When I was in college, my roommate and I bought matching camouflage overalls that were about eight sizes too big for us. They became our new prankster uniforms (I’m not sure how exactly I got the reputation of a prankster in college, but I’m pretty sure saran-wrapping that car on the second day of school had something to do with it).
We thought we looked great, but for some reason none of our other friends wanted to hang out with us when we were wearing those overalls.
The truth is, we all look pretty ridiculous when we wear clothes that are way too big for us.
That’s why I always chuckle a little when I think about David, about to go fight Goliath, trying on King Saul’s armor. It was too big, too heavy, and he could barely move.
When we go out to do battle – against sin, against discouragement, against distraction, against defeat – we need armor that fits. And yet, God gives us armor that is not our own.
“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.” (Ephesians 6:10-11, NIV)
The armor we’re called to wear is God’s armor.
Paul urges us to wear “the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Ephesians 6:14-17, NIV, emphasis added)
But – check this out – that armor is the same armor God Himself wears when “his own arm achieved salvation for him, and his own righteousness sustained him. He put on righteousness as his breastplate, and the helmet of salvation on his head.” (Isaiah 59:16-17, NIV, emphasis added)
It’s His armor, but it fits us perfectly. How is that?
In the Isaiah passage, God has just described the great sin of His people and their complete inability to save themselves. He looked and looked but He couldn’t find a single person capable of standing in the gap between Him, the perfect judge, and His people, who deserved judgment.
So He decided to work salvation Himself. He put on His armor and He judged sin. He became the Redeemer of all who repented of their sin.
Note that He didn’t save those who were righteous. He couldn’t find anyone righteous. He saved those who knew they weren’t righteous and repented. And then He gave His own breastplate of righteousness to the ones He had redeemed.
That’s the righteousness we wear. It’s not our own. But it fits because He has sized it for us. He got out His hammer and His anvil and made His helmet of salvation fit our head.
After He worked salvation, God promised, “My Spirit, who is on you, will not depart from you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will always be on your lips, on the lips of your children and on the lips of their descendants – from this time on and forever.” (Isaiah 59:21, NIV, emphasis added)
That sounds a lot like taking up “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Ephesians 6:17, NIV, emphasis added)
Read God’s Word, speak God’s Word, think God’s Word, obey God’s Word, believe God’s Word. Preach the gospel to yourself. Remind yourself of the righteousness you’ve been given.
And you’ll look like a warrior. Not a prankster.
What do you do to remind yourself you're wearing God's armor? Leave a comment below!
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