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Devotions

Is your Attitude Appropriate for a Dress Code which Requires Full Armor?

This morning, I caught sight of my granddaughter dressed up in an angel costume. Her dress was sparkling white, and her halo was positioned just right, but something was amiss. She was throwing a fit. Her scowling face was buried in her hands. She wore the outfit, and was cute as could be, but fell short of angelic. Her attitude was the problem.

Almost angelic: Is your Attitude Appropriate for a Dress Code which Requires Full Armor?
The Attitude makes the Outfit
Is your Outfit Appropriate for a Dress Code which requires Full Armor? The Attitude Beneath…

Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”

Ephesians 6:11-13 (emphasis mine)

Wow! This has been an eye-opening series! Thank you all for coming along for the ride.

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”

Proverbs 27:17

I sincerely want to thank everyone who took part by commenting and discussing the dress code which makes up the full armor of God. Hopefully we grew together. I know I learned from you!

  • Fellowship: a friendly relationship marked by ready communication and mutual understanding
  • Conversation: an exchange of views for the purpose of exploring a subject or deciding an issue
  • Collaboration: the work and activity of a number of persons who individually contribute toward the efficiency of the whole

To conclude this series, I want to appreciate and highlight a few reader comments. which expanded my perception and comprehension of the Full Armor of God.

Reader comments: Is your Attitude Appropriate for a Dress Code which Requires Full Armor?
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I pretty much owe the premise of this wrap-up post to input from my incredible sister-in-Christ over at God Still Speaks. She pointed out how grateful she is to have a casual dress code for work, as she is self-employed. She is comfortable before she puts on the full armor of God. She prompted me to think about how important it is to have a proper foundation.

What do we wear under our armor? Our attitudes and motives! If we don’t allow God to be the Master of those, how can we expect His outerwear to be comfortable? My granddaughter drove the point home today, displaying what a bad attitude does to a shiny outfit. It dulls the whole thing!

I had to increase my full armor gratitude meter when Betty Draper from Wise Hearted reminded me that we didn’t pay a single cent for this outfit. Jesus paid it all! We’re protected by a breastplate of righteousness and a helmet of salvation which we could never purchase for ourselves. We could work our whole lives to earn just these two pieces and we’d still fall vastly short. What a gift – free to us, but so costly to our Savior!

Standing firm: Is your Attitude Appropriate for a Dress Code which Requires Full Armor?
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Gary Fultz noted that God’s full armor always fits. What an incredibly miraculous truth, right? Sometimes our faith is puny, and sometimes it goes through seasons of growth. But our shields are always sufficient. Oh, and the truth onto which we latch can be so shortsighted, but our belts always buckle well around our waists. Do you know why? Because it is based on the perfection of Jesus – the size of His merit, not ours.

Looking ahead with resolve, Hope, from Patiently Hopeful, called her armor a precious gift and said she wanted to be mindful to wear it constantly. It made me ponder my cell phone. I don’t go anywhere without it, not even to the other room. You have probably developed the same habit. Why? Because it has everything we need – our shopping and to-do lists, the time, the weather, Google, our maps and GPS, our step-counters…

But are those things more important than our armor? If we don’t go anywhere without our phones, how much more should we make sure to always have our feet fitted with readiness to share the gospel and our swords, which are the words of God?

Dew pearls on a web: Is your Attitude Appropriate for a Dress Code which Requires Full Armor?
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

If you are not connected with the above bloggers, I highly recommend a visit to their sites. You will be encouraged and strengthened in your walk with God through what they have to say. Prayerfully, you are already gleaning from their insights, as I have shared what I’ve learned from their pearls of wisdom.

How is your battle-preparedness right now? Is your Belt of Truth securely buckled? Is your Breastplate of Righteousness in place? Are your Feet Fitted with Readiness to share the Gospel? Have you taken up your Shield of Faith? Have you accepted your Helmet of Salvation? Do you have the Sword of the Spirit ready in hand? Have you assumed a Posture of Prayer? Is it all resting on an Attitude which has been grounded and founded upon Christ Jesus? Is your outfit appropriate for a dress code which requires full armor?

