Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 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. 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. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place . . . —Ephesians 6:10-14
Several years ago, my husband ordered a belt we saw demonstrated on Shark Tank. He loves this thing! It uses a rachet system so he can tighten (or loosen) his belt to exactly where he wants it. He bought several belts for friends and family. And now he never goes to work without putting on this belt.
Obviously, we can’t literally buckle truth around our waists or slip righteousness over our heads like a breastplate, but the metaphors Paul uses remind us to take action, to “dress” ourselves, against the devil who would undermine all that Jesus seeks to do in our lives and in the lives of others. Just as my husband wouldn’t leave home without his belt on, we should not head into the world without wrapping ourselves in truth and righteousness.
We need to dress for work—the work of living for Jesus. And then stand firm!
I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
and put their trust in him.
Blessed is the one
who trusts in the Lord,
who does not look to the proud,
to those who turn aside to false gods
Many, Lord my God,
are the wonders you have done,
the things you planned for us.
None can compare with you;
were I to speak and tell of your deeds,
they would be too many to declare. (Psalm 40: 1-5)
Questions for reflection and discussion: How might you use everyday objects (as Paul did) to remind yourself to live for Jesus each day? How have you experienced God’s power in the midst of attack from the evil one?