Summary: Feet must be fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace
It’s Gotta Be the Shoes!
Beartown Road Alliance Church
July 22nd, 2007
We’re continuing this morning, with our look at the Armor of God. We’re in Ephesians chapter 6 verses 10-18 and today we’re looking at verse 15. We’ve looked at the belt of Truth. This is a life that measures up to God’s standard of Truth. It is the character of integrity. This is what holds the rest of the armor in place and keeps us from tripping over ourselves. Last week we looked at the breastplate of righteousness. This is the character of godliness. It describes our position before God, He looks at us and sees righteousness because of our faith in Jesus. It also has to do with our actions; we are to choose to do what is right. When we understand our position before God and we are living lives that are above reproach, Paul says that our hearts are protected from attack. Satan will not be able to find a crack to exploit or a flaw to expose. So, we’ve got the belt on and the breastplate secured and now Paul says we need the right footwear.
Some of our guys have been pretty busy this last week. The church softball league that we play in wrapped up with a double elimination tournament. We thought we’d do it the hard way so we lost the very first game. Then we started to win a few. Before we knew it, we were in the Championship Game. This is the same team that finished dead last just a year ago. We ended up giving up the winning runs in the last inning and coming in second but we had a lot of fun playing. One of the positions that gets overlooked when you play slow pitch softball is the catcher. Normally, in our league at least, if you have a girl that’s playing, catcher is the place that you put her. Well, I am not the defensive dynamo that I once was, so the girl on our team played outfield and I was the catcher. During the course of the last game, Kurt Reed, who is a great outfielder, had trouble with a line drive that was hit towards him. It had been raining all night and it was wet and slippery and he lost his footing a bit and couldn’t recover to make the catch. When we got back to the bench, someone pointed out that he didn’t have cleats on. He slipped because he couldn’t get any traction with normal shoes. I figured that since I was catching, a relatively non-skilled position, and one that required little or no moving, I would give him my cleats. We switched shoes and a few minutes later it was my turn to bat. I used my massive size and strength, together with my unbelievable hand-eye coordination and hit a dribbler to the third baseman. I took off running as hard as I could. The third baseman made a bad throw; I think it was my blazing speed that made him hurry the throw! I saw the ball go past the first baseman and I turned to head towards second. I was past the base and actually on the grass part of the field. I’m not quite sure how it happened but the next thing I know, I was lying flat on my back. Judging from the obvious sounds of amusement coming from our bench, I don’t think I fell very gracefully. It was all I could do to get up and get back to first base. The next batter, Kurt with my cleats, got a base hit that would have scored me if I had been on second like I should have been. Unfortunately, I had on the wrong shoes and when it came time to dig in and count on the traction they could provide, there was none there and I fell and it could very well have changed the outcome of the game.
In sports, you have a very definite advantage if you’re wearing the right shoes. If you wear cleats on a basketball court, you’ll break your leg. If you wear basketball shoes in a soccer game, those with the right shoes will dribble right around you because you won’t be have any traction to move quickly. There are tennis shoes, track shoes, jogging shoes, soccer shoes, football shoes and you have cleats for turf, grass, rain, dirt, and any other surface you can think of. Any serious athlete will have the right shoes, they give you what you need to succeed and come out on top.
Just like sports, the spiritual war that we’re fighting in requires the right footwear. This is the third part of the armor that Paul describes in this passage.