Shoes of Preparation – one of the truly hidden gems in our spiritual armor.
1. Daily spiritual preparation defeats satan.
The Roman sandal (caligae) that Paul speaks of in Ephesians 6:14-15 is for standing ground against satan. They are worn in warfare against the enemy, not in marching all over a non-Christian’s beliefs. We spend too much time trying to convince an unbeliever of the “error of his ways”, rather than in standing through personal obedience against the evil one.
“Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil…stand firm therefore” (Ephesians 6:11,14).
2. Daily spiritual preparation protects you from pain.
The sole of the caligae had several thick layers of leather, to keep the foot off the ground. The upper portion was cut from a single piece of leather, which had been well-oiled to hinder deterioration. All the layers were then held together by hobnails, which have been been driven through the bottom of the shoe and then flattened and covered by more leather for inner comfort.
The hobnails gave these sandals their grip, so that the soldiers had firm footing. It also helped to protect the legionnaire against any sharp weapons planted intentionally in the soil by the enemy.
3. Your own spiritual preparation may quite different from that of another believer.
Each pair of caligae were hand-made with a custom fit. Once made, the fit could even be tightened or loosened according to the preference of the wearer.
We should never criticize a fellow believer in their walk. Encourage and admonish, yes (2 Thessalonians 3:15). Criticize, no (2 Corinthians 10:8). We cannot know what it feels like to be in another man’s shoes.
4. Your own spiritual preparation may not look the same as it will in the future.
Even when the legionnaire wasn’t engaged in battle, he might march 5-6 hours a day, covering about 18 miles before making camp. Obviously, their footwear took a beating. A Roman soldier checked his caligae daily and repaired broken hobnails as needed. After about six months of repair, they replaced worn caligae with new ones.
Your Captain may be preparing you through your whining toddler today and through a rebellious teenager tomorrow. Your job is just to keep standing firm in His preparation.
What insights has the Father granted you regarding the shoes of preparation?