Thanks again for journeying through this series with me on Monday nights! It is always such a blessing to me when you all visit the back porch. I appreciate the fellowship, conversation and collaboration with you. Whether you are just stopping by for the first time or you have been a regular for months, you are valued and always welcome!


Stay tuned for a new Monday night series, starting soon: Finding God…

Planets are in motion and galaxies are bright: Finding God
Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash
Finding God

“From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. “For in him we live and move and have our being.”

Acts 17:26-28a
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Devotions

Is your Posture Appropriate for a Dress Code which Requires Full Armor?

I awoke abruptly before dawn this morning. I felt burdened. In my grogginess, I asked God why. He didn’t hesitate to answer. Yesterday was full of irritation. And you know what I did? I complained. I made my displeasure known. You know what I didn’t do? Pray. I didn’t choose to see the good. I wallowed. God ran the reel of my yesterday behind my still-closed eyes, and I repented. I can do better. And this is the post queued up for writing today. I think God is chuckling.

Irritated bird squawking: Is your Posture Appropriate for a Dress Code which Requires Full Armor?
Photo by Jason Hafso on Unsplash
Complain, complain!
Is your outfit appropriate for a dress code which requires full armor? The Posture of Prayer…

“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. “

Ephesians 6:11-13

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Ephesians 6:18

My friends, last week when we discussed the offensive weapon in our full armor, the Sword of the Spirit, we realized that we don’t have to go out looking for evil. We have been told to stand our ground. This is territory Jesus has already taken. The enemy wants us to forget that small detail, so he comes looking for us. He comes like he’s large and in charge, telling lies and seeking to catch us off guard.

Standing firm, sword ready: Is your Posture Appropriate for a Dress Code which Requires Full Armor?
Photo by Stillness InMotion on Unsplash
Stand firm…

Have you ever been caught off guard by something? I have! It is most likely to happen when I have very little to do. Is it the same for you? On the days when my schedule is back-to-back booked, I am alert and efficient, and my head is in the game. But on those days when I have one small meeting or errand in a block of free time, I am likely to be late, or to miss it all together. Why? Because I get distracted.

Duel: Is your Posture Appropriate for a Dress Code which Requires Full Armor?
Photo by Stillness InMotion on Unsplash
Caught off-guard

Our enemy is strategic. He might leave us alone for awhile, sitting with our armor on, not paying attention. But just when we start to sit back on our laurels, he comes at us and knocks us off balance. I think that is what happened to me yesterday. I wasn’t postured for victory.

God wants to keep us focused, so he gives us something to do in our downtime. He tells us to pray. And, as is God’s way, He wastes nothing. Prayer sounds mild but let me tell you something. When we pray, all of Heaven rallies to attention.

When we work, we work. But when we pray, God works, and all of Heaven works with Him.

God commands the myriads of angels. What do you think Satan fears more, your piety or your prayers? He’d much rather meet us armed and arrogant than to find us in a posture of prayer.

Woman worshipping with hands held high: Is your Posture Appropriate for a Dress Code which Requires Full Armor?
Photo by Ben White on Unsplash
Prayer and Praise

It turns out this last command isn’t just a pastime suggestion after all. It is the crux of our mission! We need to be suited up in God’s full armor, so the enemy can’t stop us from praying.

The posture of prayer is a stance of the heart. We can kneel, stand, bow or look up. We can pray while we’re driving the car, walking the dog, or bathing the kids. But pray, we must!

  • How? in the Spirit
  • When? on all occasions
  • What? with all kinds of prayers and requests
  • How often? always keep on praying
  • For whom? for all the Lord’s people
Man kneeling, head bowed, hands folded:Is your Posture Appropriate for a Dress Code which Requires Full Armor?
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash
Prayer and Petition

We might have a moment of reprieve, but the battle is fierce somewhere. It might be with our kids, our leaders, or our brothers and sisters around the world. Wherever it is, God sees it. And our prayers relieve it. Stay alert, check your posture, and keep praying!

