In today’s world we all spend time looking at, trying on, and deciding what to wear (shopping). Each outfit is examined for what its appropriateness is according to what its purpose will be. Will this be be for work or school, for digging in the garden, vacationing at the beach, or a mountaintop, etc.?
In the same way God has given us many pieces of clothing to wear as Christians as we prepare for each day. In Ephesians 4 we are told to put off the old self in order to put on the new self (ex: put off falsehood and put on truthfulness, vs. 25). We can think of this as taking off the “grave clothes” of sin and putting on the “grace clothes” of righteousness.
There is a particular outfit of clothing that we have been given to wear for other specific occasions. Ephesians 6 calls it the Armor of God (vs. 10-19). The problem with these clothes is that they just are not as comfortable as some of the others. Yet, we should have them ready to wear at the drop of a hat and feel very comfortable in their use. Think in terms of a fire-fighting squad. Each fire-fighter does not wear the full armor all day. But when the bell rings and the call comes in, they are each practiced and ready to jump into all the pieces and be ready in alarming time. They each well know that without the proper armor, fighting a fire or accomplishing a rescue could turn disastrous. Perhaps inexperience is a picture of why we lose so many of our young people from the church or why our adults rarely take up the stand for Christ in conversations in which they find themselves. Some may even miss the opportunity to lead a family member or friend to Christ.
How comfortable are you in God’s Full Armor? How ready are your parishioners, children and adults, to don the armor and effectively combat the forces around them? Each family, each teacher, each church and each pastoral staff member should be providing the training necessary for facing the foe. Do you remember the various pieces that make up the full armor?
The Belt of Truth., verse 14. Are we clear in our minds and hearts with truth, not given to falsehood and deception? The Breastplate of Righteousness. Our inner-most parts protected by blamelessness in our behavior. Our feet shod with the readiness of the Gospel of Peace. Each one ready to lead another to Christ, having been assured of our own salvation in Christ, secured by His death, burial and resurrection (Helmet of Salvation). The Shield of Faith at the ready position to deflect the lies of Satan and this world. The Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. Understanding science, philosophy, social sciences and all the rest is good. But they should always be in line with God’s Word, the Holy Bible, first and foremost. After all and through all, be sure that you and those God has placed in your care are prayers – real prayer warriors - as we move forward.
The battle is seriously heating up. But the Battle belongs to the Lord. Are we ready? “The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the battle belongs to the LORD.” Proverbs 21:31.
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