For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. (Eph 6:15)
Today we will look at the order of the armour and try to sort out why the shoes appear in the order they do. But before we do that I want to share one more story regarding our preparation for sharing the Gospel. Sharing the Gospel is important. It is the very reason for the battle in the first place. Some times we are ill prepared in terms of what to say. Other times we are not ready for fear of what to say or being thought stupid.
This story comes from Auckland NZ and was written up in the Challenge Weekly newspaper years ago. Unfortunately this is from memory. I thought I had the story on file but it seems I have lost it.
A woman was going to church service in Auckland for only the second time in her Christian life. The reason was she had been saved the week before. The second sermon she heard was all about the challenge to share our faith. She felt convicted when she heard some of you have not shared your faith yet. Here she is barely a week old and feeling convicted about not sharing her faith with others. So she thought, "Ok Lord, I came by bus and so when I go home by bus I will share my faith with the person I sit next to. But when she got on the bus she was the only person apart from the drive on it. She was convinced that God was not pleased and so didn’t put anyone on the bus because she had not shared her faith anytime since she had been a Christian (all of a little over a week). Then she decided, "Ok Lord I will share my faith with someone at home." But she realized that if there was someone at home it would have to be a burglar because she lived alone. That made her fearful when she got home thinking there might be someone there. But there wasn't.
While she sat down in the kitchen feeling sorry for herself and wondering what sort of Christian was she when she hadn't "witnessed" to anyone since she had become a Christian, she saw the telephone. She thought Lord I can call someone, but then I don't know who to call. I know I will get the phone book and I will open it at random and l will call the first number I see. But then she wondered what she would say to the complete stranger on the other end of the phone. As she pondered what to say she thought of what the pastor had said in his sermon about the essence of the gospel. She remembered a lot of what he said and even remembered the chorus of the closing song that had sung, Just As I Am. "Oh Lamb of God, without one plea; Just as I am I come to thee; Oh Lamb of God I come, I come." She opened the telephone book and stabbed her finger at the page to see who to call. Then she dialed the number. A gruff male voice impatiently announced, "Yeah, what do you want?" All plans went out of her head. There was a moments pause where she said nothing. Then she said in her heart to the Lord, what do I say. The only thing she could think of was the song, so she sang it.
There was silence on the end phone. When she finished all she knew to sing the male voice said "Sing it again." So she did. At the end of the second time through the male voice had been replaced by a female voice which said "Sing it again Dear." The story behind the story was that of an older couple who had reached the end of their ability to struggle against the odds. They were overwhelmed with debts, problems and the feeling that no one loved them. They had made an agreement together to end their lives. They were sitting at the kitchen table with two glasses over rat poison before them ready to drink it and end their lives when the phone rang.
Just be prepared to offer God what little you have in the way of gifts and abilities and let Him use you. It doesn’t matter how "young you are in the Lord". He can still use you and orchestrate your efforts to the fullest good.
Why does Paul sandwich the shoes in between the belt and breastplate and the shield and helmet?
Is there an order to the armour and why?
There are all sorts of theories or suggestions that people have made about the order of these pieces of armour. Why do you think the pieces of armour are arranged as they are? The order we have as Paul wrote it is:
The Belt of Truth
The Breastplate of Righteousness
The Shoes of the Gospel of Peace
The Shield of Faith
The Helmet of Salvation
The Sword of the Spirit (which is the Word of God)
I don’t think it is as big a deal or as complicated as the commentators and experts make it out to be. To me it seems obvious. I think the order is the order in which the armour was put on. I have told you already that the belt was first item to put on because it anchored the breastplate and other items. Then Paul mentions the shoes third but that is not problematic because what follows the shoes are accessories. They are the added armament. I imagine the soldier would put on the armour he wore and then lastly put on his shoes. Once his shoes were on he would take up his other items, picking up the shield, putting the helmet on his head and then finally picking up his sword. Simple really. At least that is my take on it. If you have another theory tell me about it.
Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about
Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
If we could spread good news as fast as we can bad news, we’d all be in pretty good shape. Joyce Meyer