How is your battle-preparedness right now? Is your Belt of Truth securely buckled? Is your Breastplate of Righteousness in place? Are your Feet Fitted with Readiness to share the Gospel? Have you taken up your Shield of Faith? Have you accepted your Helmet of Salvation? Do you have the Sword of the Spirit ready in hand? Have you assumed a posture of prayer? Is your outfit appropriate for a dress code which requires full armor?

Next up: The Wrap Up!

If you’d like to read the Introduction for this series, click here.

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Devotions

Is your Sword Appropriate for a Dress Code which Requires Full Armor?

Here we are at Post 7 in the Full Armor series and finally, we come to an offensive weapon. God commanded us to take up 6 measures of defense before giving us our only 1 for offense. And, as it turns out, this offense is all His. He has already weighed it, waged it, and won. We have no reason to be picking fights with evil. Our part is simply to remind the enemy that he has been defeated. And to do that, we need our sword.

Photo by Maria Pop on Pexels.com
Is your outfit appropriate for a dress code which requires full armor? The Sword of the Spirit…

“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”

Ephesians 6:11-13

Stand firm then…
Take… the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Ephesians 6:17b

Have you ever dealt with a tropical centipede? These are the things nightmares are made of! I’m not sure if they bite or sting, or both, but it hurts! You do not want to antagonize one.

Hawaiian Centipede: Is your Sword Appropriate for a Dress Code which Requires Full Armor?
Tropical Centipede: Do not touch!

These creepers are almost impossible to squish. I’ve tried flushing them, or putting them through the garbage disposal, only to find them crawling out back out of the drains, banged up and angry. The best way to kill them is to cut them in half. And even then, both halves will run away, unaware they have been doomed. If you contain them in a receptacle together, the halves will turn on each other and the centipede will effectively kill itself.

Sword of the Spirit: Is your Sword Appropriate for a Dress Code which Requires Full Armor?
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What does this have to do with the full armor in God’s dress code for us? Well, our enemy is wily, and our own attempts at besting him simply aggravate him and motivate him to come at us again. He wants to get into our heads and make us feel inferior, when we actually have the upper hand.

“…because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”

1 John 4:4b

If we ever need reminding, the English language has helped by wrapping the strategy into the weapon. Sword. We use the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. We remind Satan of what the Bible says about His defeat – how Jesus laid down His life and purchased our pardon with His blood. In His resurrection, Jesus sealed the fate of His vanquished foe. With God’s word, we cut the devil down and leave him with nowhere to turn but on himself, the same way we deal with the centipede.

Helmet and sword: Is your Sword Appropriate for a Dress Code which Requires Full Armor?
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We train by sharpening our knowledge of God’s word. Under the protection of our helmet of salvation, we commit scripture to memory and hone our ability to communicate it effectively. We do not head out swinging at random, but we use our sword with precision, as prompted by the Spirit of God.

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

Hebrews 4:12
Sharpening the sword: Is your Sword Appropriate for a Dress Code which Requires Full Armor?
Photo by Jerome Ramos 🇵🇭 on Unsplash

God’s word declares victory for those who have accepted its authority. It claims our freedom from the law of sin and death. With it, we remind our enemy where he stands in relation to our Commander. The sword of the spirit, which is the word of God, is insurmountable.

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death… in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”

Romans 8:1,2,4

How is your battle-preparedness right now? Is your Belt of Truth securely buckled? Is your Breastplate of Righteousness in place? Are your Feet Fitted with Readiness to share the Gospel? Have you taken up your Shield of Faith? Have you accepted your Helmet of Salvation? Is your Sword in hand? Is your outfit appropriate for a dress code which requires full armor?

Next up: The Posture of Prayer!

If you’d like to read the Introduction for this series, click here.

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Devotions

Is your Helmet Appropriate for a Dress Code which Requires Full Armor?

How many helmets can you name? Motorcycle helmets, football helmets, welding helmets… there are so many! Danger and helmets go together. The first concern of defense is to ‘protect your head’. Why is this the case?

