Summary: Following is a list of accoutrements for the spiritual warrior-think of it as a warrior’s must-have items for walking the ramp of the spiritual fashion show.
Ephesians 6:4 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Six Super Fashion Musts for the Well-Dressed Soul
When I have to go to an event, at some point the question arises, “what should I wear?” In general, by temperament, I’m simply not concerned with such questions-if you’re comfortable, protected from the elements, and not a distraction because of shabbiness or flamboyance, it really doesn’t matter. But clothing is an important part of our everyday lives, partly because it helps define who we are. Even people like me, who don’t care much about fashion, beyond comfort, are making a statement by what they choose to wear, or to avoid wearing. And different events require different clothes. If I go to sing at a wedding dressed the same as I would for a workout, I may not be allowed to participate in the wedding. If I go to give a keynote speech dressed more like a hippie than a CEO, the audience may be distracted; the organizers may look for a last minute replacement. I have to think about what I’m going to wear, even if, by nature, I don’t want to. Paul recommends we make a shift from thinking of our physical clothing to our spiritual clothing. Since we are in a spiritual battle we have to always be ready with our battle clothes. Following is a list of accoutrements for the spiritual warrior-think of it as a warrior’s must-have items for walking the ramp of the spiritual fashion show:
The Belt of Truth
The belt holds up the swords and provides a place to hang your lower garment if you have to run quickly. The sword is the only offensive weapon Paul mentions. It’s the word of God-we’ll talk more about that below. Imagine I quote verses from the Bible, constantly try to sound spiritual, and lie to you about everything else. The Bible quotes won’t hold up if I live a life of lies. You will be unlikely to want to hear anything I have to say if you think of me as a perennial prevaricator. Without the belt you have no sword. Without the sword you, and the whole army, are better off if you’re not in the fight.
The Breastplate of Righteousness
The breastplate protects the heart. Interesting the Proverbs teach “above all things, guard your heart, for out of it flow the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23). For a discussion of how right-ness protects the heart and un-right-ness contorts it, please see Day 21, Ephesians 5:3, and Day 23, Ephesians 5:8-14. It is no accident that rightness and the heart are associated. If we are going to be effective spiritual warriors we have to have clean hands and a pure heart (Psalm 24:4). We must guard our hearts.
Good News Footwear
Have you ever seen beautiful feet? I think most of us are a bit embarrassed by our feet. But the Bible teaches some feet are beautiful. The Prophet Isaiah said it like this
How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of those who bring good news,
who proclaim peace,
who bring good tidings,
who proclaim salvation,
who say to Zion,
“Your God reigns!” Isaiah 52:7
I think Paul has this prophecy in mind. Think of those Hindi films where the couple falls in love and are transported immediately and miraculously to a mountaintop to sing silly songs to each other and dance. Now, imagine, instead of the couple gyrating to the rhythm of the tabla and strings, you have an image of a person on that same mountain simply telling Good News; let’s make it more appealing-singing good news. And instead of the camera focusing on the actress’ sari and hair blowing in the wind, the camera angle shifts and reveals the feet & toes of the Singer.
Ok, maybe an image even sillier than the Hindi film. But this is the idea. The person who tells you good news, instead of the constant barrage of bad news, is beautiful-so beautiful that even his or her feet are objects of beauty and veneration. John the Baptist said he wasn’t even worthy to loose the latchet of Jesus’ sandals. To him, Jesus was too terrible and beautiful to even touch the shoes that touched His feet. You want to be so beautiful that people even idolize your feet? Tell good news.
The Shield of Faith