We are soft and squishy. The artisans of war and conflict have known this for centuries. We tend to bleed easily. And so it became necessary to cover ourselves, first with clothing, leather and so forth, and then with more sturdy materials, like tin, bronze and iron. Today there is steel, Kevlar and carbon-fiber meshes. But the game and the purpose is still the same, to protect the softness and vulnerability that is our flesh.

So how does this translate into the spiritual realm? Does this mean that our souls are also soft and squishy, and that they too can be pierced? The armor we are called to wear was forged by no man. It is the armor of God. God is both smith and bearer of this armor, and He offers it to us for our protection, for we are His children, and His soldiers. We bear His armor. We march for Him.

But this armor, if you notice, is not for marching. It is for standing. This armor becomes for us an edifice, a fortress of refuge that protects us from the darts of the devil. This armor is composed not of steel and leather, but of faith, truth, and the gospel. Our very fragile soul is protected by the truth that has saved us. So that the true weapons of the enemy are falsehood and deceit. Hmmm.

Something to think about on this Sunday morning. God bless you today!

(By the way, illustration is not mine, I am borrowing it for illustration. If this is your artwork, please comment)


Armored for October

As we prepare for the festival the last Sunday of the month, it is high time we get ready with our costume. My kids start to get excited around the first of June talking about costumes for Halloween. One always wants to be a princess, and another a Jedi. So they start planning and trying on different pieces until the costume is just right. The costume just isn’t complete until all the pieces are applied. A princess needs a gown, a wand, and a tiara, along with gloves, shoes, makeup and hairstyle. A Jedi needs a robe, a lightsaber, the right shoes, and a determined attitude. It started to make me wonder what kind of costume a Christian should wear. What would be a distinctive costume for a Christian?

So much of what makes us different are concepts and ideas. We can’t exactly “wear” our theology or ethics on our sleeves. But after looking at those short lists above, maybe you were reminded of something. There is a list in the Bible similar to the costumes above, with sword, helmet, breastplate, sandals, shield and belt. These are the garb and armaments of a Roman soldier of Paul’s time, and we find this list in his letter to the Church of Ephesus. It is a letter written while Paul is in prison, guarded by a soldier at all times. But he takes occasion to immortalize the costume of the soldier into a Christian’s suit of armor.

When we look at Ephesians 6:14-18, we see “Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,” (ESV)

I want to encourage you to take up the “costume” of the Christian, so that you can stand up to the powers of darkness that threaten every one of us.