Welder, helmet on, face in the fire: Is your Helmet Appropriate for a Dress Code which Requires Full Armor?
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Is your outfit appropriate for a dress code which requires full armor? The Helmet of Salvation…

“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”

Ephesians 6:11-13

Stand firm then…
Take the helmet of salvation…”

Ephesians 6:17a

Have you heard the saying “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”? Well, if your head ain’t right, ain’t nothin’ right. Your brain is central command for your heart, lungs, and every function upon which you rely for life. It is no coincidence that God equates your salvation to a helmet in His dress code of full armor.

Helmet from Macedonia: Is your Helmet Appropriate for a Dress Code which Requires Full Armor?
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Helmets protect our brains. They encapsulate our ability to think, which is absolutely vital when chaos erupts. When the enemy mounts a surprise attack, we need to be able to process the situation and plan a wise response.

Helmets also guard our faces. Think of how vital our ears, eyes, noses and mouths are! They determine what we hear, how we see, the formation of our words and our intake of oxygen.

Feathered helmet: Is your Helmet Appropriate for a Dress Code which Requires Full Armor?
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Consider this simple, but poignant definition of salvation:

Salvation: noun
the saving from danger or evil; deliverance, rescue

Merriam Webster

The truth of the Gospel is that we are separated, cast away from God by our sin. The death and resurrection of Jesus made it possible for us to be rescued, reconciled to God, but we have to make a choice. Salvation is something we must choose to accept. “Take the helmet of salvation…”

“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.”

Titus 2:11

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes…”

Romans 1:16a

Salvation as a helmet is a beautiful picture, is it not? God provides it as a covering and we choose to stand firmly under it. It covers our minds and our ability to live and converse in Godly manner.

Several helmets: Is your Helmet Appropriate for a Dress Code which Requires Full Armor?
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Our enemy has a weapon of choice, falsehood. He hurls deceit, misinformation, half-truths, fake news, and lies. The helmet of salvation keeps our minds stayed on what God says is true. It protects our ability to communicate, which – spoiler alert – is necessary for us to be effective with the one piece of offensive armor we are commanded to wear. We will talk about that next week.

How is your battle-preparedness right now? Is your Belt of Truth securely buckled? Is your Breastplate of Righteousness in place? Are your Feet Fitted with Readiness to share the Gospel? Have you taken up your Shield of Faith? Have you accepted your Helmet of Salvation? Is your outfit appropriate for a dress code which requires full armor?

Next up: The Sword of the Spirit!

If you’d like to read the Introduction for this series, click here.

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Devotions

Is your Shield Appropriate for a Dress Code which Requires Full Armor?

I just came back from a walk to the store. Before I left, I liberally applied sunscreen to protect my sensitive skin from the harmful rays of the sun. But do you know what? I still went out of my way to stay on the shady side of the street. Two defensive measures are more effective than one, right?

Sidewalks: Shield of Faith
Tomek Baginski on Unsplash
Is your outfit appropriate for a dress code which requires full armor? The Shield of Faith…

“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”

Ephesians 6:11-13

Stand firm then…
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”

Ephesians 6:16

Screech – wait a minute, is this necessary when we are wearing full armor? Why are we commanded to wield a shield “in addition to all of this”? Don’t we already have an impenetrable breastplate of righteousness in place beneath it? Does God require us to suit up in frivolous extras?

I’ll be honest. I do not like to carry things. My purse is a backpack. The more pockets a garment has, the more often I wear it. I prefer to be hands-free. But God specifically tells us to take up our shield of faith. Spiritually, this is something we are commanded to carry. Why is it so important?

Full Armor: Is your Shield Appropriate for a Dress Code which Requires Full Armor?
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I cannot help but notice something amazing. This faith we are to carry – it does not simply block the attack of the enemy. What does it say? With this shield, we can extinguish the flaming arrows he shoots at us. It renders them all useless. It puts them cold and harmless on the floor at our feet.

