Summary: We move on to the shoes and shield, without it we are not prepared for the battle the devil is bringing to our family and community.
The Battle Plan Part 3
The Shield and the Boots.
Continuing with being prepared for battle, we move on to the shield and the boots.
Once the breastplate has been fitted into position, the soldier puts on his strong army boots or caligae. Josephus described them as "shoes thickly studded with sharp nails" (War VI.1.8) so as to ensure a good grip. The military successes both of Alexander the Great and of Julius Caesar were due in large measure to their armies’ being well shod and thus able to undertake long marches at incredible speed over rough terrain.
After putting on the belt and breastplate a soldier would put on these heavily studded boots. These would give him better traction during the march and the battle. Sounds kind of odd to put this piece in for Christian battle. However one verse comes to mind. "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring Good News" (Isaiah 53:7) ISA 52:7 How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, "Your God reigns!"
Last week we started to look at the spiritual battles we all seem to deal with on a daily basis. We are all in the midst of some kind of war with the enemy. Some of us do not even realize the magnitude of the battle.
One of the first things we must know if we are going to be successful in our campaign is we must know our opponent. We need to know where to aim our weapons and from whom and what to defend ourselves from. We have troops who are stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan who are in the line of fire. They are all trained in how to defend themselves and how to subdue the enemy. Each of the soldiers went to basic training before they were sent on to the battle field. During basic training the soldiers were taught discipline and how to unconditionally follow orders along with how to work as a team. These things are very important for the successful completion of the mission on which they were sent to do along with their very survival.
Today in the second of four messages we are going to look at the equipment we have to fight and defend ourselves with. Soldiers are taught what equipment is available for them and how to use that equipment to its maximum potential.
The boots or shoes are another sign of readiness. It is a readiness to go out and bring the Gospel to the entire world. It can mean preparedness; for the term is applied to a ship’s tackling. Part of the Christian soldier’s equipment is his readiness to go out at any moment to announce the Good News to others. In reference to Isaiah 52:7 it may also mean foundation. Either way, we must have it on in order to win the battle. It is the firm footing of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that allows us to battle against the forces of evil in heavenly realms.
Anytime we speak of the feet we are speaking of the believers walk= His Life as witnessed by others and before God. Speaking of those who live the faith life we are said to be followers of the steps of Abraham. (Ro 4:12) 12 And he is also the father of the circumcised who not only are circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.
Someday what a stream of ants stretching between their anthill and a food source. Some will be going to pick up their load, others will be returning to deposit their prize in the recesses of the anthill. The whole process will be very organized, very precise Then ask yourself, “Why are these ants so organized in their task?” The reason is that ants are good followers, each dependent on the ant in front of him to lead him to the food supply. Because each ant follows the other, there is a straight line between the anthill and the food, no wasted energy, no unnecessary detours. This is the way the church should be. Each Christian following Christ as He leads to eternal life.
The feet need to be grounded, secured to a firm foundation. Each foot following in the footprints of Jesus Christ. Each time we take a step, we step where Jesus had stepped. By standing firmly on God’s word there will be no wasted energy, no detours, fixing our eyes forward on Jesus we cannot stray from the food supply (God’s Word) and Home (Heaven).
Living Upstate NY, we were subjected to some very heavy snowfalls. Matt and I would go for walks in the snow. He used to yell to me to take smaller steps, there he was behind me stepping where I had step. He said, “this way I don’t get my boots stuck in the snow.”