Are You Completely Dressed Today?….
As the weather turns colder it is time to start to bring out the fall clothes. Though I am certainly not a “fashion king” (just ask my wife that!) I enjoy wearing some different clothes as the seasons change. And though I also at times struggle with knowing not to wear differing shades of blue or not wearing stripes and plaids, I’m usually pretty good at getting completely dressed. I rarely leave the house with only one shoe or without any shirt. You are probably like me…without the plaid and stripe part. But are we really completely dressed? In Ephesians chapter 6 Paul writes this: 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— 19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
Putting on our outward, visible clothing does NOT mean that we are completely dressed. Paul, under the inspiration of God, has an additional, invisible wardrobe that each of us need to put on. This wardrobe includes several items: First, having our waist girded with truth. Truth is something that we should wear each and every day. Perhaps Paul used the idea of girding our waist with truth because truth holds all things together. The truth about God, about ourselves and about our situation is vitally important to having a successful day. Second, we are to put on the breastplate of righteousness. The breastplate protects the heart and other vital organs. If we don’t have Christ’s righteousness we have “heart trouble”. Living in the power of the righteousness of Christ gives each of us a heart which can be used by God. Third, we put on the preparation of the gospel of peace on our feet. Wherever we go, we are to be ready to share the gospel or the good news of Jesus Christ. Fourth, we are to have the shield of faith which quenches the fiery darts of the wicked one. Satan is consistently taking aim at us and it takes faith to trust God in the midst of an artillery attack. But faith in God will sustain us through an attack. Fifth we are told to put on the helmet of salvation. I believe that Paul has in mind the fact that salvation is first and foremost a changing of the mind. When our minds are changed through Christ, we have the ability to think and act in the right way. All battles are won and lost in the mind. Finally, we are to take up the sword of the Spirit, which Paul defines as the word of God. God’s word is our ultimate weapon. It’s truth is what we have to wield to help others and to protect ourselves.
So, if you look in the mirror today, are you completely dressed? Are you clothed in these things that Paul mentions which are invisible to the eye but which are truly visible to those around us? If not, get completely dressed. Of course, another benefit of this spiritual wardrobe is that we don’t need a new wardrobe if our bodies get bigger or smaller and this wardrobe never goes out of style!
Have a blessed, completely dressed, day!!!