Sunday, August 8, 2010

Getting Dressed - August 8, 2010

Ephesians 6:10-18 (New Living Translation)

10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

13 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. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.

As a guy, I often have a hard time getting dressed and picking out the right things to wear. My dear wife is always telling me to change this or that because this or that doesn't match. I think the last time I probably looked pretty good fashion wise was when we were dating over 20 years ago. It's just not something I pay alot of attention to. That's the problem with being a guy; we are always wearing stuff that we love, but it usually is out-of-style and doesn't look very good. Thank God that there is someone in my life that keeps me from being a laughing stock everytime I go in public.

We need to pay attention to how we are "getting dressed" as Christians as well. In Paul's letter to Ephesians, he reminds us that we are in a battle; a spiritual battle that involves more than what we can see. We are constntly battling against evil foes and forces that are bent on our at most destruction, and in the very least our distraction. Nothing is more crippling for the forces of God than an ineffective, ill-equipped believer. We become ineffective in delivering the life-saving message of God's plan of salvation if we are not properly dressed and suitable prepared.

In the passage above, Paul gives instructs us to put on God's armor to keep us prepared and equipped for the battle. He uses the figure of a warrior suited for battle to illustrate how God through His Holy Spirit dresses us for the fight we are to take on. He arms us with His truth wrapped around us, Christ's righteousness as our covering and protection, the peace of the Holy Spirit found in having knowledge of the gospel, a determined faith that shields us from the bombardment of the world's temptations, the salvation message wrapped around our minds so that we will remain focused on God, and the weapon of God's word to beat back any attack that comes against us.

Above all, getting dressed properly for the battles that will come our way, requires us to commit the battle and the outcome to God in prayer. We need to pray in every circumstance and challenge we face, and pray for those that will fight alongside us. As long as take hold of God's "fashion sense", we will overcome whatever comes are way when we step into the public and battle of life.

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