Thursday, September 29, 2016

SEPTEMBER 28 "DANG, I FORGOT MY BELT"

     I used to have dreams of being caught in High School with no shoes and having to walk around in my socks all day, I felt like an idiot. I'm not sure what the meaning of those dreams were, but I know one thing, I felt like an idiot all day and couldn't wait for the day to end and I would be sure to double check that I had my shoes on the following day before I left my house. Paul in our text is using dress items as a metaphor of how we should dress ourselves up, as Christians. No more would I want to walk around without shoes all day than I should be willing to walk around without Peace in my heart and in my intentions. Paul mentions to put on "the belt of Truth". I don't know if it was my Marine Corps training that drilled this into me or it's just common sense, but either way, you don't get all dressed up and then forget to put on a belt.  If I catch my son before he leaves the house for Church, without a belt I quickly send him back to his room to find his belt and put it on, "don't leave the house without a belt on", I tell him.  I wonder if the Holy Spirit ever tries to remind us that we are leaving the house with less than honest intentions for the day. We have no intentions about telling the truth about what happened the previous day. The Holy Spirit would ask, "where is your belt" and what do we say? How about women, did you leave the house without your shoes (God forbid!), of course NEVER would a women leave the house without her shoes, but quite often women leave the house without PEACE in mind, as a matter of a fact, there is a war waiting to happen at the office, or worse, at church and nothing is going to deter them, not even the Holy Spirit as He cautions them to put on their shoes of peace.
     Paul is admonishing us that the Christian life consists of these virtues, ie: Truth (belt), Peace (shoes), Righteousness (breastplate), Faith (shield), Sanity (helmet) and God's word and to get up on any given day and not fully dress with any of these is not to be dressed completely and as much as we would feel like a fish out of water walking around with no shoes all day or leading a high profile, corporate meeting that day without a belt; we should feel just as awkward knowing we have left the house and not dressed ourselves with peace, truth and righteousness. In any of these situations we would return home to get the belt or shoes and we should do the same spiritually. The Christian life consists of righteousness, faith, peace, honesty etc.....and we ought to leave the home every morning with every intent to wear these virtues without compromise. This is not only how we should conduct ourselves but we will find that in the end, virtues become our armor, and that perhaps is the greatest point of this passage. These virtues that we hold to will be what protect us against the onslaughts of hell.  Paul is saying that these "virtues" actually work as insulators against the attacks of the enemy.  I want to ask, "which of these virtues that Paul has mentioned have you learned over the years not to put on? Has your business profession caused you to leave your belt at home? Have relationships caused you to leave your shoes at home? Well, what you have done i s not only compromised virtues but you have compromised what Paul says is your "spiritual armor" and over time you will not stand, you will get hit and wounded to the point that you may be taken out and you will wonder how, how you were penetrated and God will be Faithful to show you (I hope) the area of vulnerability you left open when you began to dress each morning, purposely leaving, one of the aforementioned items, off your list. Paul says, "put on the full armor", not just bits and pieces that you select.  Struggling??? Being assaulted beyond what you think you can endure?? Maybe this is an area you need to re-examine and ask yourself, "am I putting on the full armor each day" and if not, determine which item you are leaving off." Once you've decided which item it is, then from that point on, begin each day by making sure, you do not leave the house without and once you leave with it, keep it on!  Don't be like children who wear a certain item to leave the house, but immediately once they are out of sight of their parents, take it off.  Put it on and keep it on, until you lay your head down to sleep!