12 Nov Whose armor are you wearing?
In Ephesians 6:11, the bible says put on the Armor of God. “Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” The armor as outlined includes: truth, peace, faith, salvation and the Word of God and Prayer. Romans 13:12: “The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.” So, how do we put these on? It’s a great visual – easily pictured in my mind. Each day work towards living a life of truth, peace and faith. Spend time in the Word of God and Go to Him in prayer. Make sense to me.
Two years ago we spent 12 days in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; evangelizing of all things (not exactly my comfort-zone). The theme of the mission trip, if there is such a thing, was the armor of God. We had gone with the intent of spending most of the time on the streets of the favelas run by drug traffickers. With Gods unique sense of humor, He moved us to schools and after-school programs talking to kids, mostly about how to not end up as drug traffickers. We had brought with us a toy costume of the armor of God. [now it does beg the question WHY had we brought a kids costume when we anticipated talking to grownup drug lords, but anyway…]
As we spoke to the kids, we went thru the process of putting each piece of armor on one by one. Once they were fully armored, we showed them how their back was still exposed and that is where God stood – He gives you armor to put on and covers your back. And the only way to stay safe in the world they lived in, full of violence, drugs and evil, was to put on the armor of God and ask him to cover you. Seems so simple. But is that the only armor we put on. And if we are wearing a different armor, is there room for God’s armor?
In a message last night by Jeff Moors, he talked about Saul giving David his armor to put on before he went to fight Goliath. David walked around and after a few minutes removed the armor. He wasn’t used to it, it wasn’t his and quite possibly it didn’t fit. But the truth was David didn’t need it, He had Gods armor and God covering him.
Where was this message when I was 20? I spent a lot of years putting on armor that others handed me or that I randomly picked up thinking I should wear it. I let others expectations, opinions, lifestyles and gifting create this weight that I willingly adorned and carried around. I somehow thought that taking on others armor would be the protective covering I needed to succeed, or not be hurt; to prevent damage, mostly emotional, from being inflicted. As long as I was more like this person or that person, has this character trait or skill or looked this way or that, then I’d be ok. I wouldn’t get damaged by this world. But the armor never fit – it was someone else’s. Even today in my “maturity” I’ll occasionally be tempted to pick up someone else’s armor, just to try on for size.
But then I remember, the only armor I need is the one God gives me and asked me to put on, and once on, He provides protection. He covers my back, fights the darkness and fills my soul. Other people’s armor is exactly that – theirs. Mine is mine. And God’s is God’s. Quite simple when you think about it. So are you wearing armor that is not yours? And by wearing it, are you keeping yourself from fully embracing the Armor of God?