Did you ever have an opportunity to participate in a sport, but weren’t dressed for it? For instance, have you ever tried to play basketball in jeans or flip flops, football in shorts, or gone swimming in your regular clothes? When you aren’t dressed for the event, you are not able to participate at your maximum potential and you’re more likely to get hurt. For a Christian to be ready for the spiritual battles they will face, they must be properly dressed. Too many Christians head out into the world underdressed. They leave themselves open and exposed to Satan’s attacks. We know that we don’t need to fear Satan because we are victorious through Christ. However, we still must be prepared to stand and to fight until Christ blows the final trumpet. Paul instructs us regarding the spiritual outfitting a Christ-follower needs to be ready for battle, comparing it with the protective gear worn by the Roman soldiers.
Scriptures – Gn 3:7; Ps 24:3-4, 119:165; Mt 15:14; Ro 13:14; Ga 3:26-27; Ep 6:10-15; 1 John 4:4
So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. (Ga 3:26-27) 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. 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 form the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. (Ep 6:12-15) Those who love your law have great peace. Nothing causes them to stumble. (Ps 119:165)
God’s armor gives us the power to stand against Satan’s strategies. Paul starts with the belt of truth. The soldier’s belt provided support and stability. God’s belt of truth does the same for us. We live in a culture of relativism—the idea that everything is relative to culture or the situation. There are no absolutes. As Christians we stand on God’s truth; it is absolute. God’s truth keeps us grounded and compels us to maintain integrity in every area of life. Next is the body armor of God’s righteousness. Body armor protects the vital organs, especially the heart. No soldier would go into battle without it. Satan wants to attack our hearts, our emotions, make us vulnerable. God’s righteousness keeps our motives clear and clean. We will make mistakes, but wearing God’s righteousness keeps our hearts pure. No outfit is complete with the proper footwear. Just about every sport and many jobs have their own specially designed shoes, and no one goes into the game/battle without the proper shoes. As a soldier wears boots for protection, support and good traction, a Christian should put on the shoes of peace as part of their protective gear. God’s peace doesn’t mean tranquility and freedom from conflict; it does mean peace in the midst of conflict, troubles and trials. The shoes of peace help us stand steady when conflict is all around. Peace keeps us from reacting to every outside circumstance. Peace helps us stay the course for the long run. Peace comes from loving God’s ways, getting to know him more, growing in faith. Don’t go into battle without suiting up for the fight. God’s armor is available and free!
How have you observed cultural drift when it comes to truth? What trampled truth concerns you most? How does standing on God’s truth make life easier? How does it make life in our culture more difficult? How are truth and righteousness connected? How tightly tied are your shoes of peace? What keeps them snug? What causes you to lose your shoes? What does loving God’s law mean to you? How does it bring peace?
Examine your actions, words and thoughts. Are you allowing culture’s relativism to creep into your life? What steps do you need to take in order to live in God’s truth? If you are not living in God’s peace, why? Pray and read God’s word daily. It is the source of all truth, righteousness and peace.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for providing all of the needed battle gear so that I can be victorious in the midst of trouble and conflict. Keep me close to you; I want your truth, your word and your peace to fill my life. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.