I completed the dreaded task a couple of weeks ago. You know, making the BIG switch. Swapping the winter clothes out of my closet, for those that make the summer heat more bearable. It's quite a job and I put it off as long as possible.
Reality set in the next day when I realized a few things from my summer wardrobe were a little on the tight side. Something had happened since the last time I'd worn these clothes...you guessed it, I'd added a couple of pounds. Nothing too serious, but serious enough to cause some discomfort. Time to get a bit more disciplined about my eating and exercise.
As I increased the time and intensity of my workout this morning, I thought about clothing. Although I may not be able to wear some of the clothes in my closet, the wardrobe that God provides for me, will always fit. The belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the gospel shoes, and the helmet of salvation - each article of spiritual clothing, designed by the master Tailor in just the right size.
How relieving to know that I can never outgrow God's truth. The 'belt' He provides is up to any challenge I might encounter. Battling the lie that you just can't handle life's stress anymore? The belt of truth overcomes this falsehood: "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me" (2 Cor. 12:9; KJV). Feeling challenged to forgive someone? Look to the truth: "Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye" (Col. 3:13). Whatever stage in life; youth, teen, adult, the belt of truth that God provides for me will always fit. I need only to put it on! The truth of His Word is guaranteed to make me free (John 8:32).
The breastplate of righteousness is neither too tight nor too loose. When I live in a way that's consistent with my Father's instruction manual, the Bible, this breastplate is extremely comfortable. Putting God first, treating others with kindness and respect, helping those in need, and following His will for my life keep me living right, and put me in the position to be blessed by my loving, Heavenly Father. The book of Matthew reminds us, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" (6:33).
I've got some shoes that pinch my toes, causing blisters. Another pair that painfully squeeze the back of my heel . Then there are those shoes that are so comfortable, I barely notice I've got them on. God's gospel shoes fit like a dream, and give me the motivation to share the good news of Jesus Christ with those He brings across my path. Satan wants me to think that others aren't interested in hearing the plan of salvation, so he seeks to rough up my terrain and cause my 'feet' discomfort. But the truth is, everyone needs to hear about the Savior. And He is more powerful than our enemy: "Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world" (1 John 4:4).
I'm not much of a hat person, but I understand that a hat can provide protection. Have you ever allowed a thought to drift through your mind, causing you to doubt God? Without the helmet of salvation firmly in place, those thoughts will go unchecked, playing directly into the hand of the enemy. Beware! As much as the enemy wants us to doubt our salvation, the Lord wants us to be assured of our salvation. "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God" (1 John 5:13; emphasis added mine).
So what are you wearing? If you're in need of a wardrobe makeover, may I recommend the master Tailor? Jesus Christ. The belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, gospel shoes, and helmet of salvation will look good on you! And they're perfect all year round!
*A re-post from April 2010.
*I'm hosting over at Living by Grace today. Come join in the discussion!