One of the most common nightmare scenarios as a public speaker is the idea of ending up in front of a group of people when you aren’t fully clothed. Being exposed, ridiculed and unprepared is enough to cause most people a fair amount of anxiety.
We would never walk out of our house naked in the morning, exposed to the world and people’s stares. We would never run errands in the buff or attend an event without proper attire.
If we would never go around in our daily lives unclothed, if we would never be caught unprepared in regular life, it begs the question: As Christians, why do we so often walk around spiritually naked?
The Bible tells of a great battle that is raging on this planet: The Great Controversy, the battle between God and Satan. This battle revolves around us, human beings. Our lives are the battlefield, and it is filled with intense warfare.
Satan desires to draw us away from God, to discourage us, to cause us to give into sin and leave God behind. God, however, works earnestly to draw us near to Him, to remind us that He loves us and desires to save us. But the choice is ultimately ours: Who will we follow?
As we live our lives, with this battle raging, how do we make sure we are prepared to encounter everything that is hurled at us?
In the Bible, we are told that God has prepared a special suit of armor for us. He provides all the necessary elements to keep us safe. Our job is simply to accept it and seek it daily.
The armor of God is listed in Eph. 6:10–18. God tells us to put on the full armor, not just certain parts but the whole suit of armor. He doesn't tell us this because He wants to control us, rather He desires that we would be covered and safe as we deal with Satan and his attacks on us.
First, we are to put on the Belt of Truth. Scripture is clear on who and what real truth is. John 14:6, Jesus says, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.” We are to begin with Jesus as our truth. When we start with Him as the real truth, we can be safe. We are to hold steadfast to the Truth of God Himself and His leading in our lives.
Then we put on the Breastplate of Righteousness. By ourselves, we are not righteous, not even close. If we had to rely on our own righteousness for salvation, we would be lost. Scripture tells us that we can take Jesus’ righteousness as our own, and then stand covered in Him. David writes about how God alone is truly righteous. Psalm 11:7, “The Lord is righteous.”
A few chapters later, Job writes about how putting on God’s righteousness truly clothes and covers us. Job 29:14, “I put on righteousness, and it clothed me.” God provides the righteousness for us, creating yet another element of the armor we can put on from Him.
Next, we are to cover our feet, fitted with the readiness that comes from the Gospel of Peace. I think of this as being grounded in the gospel. When I truly accept Jesus and His sacrifice for me, when I give up myself and let God lead my life, I have peace beyond anything the world can ever give.
The next piece of armor is the Shield of Faith. Our faith in Jesus as Creator, Sustainer and Redeemer creates a shield that extinguishes the flaming arrows of the devil. Our faith in Jesus thwarts Satan’s attempts to distract us and harm us. We are safe and shielded when we remain steadfast in our belief and faith in Jesus.
The Helmet of Salvation is next. We put on a strong helmet to protect our heads from harm. We are also to put on our spiritual helmet — remember that our salvation rests in Jesus and He has provided a way for us to be safe and secure.
Finally, the only weapon mentioned is the Sword of the Spirit. Through Jesus Spirit living in us, we can combat whatever Satan throws our way. There is nothing we can say or do on our own that will strike a blow to Satan, but when we rely on God and scripture, that cuts Satan to the core. Satan knows he can’t win against God, and when we fight with God as our weapon he must flee away.
My challenge to you is: Don't go around spiritually naked. Put on the whole armor of God; then you will be able to withstand anything Satan throws at you.
Much like getting dressed in the morning to start your day, we are to clothe ourselves spiritually. If we spend time with God on a regular basis, we can be truly prepared for each and every day.