Dressing for Success takes on a whole new meaning when you’re talking about church, at least for me. I’m not referring to what you physically wear to church, I’m pretty flexible on that matter, just be decent, and be in church, and I’m a happy camper. I’m talking about what you spiritually wear to church.
If you’ve been in church any time at all you’ve likely heard a sermon or two preached from Ephesians 6 on the whole armor of God. It’s a necessary sermon for getting through life’s every day battles that leave more than a dent or two on us. But what about the armor we wear to church? Is there such a thing?
I personally want a sermon preached to me that when it’s over my toes are bruised from all the times they’ve been stepped on. I know that’s not the norm. Most people like a sermon that powders their tush and makes them feel all fluffy inside. My opinion of that, is that’s what gotten America in the shape she’s in. My friend Roger preached last night and hit the nail on the head when he said, “We’ve quit preaching on personal sin.” Nobody wants anyone to hold them accountable, they especially don’t want God to hold them accountable. We want the Lord of love but we don’t want the Lord of accountability. Just save us Lord, then leave us be. And so the world now caters to that in churches across the land because it brings numbers… or does it?
I’ve heard those against the mega churches say that those churches are full because it’s easy believism being preached. There are those I’m sure. But I’ve listened to several that stir my soul. And I’ve been in little churches that have been mighty in the Spirit and some that were few in number because nobody was preaching a message of conviction to make anyone loyal to God. We need what David knew was necessary for successful living in Psalm 139:23 when he said “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me and know my thoughts.” David didn’t want baby powder, he wanted talcum powder from a work out with God. We need a strong word to make us stronger. Weak words do just that, they weakens us. So stomp my toes Mr. Preacher and I’ll wear the appropriate attire for church.
In earlier times, pre-spanking days, a father wouldn’t send you to your room to think about what you’d done. He’d fully dress ya. Maybe that’s a word from our region, I’m not sure, and I really never heard it from my own dad, but I’ve been fully dressed on more than one occasion by God.
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Put on the whole armor, not just part of it. While we think of this as verses for life, it’s also verses for church. We need to be prepared to hear the word of God because in that place of worship the first one to show up for a service is Satan himself. He’s got every open pew filled with evil. And with the churches of today, there’s plenty of open seats. But while we’re there we need to come prepared to hear the word of God even if that means we’re gonna be fully dressed by him. That is how we grow. We discipline our children so they know there’s a better way, God does His children no different.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Entering a spirit filled service of the Lord should find our minds fully drawn into the Holy Spirit. Focused on what He’d have us to know even if that means putting on blinders to all else in the room. Satan knows the house of God is a place of business for God. It’s not the only place He works but it’s one of the best. So it’s there that Satan launches an attack to keep eyes and minds off the sermon. He’ll do it with people, thoughts, bugs, babies, anything that can pull your mind away from the word. Get fully drawn into God when you hit the building.
None of my three points sound like something you put on until you think of them in the spiritual sense. Being dressed, drawn and determined are all spiritual mindsets that must be put on inwardly and worn outwardly so that the not only Satan and his cronies can see it, but others can see it.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Each piece of the spiritual armor has a purpose to shielding us from the wickedness of the spiritual realm. But one of the most detrimental things to the spiritual man is self. We have to allow God to dress us when we’re drifting away from His purpose. We have to allow ourselves to be drawn to the spiritual side rather than the flesh and we have to put on that determination before we ever enter the service of God.
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
We need to wear it, but above all we need to speak it. Telling others about Christ is a devotion few have any more. They’re devoted to Sunday morning… not so much Monday through Saturday. Tonight is Wednesday and I’ll teach this thought to my teens, because I’m not raising babies in my ministry. I want them battle ready when they hit life head on!0