When God tells us something once, I feel like we should definitely obey. When he tells us the same thing three times in 7 days, read it again. And again and again. So this is where I've been hanging out lately, in Ephesians 6:10-20. I've been really taking a close look at it, trying to decipher what it is God wants me to take away from it.
So let's get dressed with Jesus this morning, shall we?
1. Stand firm with the belt of TRUTH buckled around your waist...
So what do we wear belts for and why do they need to be made of truth? I know it seems silly to think of it so literally but there's actually some interesting symbolism here. Our belt holds our pants up, right? So when we put on our Godly armor, we buckle it all together with truth, and truth holds it up. After all, we don't want to be exposing ourselves here, people. We're putting on our God armor. Buckle that truth belt tightly!
2. with the breastplate of RIGHTEOUSNESS in place...
Righteousness. Morally right or justifiable. Or in its informal definition from good ole' Webster: perfectly wonderful; fine and genuine. I think sometimes "righteousness" is a hard word to swallow in the pride of our flesh. But here God says to put on our breastplate of righteousness... to protect our hearts with righteousness. May our hearts be perfectly wonderful, fine and genuine. Mmm... good stuff.
3. and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of PEACE.
Here we're about to go to battle... our feet are fitted with readiness. I'm imagining the recent FIFA World Cup championship game. Spain and the Netherlands. Lined up against each other, awaiting the whistle, feet ready to go. And as 100 thousand people scream, chant and vuvuzula all around them--peace. God's preparing us for battle, and he wants us to be ready, but he wants us to be ready knowing that we've already won with Him. And so our feet are fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
4. In addition to all of this, take up the shield of FAITH.
Think about the importance of a shield in battle. I don't know how many of you have seen the movie 300, but in the very last battle scene the Spartans create this fortress with their shields, and then out jumps Leonidus to throw his spear. The point here is that a shield will make or break your survival in battle. And as Christians, our shield is our faith. Confidence that what is unseen is real, that what hasn't happened yet will.
5. Take the helmet of SALVATION and the sword of the SPIRIT, which is the word of God.
Salvation: deliverance from sin and its consequences. Let your mind be protected by this! You are free. Let nothing convince you otherwise. And the sword--our weapon, is the Spirit. The living word of God. All of these other things protect us from the enemy, but it's the Spirit that allows us to fight back. Pretty freakin sweet.
And then, in verse 18, it says this: and pray in the Spirit on all occasions. Put on your armor. Be protected. Be in the word and in the Spirit, and fight back. But no matter what, on all occasions, under all circumstances, pray. Prayer is a powerful thing, friends.
I believe God is preparing the way for something big. Lately there's just been a stirring in my heart and soul, and he keeps leading me to this passage, telling me to get ready. It's time to go to battle.
And cue the bridge of Jordin Sparks' Battle Field... "Get your armor... Get your armor!"