What types of fiery darts have been shot at you lately? Accusations, doubts, worries, temptations? Have you been pierced by panic or felt the pang of inadequacy? Has temptation overtaken your willpower, or your self-discipline been defeated by desire? If so, that is an indication that you may have set your shield aside. Take stock right now – where have you placed your faith?

The flaming arrows of the evil one are meant to make us burn with regret and shame. Our enemy fires them to shake our confidence in the victory which is ours in Christ Jesus. So God includes the shield of faith to be part of His dress code of full armor. He knows it will enable us to march victoriously toward our eternal prize.

Captain America: Is your Shield Appropriate for a Dress Code which Requires Full Armor?
Photo by Colton Sturgeon on Unsplash

Are you familiar with Captain America? He can wield his shield like a pro! And you know what? We can become proficient with ours too. It will require perseverance, but practice makes perfect, as they say.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

James 1:2-4, emphasis mine
Soldiers with shields: Is your Shield Appropriate for a Dress Code which Requires Full Armor?
Photo by Heinz Schneider on Unsplash

Friends, I’m inspired, how about you? The benefit of bolstering our faith far outweighs the effort it requires. God’s commands are always for our benefit. The shield of faith is a vital piece of armor. It is for our protection and far more. In fact, we are saved through faith, by God’s grace.

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God…”

Ephesians 2:8

“But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.”

Hebrews 10:39

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

Hebrews 11:1, 6

How is your battle-preparedness right now? Is your Belt of Truth securely buckled? Is your Breastplate of Righteousness in place? Are your Feet Fitted with Readiness to share the Gospel? Have you taken up your Shield of Faith? Is your outfit appropriate for a dress code which requires full armor?

Next up: The Helmet of Salvation!

If you’d like to read the Introduction for this series, click here.

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Devotions

Are your Boots Appropriate for a Dress Code which Requires Full Armor?

I stepped on a small toy this morning. Yeeeooow! My feet are far from tough. I cannot imagine trying to fight a battle with bare feet. No suit of armor would be complete without good shoes!

Toys: Is your Outfit Appropriate for a Dress Code which Requires Full Armor
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash
Is your outfit appropriate for a dress code which requires full armor? The Boots of Readiness…

“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”

Ephesians 6:11-13

Stand firm then…
with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.

Ephesians 6:15

Isn’t that interesting? The good news of the gospel is connected to footwear in the armor of God. There is more in these verses:

“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace…”

Isaiah 52:7a

“As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

Romans 14:15b

The word “gospel” means good news. We bring good news and proclaim peace as we take the gospel out. We need to be prepared with shoes for the journey.

“…with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.” If we have accepted the good news, we need not worry about where to get these fittings for our feet. They come from that which we have already received.

For a full explanation of the Gospel’s good news, click here.

Knowing Jesus brings peace. We have peace of mind, peace for the future, and peace with God. The world in which we live is desperate for that message. And our enemy is desperate to keep people desperate!

Boots: Is your Outfit Appropriate for a Dress Code which Requires Full Armor
Full Suit of Armor

The boots set us up for action. They equip us for motion. Wearing this piece of armor signifies that we are ready, at a moment’s notice, to take the gospel wherever and to whomever we’re sent.

Personally, I tend towards laziness in this area. Literally and metaphorically, I prefer to kick off my shoes and be comfortable. If I were to choose the shoes for my armored outfit, I’d pick a pair which make me fast, or agile, or at least cute, and I’d leave them by the door until I decided to venture out.

But God has a different agenda. He commands we fit our feet practically. Our boots are durable with readiness to serve, share, teach and to endure the hardship with which the enemy is sure to counter. We need to keep these boots on, laced and ready, so we can enter the fray at a moment’s notice.

Knights: Is your Outfit Appropriate for a Dress Code which Requires Full Armor
Knights Fully Outfitted in Armor

How is your battle-preparedness right now? Is your Belt of Truth securely buckled? Is your Breastplate of Righteousness in place? Are your feet fitted with readiness to share the Gospel? Are your boots appropriate for a dress code which requires full armor?

Next up: The Shield of Faith!

If you’d like to read the Introduction for this series, click here.