Watching teenagers get ready for Prom is an interesting experience. These otherwise confident (and often cocky!) young people become suddenly nervous and unsure. “Will I look okay?” “Can I walk in these heels?” “What will my friends say when they see me?” As they dress in their brand new “grown up” clothes, they are transformed into someone new. Suddenly, they realize their old “confidence” was a façade; really only the immature way most teens deal with insecurity and the fear of rejection.
But these new clothes…they make a difference in the wearer. They look older. They feel older. They stand straight and tall. They are empowered by the suit to try things they have never tried before…a fancy dinner date, a new dance move. The suit allows them to become a glorified version of their selves.
Along with a new sense of self, the clothes bring something else: discomfort. They’re new and not broken in. They fell stiff and “unnatural.” Shoes wear blisters on tender feet. Ties and vests inhibit movement. The strength and power that comes with the suit soon gives place to the difficulty in wearing something so out of the ordinary.
Like Cinderella’s beautiful gown, the magnificent prom garments disappear and are replaced with old, comfortable clothing. In the mind of the wearer, the tuxedo and gown become connected with an event. They are not for everyday life. Those are clothes you only wear when you have something special to do, someplace important to go.
But the memory of being transformed into that “other” self lingers on…
Use every piece of God’s armor to resist the enemy in the time of evil, so that after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that you will be fully prepared. In every battle you will need faith as your shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed at you by Satan. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray at all times and on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all Christians everywhere. – Ephesians 6:13-18, NLT
As believers, we have special clothes, too. And they make a difference in the wearer. They look like Jesus. They feel the strength and power of His might coursing through them. They stand straight and tall, unmoved by circumstances and attacks of the enemy. They are empowered by the suit to try things they have never tried before…boldly confessing the Word, walking in love and forgiveness, being led by the Holy Spirit…and maybe even trying a new dance move during times of worship. This suit transforms the wearer into the glorified version of themselves.
Not unlike the fancy prom clothes, the Armor of God often brings discomfort. It is not always convenient or comfortable to tell the truth and walk in righteousness. Allowing the peace of God to rule and reign in our lives, rather than giving way to frustration and anger, often rubs us the wrong way and makes it difficult to stand in these new shoes. It is truly an “out of the ordinary” suit that the carnal nature resists. It can become easy for us to think, “I only need this armor for special times or extreme emergencies. This is not a suit for every day.” Soon, the power and peace of God becomes a memory…
But we have some place to go and something to do for the Kingdom every single day of our lives. We are all dressed up for a reason! We have an assignment for which God has given us all the tools we need to be successful. In this new season, we still have the same old devil to contend with. So clothe yourself daily with the Armor of God. Stand against the enemy and when you’re done with one round, stay clothed and ready for the next.
Dress your part…and stay dressed!