Bob Tamasy: Like It Or Not, We're At War - Dress Accordingly

  • Thursday, June 6, 2024
  • Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

Some weeks ago, I wrote about our common preoccupation with outward appearances. Statements such as “dress for success” and “clothes make the man” have reflected efforts to ensure making the best visual impressions. I pointed out, however, that such things are irrelevant in God’s point of view. As the apostle Paul wrote, “God does not judge by external appearance” (Galatians 2:6).

But there are times when clothing choices are designed not for visible impact but for something more practical – protection. For example, workers on construction sites wear hardhats. Firefighters wear special head gear, boots and outerwear. Soldiers in battle wear helmets and other protective equipment. And police officers are issued bulletproof vests to protect in the event of gunfire.

Whenever we’re engaged in pursuits that pose physical danger, it’s wise to wear protective clothes. But what about the spiritual danger we confront every day?

For followers of Jesus Christ, there’s a different form of attire intended to protect as we engage in the unseen spiritual war all around us. Ephesians 6:10-11 calls it “the full armor of God.” Whether we want to admit it or not – and often we don’t – we’re at war against a devious enemy and should be wary of his strategies.

Jesus Himself had to face opposition from Satan, and many times referred to the master of evil. The Lord described him this way in John 10:10, “The thief [Satan] comes only to steal and kill and destroy….” Jesus quickly offered the contrast when He added, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

Elsewhere in the New Testament, we find this warning: “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Sounds like it would be wise not only to be aware, but also to safeguard ourselves from evil onslaughts.

In the early 1980s, several Christian denominations openly expressed a desire to remove the beloved hymn, “Onward Christian Soldiers,” from their hymnbooks. Another hymn facing similar opposition was “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Detractors claimed the ‘militaristic overtones’ of these hymns were unacceptable for peaceful worship.

However, the Scriptures offer no such misgivings. In 2 Timothy 2:3-4, the apostle Paul urged his protégé to “Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs – he wants to please his commanding officer.”

This is one reason Paul provided imagery of the aforementioned “full armor of God.” He wrote:

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the 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 6:13).

The apostle proceeded to describe elements of this spiritual armor: “the belt of truth…breastplate of righteousness…the gospel of peace…shield of faith…helmet of salvation…sword of the Spirit (the word of God)” and prayer.

Undergirding this admonition is a reminder that in ourselves – our own power – we’re unable to ward off evil advances. However, being “strong in the Lord and in His mighty power” we can emerge victorious, not only surviving but also thriving as we persevere in our walk with the Lord.

Even though the United States was founded within a context of Judeo-Christian principles, people of faith are encountering opposition unprecedented in the history of our nation. Although written nearly 2,000 years ago, words from the opening chapter of the book of Romans aptly describe where we are today: “They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator…” (Romans 1:25).

And there’s no sign of things getting better. So, as we strive to remain faithful and strong in living for Christ, we’d be wise to conscientiously don the full armor of God as part of our daily “wardrobe.”

* * *

Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, former newspaper editor and magazine editor. Bob has written, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include the newly published, ”Marketplace Ambassadors”; “Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today’s Workplace”; “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” A weekly business meditation he edits, “Monday Manna,” is translated into more than 20 languages and sent via email around the world by CBMC International. The address for his blog is www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com. His email address is btamasy@comcast.net.

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