"Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes" (Ephesians 6:11 NIV)
In his letter to the Romans, Paul talks about the Armor of God as “vigilant righteousness”. He says in Romans 13:12 (NIV): "The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light." In many ways, we can interpret this metaphorically and bring light to where we see it is needed.
During his captivity, Paul observes a Roman soldier in his grandiose yet utilitarian armor. It is grandiose in that it is a proud reminder of just who the man who wears it is – a defender of his country, his faith and his people. It is utilitarian in that, at first, all Paul sees is metal and leather, components used to keep swords and other weapons from harming the man who wears it. The armor for this soldier, then, serves a couple of purposes. Logistically, it is made to protect him and, as a secondary function, it is recognized as part of the precise uniform that only a Roman soldier would wear. It is recognizable, honorable, and subtle in its function. Metaphorically, Paul sees it as something we all wear to protect ourselves spiritually. Every component has a specific function, from the nail holes in the boots meant to keep the soldier at his post in battle to the helmet that protects and provides a layer of security. The components allow the wearer to be what they need to be at any given time in battle with the enemy or in showing their faith and strength.
I wear my Armor of God in the pulpit. I openly speak about God and encourage others to live their lives in His image. I wear the Armor of God as the pastor of a large urban church. Of course, I also wear the armor as a father, son, husband, and friend.
How do you wear your armor? Are you a teacher who brings a love of learning to children, providing them with strength for a lifetime? Are you a caretaker who stays at home and tends to children and possibly others, fostering a feeling of nurturing and fellowship that people will use to get them through their days? Are you a friend who listens even when the story has already been told and even when you know your friend is wrong, allowing trust and faith to grow in those who are close to you?
We wear our respective armors in many ways. Be brave and confident in your abilities. Take heart in your Armor of God. We all have our strengths, and we don’t often give ourselves enough credit for them. Walk and live strong knowing that the individual you are is very much appreciated by those around you and by God.