesians 6:15 (RSV)

When he was growing up, my son David took the shoe trophy for the Huey household. He had a pair of shoes for every occasion and activity: baseball, basketball, skateboarding, school, play, work, fishing and hunting. It would have been simpler—and cheaper—if one pair would have worked for all occasions.

His different shoes, however, each had a different job to do and were crafted accordingly. His spiked baseball shoes gave him traction as he ran around the bases or through the grassy outfield. His basketball shoes gave him the ankle and arch support he needed as he ran and jumped on a hard, wooden floor. Sturdy work boots, like hunting boots, gave him support and protection as he tramped over the uneven terrain of the woods in search of firewood or game. The shoes he wore for fishing were made to keep his feet dry, while his hunting boots were insulated to keep his feet warm.

Cold, wet, or aching feet make it hard to concentrate on and complete the job at hand.

I, too, need the right “shoes” for the job God has given me: to take His peace to the world around me (John 14:27, Matthew 28:20, Acts 1:8).

In order to take this peace to others, though, I have to have it first. Where can I find it? Only through Jesus. It is a gift that comes when we receive Him as Savior and make Him Lord of our lives.

“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart,” Jesus says in John 14:27 (NLT). “The peace I give isn’t like the peace the world gives.”

The peace of the world is fragile, mercurial and temporary. The peace that God gives is solid, unchanging and permanent.

We receive God’s peace when we pray, when we takes our concerns to Him and leave them there, when we trust Him and obey what He tells us.

“Do not be anxious about anything,” Paul wrote to the Philippian church when he was imprisoned in Rome, “but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:6-9 NIV).

Only God’s peace gives me the traction, support, warmth and protection I need to run life’s bases and stand my ground against the enemy.

Only when I have God’s Son in my heart do I have the right shoes on my feet and am ready to take that peace to a world that so desperately needs it.

Do you have the right shoes on your feet?

“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace…” (Isaiah 52:7 NIV) Lord, let my feet be beautiful!

Special-Tea: Read Ephesians 6:10-20

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