by Brenda Poinsett
Brrrr! I shivered just listening to the weather report: three degrees below zero with fierce winds making the chill factor fifty-three degrees below zero! “Don’t go outside unless you absolutely have to,” cautioned the announcer. “Just a short exposure to the wind can cause frostbite. If you must go out, make sure all your skin is covered.”
My son Jim, a first grader, had to walk two blocks to where he waited for the school bus to arrive in our subdivision. I couldn’t believe schools didn’t close because of the weather, but they didn’t, so I dressed him to endure. I made him wear an undershirt, a long-sleeved shirt, a sweater, a coat, a ski mask to cover his face, gloves for his hands, two pairs of pants, heavy socks, and tall boots. Surely, I thought, with all these clothes on, he could wait for the bus, even if it were late, without getting frostbitten.
“But, mom, I feel so heavy,” Jim complained as he squirmed under the weight of the extra clothing.
“I know, dear, but that’s not what’s important. What is important is your being able to withstand the wind.”
Hmmm, I thought, something about this conversation sounds familiar. As I opened the door for Jim to leave and felt a blast of cold air, it hit me. This is like getting ready to deal with evil! We need to be dressed for the fight. Here’s what the apostle Paul recommends in Ephesians 6:14-17.
- A belt of truth so we can gather up any hindrances that we are wearing which would keep us from moving freely. We don’t want to trip or fall in the fight against evil.
- A breastplate of righteousness or you might say uprightness of character. To neglect to live by what we know to be right and true is to leave a spot open for being infected by evil.
- A pair of shoes shod with the gospel of peace. These shoes prevent slipping and falling. They give us firmness in walking, standing our ground and moving forward without fear.
- A shield of faith to resist fiery darts of temptation. With a faith shield, we can quench the fire of the darts and deflect them when they come hurling toward us. A large shield is recommended because darts can come from various directions and hit high or low.
- A salvation helmet. This headgear reminds us repeatedly that Christ saved us from past sins, present sins, and future sins. Wearing it reassures us that we are forgiven and loved.
- A sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. This is not actually something we “put on” like the other items listed here. Rather it is a hand-held weapon for fighting evil. We can use it to defend ourselves or as an offensive weapon to fight wrong in the world.
It’s important that we put on the whole armor of God as we daily enter a challenging world. To miss putting something on would leave us venerable to attack just as an uncovered part of Jim’s skin would have made him vulnerable to frost bite.
I’ll admit dressing like this to fight evil often feels as uncomfortable to me as my protective items did for Jim. It’s heavy! I’ve never gotten up in the morning and said, “Yippee, I get to put on the armor of God today and go out and face the world,” and yet I do. I do it because I want the same thing I wanted for Jim. I want to be able to withstand.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Ephesians 6:13 KJV
About the author: Brenda Poinsett works with women who want a new lease on life and with adults who want to know Jesus better. She does this through writing, speaking and teaching. She’s the author of more than 20 books.
Her book, When Saints Sing the Blues, examines depression from a biblical perspective with the study of eleven prominent individuals in the Bible who felt sad, hopeless, and overwhelmed. It points to hope and healing by showing that growth from depression is possible.
Join the conversation: How do you dress to withstand?