“Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.” Ephesians 6:11, NASB
December is a crazy busy month in my household. We celebrate two birthdays along with Christmas. And this year, we have the additional joys of my daughter’s sweet 16th along with final preparations for my son’s wedding in January, 2018. We also carry new responsibilities at church—joys involving commitments that require time, wisdom, planning, and effort. I don’t want to enter today or next month blindly, thinking I can handle what God has entrusted to me.The fact is, I can’t.
But HE can.
I have a little prayer that goes something like this:
Lord, gird my loins with truth. Help me to put on the breastplate of righteousness and have my feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace. Help me to take up the shield of faith, to put on the helmet of salvation, and to take up the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Help me to pray always in the Spirit. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
This request often nestles within a larger prayer when I spend time with God. As you can see, it’s not eloquent, but it is intentional—a practical way to put on God’s armor.
Why does intentionality matter?
It matters because we’re forgetful. I’ve reached the stage of life where I can walk toward another room for a particular reason but forget that purpose when I reach the room.
We’re also distracted. We balance so many responsibilities and interests that we jump from topic to topic, bouncing around in our attempts to focus.
We’re weak, too. We overestimate our strength, forgetting that every ounce of energy comes from God working His power in us.
Always present, always strong, always wise, and always loving, our heavenly Father perfectly equips us. Though our adversary fights against our marriages, our children, our families, and our relationships within the body of Christ, he’s utterly helpless against God. And when we belong to God by virtue of our faith in Christ, the devil can’t touch us—unless God allows him to, like in Job’s trials, or unless we forget to get dressed.
We’d never step outside without clothing ourselves first, and we employ extra care when dressing for special events. For example, finding a dress for my son’s wedding was quite the adventure. I searched online through pages of photos, and I shopped in one store so often the clerk said she should hire me. But, finally! I discovered a beautiful gown that’s now tucked away in my closet, and I’m excited to wear it in January.
Let’s be fashionable this holiday season … and beyond. Let’s practice intentionality when it comes to putting on the armor of God. Without it, we’re susceptible to the devil’s schemes. But with it, we’re covered and impenetrable. Strong and victorious. Safe and secure.