I heard the Lord say, “I am removing hobbles from your feet. What has been restraining you will now be removed because you have come to understand My heart. You will begin to move unhindered in a new level of freedom. Peace will be your way and Peace will make your way.”
My father was a cowboy – a real one. He moved horses across the deserts of Arizona in the 1930’s. It was still like the Old West in those days. I remember my father explaining equestrian terms to me like halter, stirrup and the strange word, hobble. Dad told me there were times when he could not corral horses in the open desert but would use hobbles instead. A hobble is a strap used to restrict the range of motion of the legs of a horse so it would not travel far. This allowed a cowboy to grab some sleep at night to awake in the morning and find his horses still close by.
When the Lord spoke about removing our spiritual hobbles, I understood this to mean He has been training us to respond to His voice and to recall what we can forget when life demands our attention – a determination to stay close to Him. Once that training is complete greater freedom is granted.
Paul wrote in Ephesians 6:15, “having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace.” Our spiritual footwear – our spiritual horseshoes – is the peace that comes from a purposeful daily connection with the Prince of Peace. We have been given the command to carry His peace into the conflicts of life. We prepare for spiritual conflict by making peace the goal of our warfare. Our battles are won by responding in the opposite spirit to the spirits of hatred, jealousy, and division.
The word “shod” used in Ephesians 6 is translated to mean, “to bind under one’s feet”. The root of that word simply means, “under”. The same word was used in Mark 6 when Jesus sent out His disciples two-by-two giving them authority over evil spirits dressed only in sandals and a tunic carrying only the bare necessities for travel. The use of the word tells us that there needs to be a cushioning layer of peace between our feet and our contact point with culture. Peace gives our message hope and disempowers the judgment will come in times of conflict.
Peace also gives us traction in battle. Without the presence of peace, we will slip and lose our footing. The secure footing this peace provides comes when we enter battle knowing we are complete in Christ, lacking nothing. Until we understand that truth we will remain hobbled in human effort and never experience the full stride of the freedom God has planned.
While Paul did say we were to stand in battle array, no one fights a battle by remaining stationary. Once we are prepared, we stand in full battle attire waiting for the voice of the Commander to direct our steps. When the battle is finally engaged, swords need swinging and shields need to be raised. Warriors must be able to move unhindered in the field of conflict. Peace gives us that freedom.
Don’t remain hobbled in the coming year because you have not yet made the commitment to peace. Peace is not the absence of conflict. In fact, peace can produce conflict, but that conflict is the result of a choice made by those who reject its promise. God removes hobbles when He can trust someone to leave behind hoof prints of one in the soil of culture as evidence that a Spirit-directed stampede of peace has taken place.
Give God permission to do this work of peace in your life and you will run with a newfound freedom through the fields of culture.
“Let the peace of God rule in your hearts.” Colossians 3:15