Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Full Armor

People say that getting a new puppy in the winter is a pain. And when they do I imagine they are referring to all of the times that you have to take the new puppy outside in the cold weather. But I didn't have the option of getting my dog in the summer because summer is way too busy for me, so winter had to do. At any rate, these people are right. Taking the dog out into the cold hour after hour is a pain, but I don't mind the cold so much. What I mind is the fact that I have to put on my boots, gloves, jacket, and hat to go out; then come back in and take it all off, only to repeat the cycle numerous times throughout the day. It definitely cuts into my productivity and takes up a lot of time.

Many of you will be familiar with the Bible's exhortations to put on the full armor of God. As I struggled in and out of my winter clothes today, I couldn't help but think of this passage which comes from Ephesians 6:11-18 and says:

11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

This is quite a list, and this full armor wouldn't be a pinch to get on and off. I can't help but feel like what I have to do to get ready to go out into the cold is a lot like getting fitted with this armor. Putting all my winter "armor" on takes time, and then it's a hassle to take it off -- especially if I'm doing it only 5 minutes later. But unlike my winter armor, God's armor is not meant to be put on and taken off all day. We're meant to put it on and leave it on. If we don't, we're going to waste precious time and be less productive for the Kingdom.

And yet many of us live like this armor of God is something we can put on when we feel like it and take off when it's inconvenient or makes us stand out in a crowd. We've got to get over that mentality and appreciate the fact that we are meant to live in it 24/7. First, we've got to take the time to get into it. Then, we've got to live with the courage, conviction and abiding faith that allows us stay in it.

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