I used to love the TLC show, What Not to Wear. It was a makeover show, where two fashion stylists, and their team of hair and makeup artists would totally transform an individual’s look.
Often the fashion offender would be caught on hidden video dressed inappropriately. Both funny and cringe-worthy, we couldn’t look away from the makeovers of the women and men who showed up to work dressed for the nightclub, obsessed with camouflage, or stuck in a distant decade. At first, they’d defend their looks and choices. But after some introspection, and a $5,000 new wardrobe and hairstyle, they’d leave completely changed, from the inside, out.
We may laugh this off as vanity and fluff, but the Bible tells us to dress appropriately for our life situations too. You won’t find any advice about how to dress according to your body type in the pages of Scripture, but you will find that it offers a uniform we’re to put on every day. We dress every day, not necessarily for the office, but for war.
The Well-Dressed Christian
A soldier wouldn’t dare enter a battlefield without the proper attire. In the same way, we need to realize that life is one long battle that requires suiting up in heavy-duty armor. In Ephesians 6, Paul makes it clear that our duty is to put the armor on, stand our ground, and use our weapons.
The 6 pieces of our armor
- Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist (14)
The belt cinched up and pulled in any of the loose fabric of the soldier’s tunic. The belt that pulls in all the loose ends to our thinking is truth.
- With the breastplate of righteousness in place (14)
This piece of armor covers the heart and other vital organs and represents living in obedience to the Lord. Without this covering, the believer is left vulnerable to Satan’s attacks.
- and your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. (15)
The gospel of peace is the footing on which the believer stands and goes. We are at peace with God because of Christ, and because of this we go and share the gospel.
- Take up the shield of faith to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one (16)
The shield covered the entire body and blocked and extinguished the enemy’s incoming arrows. The object of our faith is God, not faith in itself.
- Take the helmet of salvation (17)
The helmet covered the head, which was always a major target on the battlefield. The helmet represents the assurance of a believer’s salvation. When Satan tempts us to doubt our salvation, the helmet covers our minds.
- and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (17)
This weapon is the truth of Scripture. It is both offensive (it cuts down the enemy’s deceptive tactics) and defensive (it fends off Satan’s attacks).
The Armor of God is God
We fight spiritual battles, with spiritual armor. Paul said, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).
But did you know these pieces of armor describe God himself? Here is how God is described in the Old Testament…
- “He [God] put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on his head; he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and wrapped himself in zeal as a cloak” Isaiah 59:17.
- “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaim peace, who brings good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns.’” Isaiah 52:7
- “Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist.” Isaiah 11:5
- “He made my mouth like a sharpened sword, in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me into a polished arrow and concealed me in his quiver.” Isaiah 49:2
- “I am your shield; your reward shall be very great” Genesis 15:1. “He is a shield to those who take refuge in him” Proverbs 30:5.
Christian, do you see it? A believer must take up their armor, but God is the armor. We put on Christ! He is our breastplate of righteousness, our helmet of salvation, he shods our feet with the gospel of peace, he is our belt of truth, our shield, and he is the word of God!
We armor up, but he’s our armor. We fight, but he fights for us. There is no contradiction here, just a glorious truth that we have a part to play in the battle, but God plays a bigger one.
Jesus Wears Our Armor
In a sense, the battles we face are both past, present, and future.
- In the past, Jesus secured our eternal victory at the cross.
- Presently, we battle for personal holiness, victory over sin, and deliverance from our enemies.
- In the future, we’ll be a part of his final victory, when Jesus returns to judge the nations.
We don’t know when that final victory will be, but Revelation 19 gives us a sneak peek into what it will look like. I love this passage, but this week I saw something new and it brought me to tears. When Jesus rides in on his white horse he embodies the full armor of God.
And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems, and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the winepress of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”Revelation 19: 11-16 (NASB)
What Not to Wear on That Day
On that day, the armies of heaven are not dressed for battle, because they (we) won’t be fighting. We’ve traded our armor for dazzling white linen garments.
But the center of attention is not us, it’s on our triumphant Savior.
- He is called Faithful and True (he is our shield of faith and our belt of truth)
- In righteousness, he judges and makes war (he is our breastplate of righteousness)
- His eyes are flaming fire (he extinguishes all the fiery darts that have come against us)
- On his head he wears many crowns (the helmet of salvation has been exchanged for crown, upon crown, upon crown)
- He wears no soldier’s tunic, but a royal robe dipped in blood (this is the blood of his enemies)
- His name is the Word of God (he is the sword of the Spirit and out of his mouth comes sharp judgment)
- He treads the ground with wrath (his shoes of peace have been replaced with judgment boots)
Every piece of our Ephesians 6 armor is represented in Revelation 19!
Your Makeover Is Coming
Friend, whatever battle you’re valiantly fighting you can stand confidently behind Jesus because he is your shield and strong defender. Don’t let your focus be on what the enemy is doing, make your focus, Christ! It’s because of who he is, we have the confidence to lay hold of our shields and swords, tighten our belts, and secure our helmets. We wear the same armor of all the redeemed from centuries past. What a privilege!
But take heart, we won’t have to wear this heavy armor forever.
Someday soon, we too will get our makeovers. Our armor will be transformed into blood-bought sparkling white linen clothes. They’ll fit every body type perfectly, and you can be sure that it will be the most glorious outfit you’ve ever worn. But until that day, let’s not find ourselves underdressed for the battlefield. Let’s armor up for war.
Standing behind him in battle,
P.S. Holy leisure informs how I work, write, and rest. Are you interested in how you can adopt this mindset for your life too? Grab this freebie and see how you can accomplish more and have more joy with holy leisure.