“What should I wear today?” I don’t know about you, but that’s a question I ask every day. Sometimes, if I’m thinking ahead, I’ll start planning my outfit the night before. And even though I give my clothing choices a lot of thought, there have been several times I’ve gotten dressed and then completely changed my mind and started over. Sometimes my husband even teases me by asking, “Is that what you’re going to wear?”
For some of you, deciding what to wear may not be a big decision, but for me it is. One reason I put a lot of thought into what I wear, is that my clothing is one of the ways I express my personality and creativity. Along with self-expression, there are other things I consider when choosing my attire for the day ahead. What is the weather going to be like? What am I going to be doing? Who will I see today? Is the outfit flattering? I know this is a weakness, and that it shouldn’t matter, but if it’s a Sunday when I’m singing with the Praise Band, I take time to consider how I will appear on the livestream.
I don’t know how much thought you put into your everyday clothing choices, but I do know this: If we only worry about how we clothe ourselves physically, than we are missing the most important part of our daily attire—our spiritual clothing.
In Ephesians 6:10-18, Paul wrote these words:
1 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For weare not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.
What is this spiritual clothing—this armor of God and why is it important?
Paul used the images of the armor worn by the Roman soldiers to describe what our spiritual armor should look like and pointed out that we need to wear all of it. The first piece Paul talked about is the belt of truth. For the Roman soldier, the belt was a vital part of the armor. It held his breastplate, or body armor, in place and gave him a place to attach his sword. As part of our spiritual clothing, the belt of truth is as important to us as a belt was to a soldier in Rome. When we incorporate the truth of the gospel of Jesus into our daily lives, it provides an anchor that allows us to stand firm against the evil forces of this world.
Next Paul talked about the body armor, or breastplate, of righteousness. A. soldier’s body armor protected his heart and other vital organs from an attack by the enemy. We need to wear the breastplate of God’s righteousness every day to protect our hearts and souls from the advances of the devil. Embracing the righteousness of Christ and living that righteousness out in our daily lives, with the help of the Holy Spirit, will give us the protection and security we need.
Paul than went on to talk about putting on the shoes of peace that comes from the Good News so that we will be prepared. If a soldier’s feet were injured, he would not be able to stand against his foe. If we are injured by the world and lack the peace we gain from the Good News of Christ, we will not be able to stand up against any evil forces that try to come against us. We need to understand, embrace, and let our lives be governed by the peace of God so that we are ready to stand firm and to share the Good News with the world.
After we put on our belt, our body armor, and our shoes, it’s time to pick up our shield of faith. The shield used by the Roman soldiers was large and protected his entire body from the fiery arrows aimed at him by the enemy. Likewise, our belief that God, through Jesus, has wiped away our sins, protects our body, mind, and soul. Our shield of faith protects us from the schemes that Satan throws at us in an attempt to bring about spiritual devastation and death.
Lastly, we pick up the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit. Our assurance of salvation and eternal life protects our minds from the evil thoughts and lies whispered to us by the devil, just as the soldier’s helmet protected his head from injury in battle. When we know we are saved and who has saved us, we can hush Satan and block his attacks on our mind.
The sword used by a Roman soldier was his weapon—his defense to stop his enemies. Our sword, or defense, is the Word of God found in the Scriptures. When we read and understand the Scriptures, we can use God’s Word to respond to Satan’s attacks. Jesus did this when we quoted Scripture each time Satan tempted Him in the wilderness.
After describing the armor we should be wearing to prepare ourselves for our daily battles, Paul continued by saying we need to do one more thing. In verse 18, he said, “Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.”
And in Philippians 4:6-7, Paul wrote, 6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:6-7
With the help of the Holy Spirit, we need to pray about everything, and we should be using all kinds of prayers—mental prayers, spoken prayers, public prayers, private prayers, etc. We need to turn all our worries, fears, and concerns over to God—He can handle all of it. And our prayers should not only be for ourselves, but for all our brothers and sisters in Christ. If we are to win the battles we face every day, then prayer needs to be a way of life. When it is, we will experience God’s peace, and that peace will guard our hearts and minds against the strategies the devil tries to use against us.
We are in a very real battle against the spiritual forces of evil and when you look at everything happening in the world today, it often appears that we are losing that battle.
But take heart! In John 16:33, Jesus gave us this reminder, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” We know Christ will defeat all kinds of evil and He has given us the armor we need to face the enemy.
Are you ready? Do you know what you are going to wear today? Choosing just the right physical clothing may be important to you but choosing your spiritual clothing matters so much more.
So, let’s put on the armor of God every day. Let’s be alert and persistent in our prayers. And remember, we can find hope and assurance in the knowledge that we belong to Christ and He has overcome the world.