Shoeless Joe Christian

October 19, 2013 — Leave a comment

Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.

Julie curled up on the couch with her hot tea, the steam wafting to the heavens just as her prayers used to. Through swollen eyes, she peered at the morning sun. She pictured her family and friends reaching for their hymnals and singing praises to God.

God.

Where was he? The last few months had beaten her down until she was as limp as the throw rug on the living room floor. Preachers and teachers had instructed her for so many years about the faithfulness of God.

“He’s always there for you.”

“He’ll never leave you.”

“Rely on his strength, and you’ll get through anything.”

Hogwash. It was probably so easy for them to preach. But I bet none of them lost a child. I bet none of them were divorced. I bet none of them could barely make their mortgage payments.

No. No more church for her. She’d served her time. And look where she was now.

***

Roman soldiers pounded hobnails through the soles of their sandals for extra grip and stability. On rough terrain or in the heat of battle, their footwear allowed them to stand firm against the enemy.

The shoes of the preparation of peace are worthless without the rest of the armor. But I believe too many Christians are entering spiritual battles barefoot.

PENTAX Image

They are saved, know truth, understand Scripture, but then fail in application. They stand in churches telling their testimony, singing praises, and reading the Bible, but when the attacks come, they crumble.

Maybe at one time you were Julie. Maybe you are now. Or you know somebody struggling like her.

This story and blog is not an indictment, but an encouragement. The Bible is very clear that in this world we will have trouble. Satan is a roaring lion ready to pounce on anybody that he can devour. Even though God is loving and faithful, we live in a fallen world that will hit us unexpectedly with tragedy, betrayal, and pain.

And if we wait until the battle has started, it’s much too late to try to don our footwear. Our battle shoes must be worn today so when the winds blow and the storm erupts, we can stand. And when we do, the gospel of peace shines through as people stare. During trials that should collapse us, we find the faith and strength to hold firm. Our trust not shaken. Our foundation still strong. Our hope unmoved.

Our God still strong.

Put on the shoes. If a soldier fought with bare feet, he’d surely lose. We have victory through Jesus Christ who has overcome the world. If you are struggling to believe that, pray for faith. Reach out to other believers for help. Stand up, dust yourself off, and be victorious in Jesus Christ.

And, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.

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