6th February 2012
How Good Are Your Soles?
“Put on the full armour of God…and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.”
Ephesians 6:11, 15 (NIV UK)
We are in the throes of a bitterly cold spell with snow and ice countrywide. The daily life of the nation has been disrupted. We are given well-meaning advice from experts in the media about what to carry in our cars in the event of an emergency. They tell us to don sensible footwear with good soles to give grip and traction on the ice. Even with stout shoes or boots people tread warily on the treacherous pavements.
My mind played with the phrase ‘soles with a good grip’ and it caused me to think about my spiritual soul. Would I fall spiritually? There was a time when I worried about my soul and whether I had a good grip on it. On a daily basis I asked myself have I done enough to keep my soul? How many good deeds does it take to warrant salvation? How many wrong thoughts or actions would deny me eternal life? Did I have a good grasp of my soul on the slippery path of life, I wondered?
By God’s grace, and that alone, I have come to understand that I cannot trust the grip I have on my soul. In Isaiah 64:6, the prophet describes my ‘righteousness’—“All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.” On that basis there is nothing I can do to earn my salvation—I therefore have no grip on my soul. At first the thought is alarming, until we read the Apostle Paul’s re-assurance when he quotes King David in Acts 2:27, “…because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay.” In Psalm 18:2, King David recognises Jesus Christ as his deliverer—the “horn of my salvation.”
As Christians, we ought to be mightily relieved that salvation is a gift from God and not down to anything we do. Christians also know that this is not a licence for anything other than focussing on The One who has already given us salvation—Jesus Christ. Christ needs to be at the centre of everything we do and think. John 6:57 says, “Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me.” Paul’s recommendation for our spiritual feet is to be “fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace” (Ephesians 6:15). Since Christ is the Prince of Peace, we must walk in his shoes and spread the joy of his love by showing his love to all we meet.
We are shod with spiritual boots, giving us a perfect grip, so we can tell the world about a more excellent way (John 14:6). Soon the harsh winters of this life, in both physical and spiritual terms, will be gone. Paul says in Romans 8:18, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Be encouraged, Christ has us firmly in His grip and we can walk secure in that confidence.
Thank you, Father, for our Saviour who has redeemed us from our sins. Thank you also for equipping us with what we need to accomplish your will. May all we do and think be to your everlasting glory.
Study by Irene Wilson