Armed and ready

The armor of God didn't make much sense to me as a kid; I had a hard time understanding the purpose of it all.  And, what good is head knowledge of God's Word if we can't apply it to our lives?  Over the last few years I've have gained a greater understanding for this armor and an appreciation for wearing it daily.  

A couple of  years ago Ethan became quite intrigued by the armor of God.  I assume it's a boy thing, but his intense interest led him to memorize the whole armor very quickly.  However, it stopped there.  So, for Christmas he received an Armor of God board game.  In this game you draw "battle cards".  Each card has a scenario in which you either received a piece of armor or lose one.  For example, the card reading "you get a brand new Bible for you birthday, but you never bother to read it" also tells you to give back the Sword of the Spirit.  On the other hand, "You are tempted to cheat on your test, but you don't" gets you the Breastplate of Righteousness.  We also thought it was fun to just read the cards and try to guess which armor you would earn from each situation.  

Let's do some grown-up battle cards:

You pray for protection and God's presence throughout a difficult situation.

You are not ashamed to tell non-believing family members why you love to follow Christ.

Your boss asks if you are done with a project.  You are not, but you know it will look good if he thinks you are done and you will be by the end of the day anyway, so you say "yes".

So, you gained your Shield of Faith and Helmet of Salvation, but you lost your Belt of Truth. Now, what does a little kids game really have to do with our reading today?  Because this game made me wonder how many of us really apply the armor of God to our lives.  Can we translate each piece into our everyday living? Let me end with one more story.

My mother-in-law is one of the most patient, loving, compassionate people I've ever met. While I realize some of that is her God-given personality and demeanor, there is much more to this. While sharing with our Thursday morning women's Bible study a year ago, she told us that every morning she put on the armor of God.  Before her feet hit the floor she verbally talks through each piece and lets God know she's ready for the day.  And, if she knows a certain piece of armor could be in greater use that day, she gets specific: "Lord, I fit my feet with peace as I know I will be spending all day with Sue who is a very difficult person" or "I know this meeting will be filled with confrontation and I will need to speak the truth, so I put on the Belt of Truth today Father."  

I suddenly realized why there had been a soldier dressed in the armor of God on the bathroom mirror in my in-law's  bathroom for as long as I had known them.  She can't just recite the pieces of armor, she knows what they are for and puts them on every day so she can use them to follow and fight in the path of Christ. I had gotten a little lazy in strapping on my armor each day.  So, today I will put on this armor before I leave, knowing that without Christ I cannot attain or display Truth or Peace or Righteousness or any of these qualities.  As the battle rages daily both in the Heavens and in this culture on earth, I thank God that He gave us all we need in Him to not just survive, but win!

1 comment:

  1. I've found it helpful to tie it to something I do every morning. I do it while I'm putting on my lotion.
    I start by taking off the old dirty clothes and put on clean, soft underclothes like we're exhorted at the end of ch. 4.
    Then, when I get to the Belt of Truth I found a neat prayer in the book Captivating. "...Thank You for the Belt of Truth. I bind up all that is vulnerable of my femininity. First my need to be pursued and fought for. Thank You for daily pursuing me and fighting for me as well. (How precious are Your thoughts about me O God. They are innumerable. I can't even count them. They outnumber the grains of sand. And when I wake up in the morning You are still with me and You bend down and listen.) I gird up my desire to be irreplaceable in a grand scheme of Yours. You have placed this desire within me and I wrap Your truth around it in hope of what You will do. Please grant me eyes to see each day in light of Your activity; to live in the bigness of Your story. I gird up my desire to offer life through my gifting; the beauty You have bestowed on me. I ask You to reveal and confirm what You desire to do through me and all that you've given to me. I trust that You have called me by name and given me a love, a beauty, a gift to pour out on my family, my friends and those You bring to me. May this day be an offering of love poured out before You on the altar of my life."
    Then, similar to your mother-in-law, I link shields with or pray for the Lord to draw to Himself those I'll be interacting with that day.
    I also take that time to thank Him for some aspects of my new identity in Christ that Paul talks a lot about in the first half of the letter. He chose us, adopted us(1:5-6), loved us and made us holy and blameless(1:4), and the Righteousness of God in Christ.