January 11, 2014 by Beth Hess
By 10am, I’m ready to throw in the towel. The first 90 minutes of the work day have been filled with an angry client in the conference room, an expletive-filled voicemail, and the threat of a lawsuit. Stacks of invoices are staring me down. Each has to be reviewed, approved, and forwarded to accounting before I can leave today. That’s not even the most pressing thing on my To Do list. And the phone will not. stop. ringing.
There is no choice but to keep plowing through — Through lunch. Through multiple cans of Diet Coke. Through 5 o’clock.
By the time I make the drive home at nearly 8pm, I am weary from one battle after another. Bloodied and bruised. Down for the count.
And that’s when it hits me. I forgot to get dressed this morning.
“Put on God’s full armor. Then on the day of evil you will be able to stand strong. And when you have finished the whole fight, you will still be standing.”
Satan attacks in any number of ways. And when it hits in an unusually big or atypical way, we quickly gather our prayer warriors, break out the Scriptures, and spend more time seeking God’s face. We put on our battle armor.
But when it’s the tediousness and knock-downs of our daily routine that fly arrows towards our spirits, we often find ourselves unprepared. In the day-to-day, rocks get thrown at our unhelmeted heads. Our unprotected toes get stepped on. We leave ourselves exposed to the Father of Lies by laying down our Sword of Truth in order to free our hands to pick up another load of laundry. Slowly, almost imperceptibly, we trade our full armor of God for war-ravaged rags. And then wonder why even the ordinary moments of ordinary days leave us broken down and battle worn.
Paul reminds the church at Ephesus that dressing for battle should be an everyday occurrence. “Pray in the Spirit at all times with all kinds of prayers, asking for everything you need. To do this you must always be ready and never give up.” (Ephesians 6:18, bold mine)
The following morning, I take a dose of truth with my Vitamin D. I strap on the breastplate of desiring to walk in God’s ways under my blouse. My dress shoes are grounded on the foundation of peace — walking firmly on the foundation that God is in control. On the way out the door I grab both my purse and my shield of faith — my knowing in my knower that my God easily extinguishes anything Satan can throw my way. I buckle up my seatbelt along with my helmet of salvation — protecting both my body and my mind. Before I pick up the phone, I pick a verse for the day, and I swing it as needed hour by hour to deflect the onslaught of the enemy.
This time, I remember to get dressed. And, this time, I end the day still standing.
10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his great power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can fight against the devil’s evil tricks. 12 Our fight is not against people on earth but against the rulers and authorities and the powers of this world’s darkness, against the spiritual powers of evil in the heavenly world. 13 That is why you need to put on God’s full armor. Then on the day of evil you will be able to stand strong. And when you have finished the whole fight, you will still be standing. 14 So stand strong, with the belt of truth tied around your waist and the protection of right living on your chest. 15 On your feet wear the Good News of peace to help you stand strong. 16 And also use the shield of faith with which you can stop all the burning arrows of the Evil One. 17 Accept God’s salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 Pray in the Spirit at all times with all kinds of prayers, asking for everything you need. To do this you must always be ready and never give up. Always pray for all God’s people. (Ephesians 6:10-18)