Why Do We Need Shoes in God’s Armor

How sure of you of your footing?

It’s something we often don’t even consider until we’ve landed flat on our backsides.

I’ve been doing a new exercise regimen – and one fascinating aspect has been the early emphasis on my feet.

Workouts are done barefoot with great focus on the connection between my feet and the floor. Poor footing, apparently, can throw off the entire alignment of the body, causing pain in seemingly unrelated places.

My husband has neuropathy in his feet. He suffers greatly from not being able to sense the connection between his feet and the ground. He has to think overtime about walking and moving.

My nine-month-old grandson is gaining his first footing. We call him “Thumper” because he likes to tap a few times with one foot before he sets it firmly down as if he’s testing what’s beneath it.

When I studied karate (also done barefoot) we’d spend entire classes on our stances, position of our feet, and balance. The solid foundation of our feet and stance made us more stable to both dodge blows of an attacker and more mobile to reposition when needed.

This is all to say, that when God provides shoes with our spiritual armor, we can believe they are essential the defense and mobility of our entire spiritual body as well as the Body of Christ.

In Ephesians 6, Paul describes the spiritual battle we wage as well as the armor required to stand against the enemy’s schemes. Paul calls us to stand firm. But how do we stand when we face a barrage of spiritual assault or when the world slips about beneath us?

“Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,  and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.” Ephesians 6:14-15 ESV

I’ve always wrestled with understanding these shoes. Truth is clear. Righteousness, I have from Christ. But, how does the gospel provide readiness that makes for good footing?

The shoes of a soldier in Biblical times were leather sandals, hobnailed on the soles, to dig in and secure the soldier. Because my grandson isn’t confident yet of his footing, he’s always grasping at things – and sometimes those things aren’t secure. We are also prone to grasping at the wrong things if we don’t stand in the shoes God provides.

The greatest barrier to the kingdom in our times is not the unbelief of those who don’t know Jesus, but the unbelief of believers and it often shows up in our footing. This is why we must always return to and be sure of the gospel.

Modern Christians are barraged with “other gospels.” Modified gospels, twisted gospels, gospels with a little something added, distorted gospels, and deceptive gospels that are no gospel at all.

This is nothing new. Paul wrote about it in 2 Corinthians 11:3-4 ESV “But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.  For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.”

These false gospels erode our confidence in the true gospel, they undermine our footing, and we become slip-shod in our obedience, our witness, and in our devotion.

When our spiritual footing is unsure, we hesitate when we should act, we remain silent when we should speak, and we are subject to being knocked on our keesters in the spiritual battle.

Here is the gospel, that God, through Jesus Christ, created the world and all that is in it.

He made men and women and placed us in a garden designed for us. We were tempted to sin by Satan, and we fell prey to this temptation. Now, we all sin. No one is righteous. All are deserving of death – eternal separation from God.

But God, in His mercy, did not leave us in our sin. He provided a way of redemption – His Son, Jesus Christ.

God sent His Son into the world, born of a virgin, to live a sinless life, to die on the cross in our place as payment for our sins, and then to rise again, victorious over sin and death. All who place their faith in Jesus Christ receive redemption from their sins and the promise of eternal life. We are saved by grace, not by anything we have done, but by grace alone, that none should boast.

See what perfect shoes this gospel makes? They ground us on the work of Jesus Christ. They secure us with humility, truth, and the evidence of God’s love for us. They give us the mobility that comes from being free from fear because we have eternal forgiveness and life. They give us Christ-centered confidence to speak, to serve, to stand in battle, and to tell others about the kingdom of God.

This gospel is one of reconciliation and peace. Jesus reconciled us with God. Having been adopted by God as sons and daughters, He forged our unity with one another that we are called to claim and maintain. And, we are even to love our enemies and, as far as it is up to us, to be at peace with them.

When we stand in these shoes, we can stand against the attacks of the enemy and continue the work even as Satan attempts to thwart it.

Has your life fallen out of alignment? Are you grasping at the wrong things? Are you immobile and fearful in ministry? Does the ground beneath you feel as if it’s shifting sand?

Revisit your footing. Put on the shoes of the true gospel of Jesus Christ. Then, stand firm, in His name.

You’re invited to join me for a special Courage and Confidence Retreat in New Hampshire the last weekend in October! Just CLICK HERE for registration details PLEASE join us, I would love to see you and share some conversation around a campfire. I’ll see you at Singing Hills!

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    The Conversation

  1. Ruby Lorraine Hillier says:

    Praying for your health and your husband’s . Thank you for this study -very helpful. I remember in school having to walk with a book on our head to improve posture and told to sit up straight. They cared that we be healthy – And wearing good shoes is another good lesson. And ‘be careful little feet where you’ go we sang in Sunday school. Feet carry us places -Blessings -Ruby

  2. Maureen says:

    Yes! Thank you for this! I’d say those are “shoes” that I can walk in!

  3. Paul Taylor says:

    It’s nice when you can leave the world behind, settle down and read some truth. When that happens you are blessed and at peace. Thank you for who you are and what you write. God bless and keep you.

  4. Sherry Carter says:

    You are so right, Lori. I struggle with a serious balance problem and, in the first few weeks of physical therapy, we focused entirely of the strength of my bare feet and ankles. The exercise regimen I do most days maintains the strength of my feet.

    God is our strong foudation but, without feet or shoes that can maintain our balance, we are knocked around by every strange wind. To stand strong in my faith, I need God’s shoes.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Loved this. I use to hate not having shoes on. Then my arthritis in my right knee got really bad and I was encouraged to walk without shoes as much as possible as it is less stressful on the bad joint. Broken down shoes make it worse and it was not until removing my shoes to be barefoot did I discover the difference. The same in our spiritual walk. If we are not grounded in God our footing is poor but in this case we need those spiritual shoes on to be included in the armor of God. Without those spiritual shoes we are left unprotected. Great message 🙂

  6. Susan Osten says:

    Thank you for this teaching. I’ve always, wondered about the shoes in the Armor of God.

  7. Mark says:

    Excellent thought, Lori!

    For forty years, I had considered this verse as a reference to Christ’s Great Commission and “your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace” as indicating that we are to take His Gospel everywhere. But I can see it’s equal applicability for when we must not “go” WITH it but also sometimes “stand firm” IN it.

    Maybe that’s why we got TWO feet, huh!