one of the lessons in church today reminded me of summer days at camp… paul tells the ephesians to put on the whole armor of God so they may stand firm against evil:
“stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. as shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. with all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” ephesians 6:14-17.
we can be deliberate and intentional about putting on the armor of God with the same visual aids i used with young campers. everyday we have an opportunity to meditate on these words as we get dressed and ready ourselves for what lies ahead. it may sound silly, but it’s worth a shot. when putting on your belt (or pants or skirt, etc) remember to arm yourself with truth. while buttoning your shirt, meditate on what it means to have a breastplate of righteousness. as you tie your laces (or in my case, slip on your flip-flops), consider what it means to be ready to proclaim the gospel. a shield of faith may be a bit tough to envision, but very important. i think of my face as my shield as i put on sunscreen, which is also important, kinda. as you comb your hair, think about what it means to wear a helmet of salvation. for me, the rings i wear symbolize the sword of the Spirit. my two rings remind me of different verses i repeat daily since the sword is the word of God.
note too that most of these items are used for protection from evil, but the word of God is a weapon against evil. we can guard ourselves with truth, righteousness, peace, faith and salvation, but to fight evil we must carry the sword of the Spirit. we need the word of God written on our hearts and minds, thus we meditate on the scriptures. reading God’s word regularly keeps our weapons sharp and our swords ready.
it is with this armor that paul encourages us to be bold.