Saturday, August 2, 2008

running shoes and riot gear

A friend called me yesterday and asked if I would be able to take her shopping for the day today. She is having a special party for her daughter and needed to find some clothes for herself and her boys for the occasion. She had heard that there were going to be some great sales today, specifically one at JCPenney.

It was going to be one of those "5 hr sales." You know the kind I'm talking about--like the ones on so-called Black Friday (what a name!!), the day after Thanksgiving. The sales that are only for a few hours beginning at the very wee hours of the morning and ending by noon. The sales that have just a few of the very best items, and they can be had by YOU at a scandalously low price if you can get there before everyone else who is also trying to get there before you! Those kind of sales are what I'm talking about here.

So, I had the picture of it in my head: I would awaken and rise early, don my running shoes, and sprint from the house to the car, speed to the pick-up location of my friend, slow down just enough for her to leap into the car, tear off down the freeway to the mall ....and the sale at JCPenney. When we arrived, we would open the trunk, and pull out and don all of our full riot armor. (You know, helmets, flak jackets, shields, billy clubs, and steel-toed running shoes. Can't you just see it?!) Then, and only then, would we be ready to face the sales crowd and get the good stuff just waiting for us to rescue it from the clutches of the masses.

Well, I will admit, it wasn't like that at all. We had a good day 'hunting and gathering,' got some great deals, and finally arrived safely at home, dog-tired and foot-sore, just a couple of hours ago. Though there were quite a few people at the sales, we did manage to survive without our riot gear.

It did make me think, however, about the armor that we truly do need to put on each day so we can walk out into the battle of daily life. In Ephesians 6:11, our Captain commands us to "Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes." He tells us (vs 10) that this is the way for us to " strong in the Lord and in his mighty power." It is by donning our armor that we will be able to stand our ground (vs 13). Without our armor on, we will be an easy target for the enemy of our souls as he seeks to damage and destroy us in any way he can.

A quick list of the armor He commands us to wear is very much like the riot gear I had pictured above:
  • helmet = helmet of salvation
  • flak jackets = breastplate of righteousness
  • full-body shields = shield of faith
  • billy clubs = sword of the Spirit
  • running shoes = feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace
  • (uh-oh, no protection!) = belt of truth

That which I joke about above is truly a necessity for us to wear each day as we enter the daily battle of life in this fallen world. So, whether you're going to a 5-hr sale or to work or even just getting out of bed in the morning, take the time to put on your armor that you may be able to 'stand your ground' no matter what comes your way! We are far more victorious in the battle when we are properly dressed!

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