When my kids were little, I begged my friends to turn me in for “What Not to Wear.” Seriously. I had no idea how to dress. Jeans, T-shirt, tennis shoes, done. They assured me there was no need for an intervention, but I’m still not sure they were being entirely honest. I mean, I might not have been a fashion disaster, but… it wasn’t good.
Throughout the New Testament, we as Christ followers are exhorted repeatedly about what we are wearing. No, I don’t mean that in a purity culture way—I’m not here to measure the width of anyone’s tank top straps or see if your skirt comes to your fingertips. Instead, we are told to “put on the imperishable” (1 Corinthians 15:53), “put on the new self” (Ephesians 4:24), “put on… compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience” (Colossians 3:12), and “clothe yourselves… with humility toward one another” (1 Peter 5:5). And that’s just a few!
In other words, friend, God cares about what we are wearing.
And that used to intimidate me when I approached this passage. Belt of truth. Breastplate of righteousness. Helmet of salvation. This is serious stuff! Armor takes time to make! What if mine isn’t good enough?
But as I have studied this passage, I have realized that I was skipping past two of the most important words: “of God.” We are encouraged to put on the armor of God. Not the armor of Katy. Not the armor of yourself. God is giving us his very own armor to equip us for battle.
Many scholars believe Paul was actually chained to a Roman soldier as he penned these words, so the idea of armor would have been quite literally right before his eyes. But that wasn’t his only inspiration for the pieces he lists in his letter. Isaiah 59:17 tells us, “[The Lord] put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on his head.” Paul would have known those words. He knew what armor God has at His disposal. Paul didn’t just randomly assign attributes to the armor he saw the Roman wearing—he wanted his readers to know they were putting on God’s armor. Not made by any man. Not ill-fitting, like the armor Saul tried to thrust upon David before he battled Goliath. God’s armor, designed to equip His saints for battle.
Can I give you just a few Scriptures to look over this week? (I want to share so many more, but I’ll hold back. If you want more, email me, because I love this stuff!)
As you read, think about the significance of the wording: put on, clothe. He doesn’t tell us to create a new self or to build humility in our hearts, but to put it on. Also consider how Galatians 3:27 sums up everything else we are being encouraged to wear: put on Christ.
Friend, I really encourage you to spend a few days diving into this, thinking about what it means to be wearing the armor of God as you head into spiritual battles. Think about the way you clothe yourself each day. Think about what you are putting on. Are you taking full advantage of the new garments God has given you?
Let’s Suit Up.
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Did you know that I am co-hosting a podcast? I love working alongside Sara Ward on the Made for Hope Podcast! This week we interviewed Kristin Vanderlip, who shares about the importance of self-care and the power of journaling. You guys, I legit took notes during this interview. Don’t miss it! Check it out on your favorite podcast player or on our website!