I will never forget the embarrassment I felt one Sunday morning as we settled into “our pew” preparing for worship service. I glanced down, only to discover I was wearing one navy shoe and one black shoe. It was undeniably a noticeable mismatch. Since service had already begun, it was too late to run home to change shoes. I nudged my husband and pointed out my high-heeled blunder to him, to which he replied, “So … which one of the kids dressed you this morning?”
Why is it that it seems we are more concerned about our physical garments than we are our spiritual garments? Perhaps we either are not aware that we even have spiritual garments, or else we do not recognize the magnitude of their importance. Maybe we simply fail to understand that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places (Eph. 6:12)
The Apostle Paul employed the knowledge he gained throughout his frequent incarcerations in structuring what is known as the “armor of God” passage. The armor and weaponry of the Roman soldier was the perfect example of what is necessary for spiritual warfare, both defensive and offensive. If anyone had an up close and personal examination of Roman armor, it was Paul.
Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil … Therefore, take up the full armor of God that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Eph. 6:10-13
The scripture continues in verses 14–17, entreating us to “Stand firm then, having girded your loins with truth” (Eph. 6:14). The belt was the first item the soldier put on and one of the most important pieces of armor, as it held everything together.
Applying the truth of God’s Word at the start of each day securely fastens us with power of the word of God.
“And having put on the breastplate of righteousness… ” (Eph. 6:14). The breastplate was designed to protect the heart of the soldier. The Bible declares that the heart of man is prone to temptation (Matt. 26:41). Righteousness defends against the strategies of the devil.
“And having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace … ” (Eph. 6:15). Peace helps us to stand firmly planted on the word of God while steadying and protecting us in our daily walk through life’s often-treacherous places. “He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, and makes me walk on my high places” (Hab. 3:19).
“In addition to all, taking up the shield of faith, by which we can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one … ” (Eph. 6:16). Faith comes by hearing the word of God. Knowing the Bible and the God of the Bible gives us greater faith in trusting God as our protector.
“And take the helmet of salvation … ” (Eph. 6:17). Satan attacks the mind more than any other area, attempting to cause doubt in the assurance of our salvation. Immersing ourselves in God’s Word as well as prayer brings a clear and discerning mind.
“And the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph. 6:17). The sword of the spirit is the word of God. There is authority and power in the word of God. No weapon of the enemy can stand against it.
To neglect one piece of armor makes us more vulnerable to the attacks of the enemy and reduces our capacity to fully serve God. We find ourselves rationalizing our lack of preparation, making excuses, planning diversions, or perhaps even neglecting or abandoning our spiritual position altogether. Our focus will be on concealing our weakness rather than on God’s call for our lives. Being “fully dressed” spiritually frees us up to fully do what God has called us to do.
So … who dressed you this morning?
Father, it is good for us to be dressed and equipped not only for battle, but for the peaceful days as well, for that is the time we can become most complacent. Your Word also reminds us that our battle is not against man, but against rulers and powers of darkness and against the spiritual forces of wickedness in high places revealed through the actions of man on earth. Grant us discernment in all our circumstances. We rejoice greatly as a child of God that You clothe us in the robe of righteousness, which is Christ Jesus. Great is our God and worthy of all our praise!