Each morning, we choose what to pull out of the closet and wear. One of the deciding factors is usually what we have to do that day. Spending a day working in the garden requires different clothing than spending a day shopping (or at least I hope so). The weather also plays a factor, because the environment we will be spending our time in will effect us as well.
Similarly, I have days that are going to require me to stand a little stronger in my faith than others just because of what I have on my agenda. Will I spend most of the day doing things I love to do and with people that I love, or will it be one of those days when I have to deal with situations that challenge me and people that might just rain on my parade?
What am I going to wear so that I can live a decent life for all to see?
In Ephesians 6:13-17, Paul tells us how to suit up and get ready for any day, any challenge, any temptation. “Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Let’s look at this piece by piece.
The Belt of Truth:
We might choose to wear a belt to cinch our waist or because we think it’s cute, but the practical use for a belt is to keep our pants up in order to avoid embarrassment or tugging at them all day. Similarly, putting on the belt of truth can keep us from being embarrassed or letting negative thoughts tug at us all day. When negative thoughts start to creep in, take that thought captive. If it’s a lie, recognize it as such, remind yourself what the truth really is and then make the lie bow down to the truth. When those thoughts start, cinch up that belt, take a moment and ask God to send you clarity about the truth of the situation. It can help hold you up.
The Breastplate of Righteousness:
Choosing a top or sweater is an important decision because a lot of times it’s the first thing people notice. God’s righteousness is what we want people to notice about us, isn’t it? So, let’s put it on every day. Being righteous doesn’t mean that you’re better than anyone else, it means that you keep your morals and virtues consistent with what God wants.
The Sandals of Peace:
Who doesn’t love shoes? Sometimes, they make or break an outfit. When you find yourself dealing with challenging people or situations, remember that you are wearing shoes of peace and try to make sure that they complement your lifestyle. Following Christ requires sacrifice. In some cases, that means keeping your thoughts to yourself or even swallowing your pride in order to keep peace in a situation. Is it any wonder that shoes wear out quicker than any other article of clothing?
The Helmet of Salvation:
Wearing hats isn’t a popular trend in today’s society, but this figurative helmet can be the most important part of suiting up every day. You see, we have an enemy and he wants to get in our heads and tell us that we aren’t good enough, that we don’t deserve God’s love, that we should just give up. Protecting your head with the knowledge that you are saved by God’s grace and the sacrifice of His son is crucial to successfully living a Christian life. By the way, you aren’t good enough, and neither am I, but He loves us and saved us anyway!
The Shield of Faith:
Wearing a jacket or coat can shield you from the rain or from frigid weather. Wearing sunscreen as a shield from the sun protects you from harm too. Putting on your shield of faith can protect you from situations that just keep coming. Sometimes, it feels like the rain just won’t stop, or you’re going to burn up from the heat. Whether you’re in a situation that is burning hot with emotion or the environment is a bit chilly, don’t stop believing the truth. Eventually, this bad situation will end and goodness will return.
The Sword of the Spirit:
Handbags are important pieces in a wardrobe. Carrying one allows you to have whatever you need in one place, right at your disposal. The Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. It has whatever you need to hear, know, and remember right at your disposal. Pick up that Bible and read it. Choose a life verse that speaks to you and memorize it. Repeat it over and over and over…..You will be blessed.
Passages to Ponder:
Romans 13:14- Instead, clothe yourselves with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires.
2 Corinthians 10:4- We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments.
Contributors: Karen Bromby and Kim McClure