How do you protect yourself? What measures do you take to protect your family? What are you protecting yourself and your family against? Are there specific dangers you worry about more than others?
Most all of us will take measures to protect ourselves and our families against the dangers of this world. We put young children in car seats. We put protective equipment on our kids to play sports to reduce the possibility of injury. We put coats on to protect ourselves from frostbite when it is cold outside.
There are other protective measures we should consider. Specifically, we should look to outfit ourselves with the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-17). By putting on the armor provided by God, we protect ourselves from the devil’s attacks, from the various schemes he uses to mislead, confuse, separate, and harm us.
It has become an automatic action for most of us to put a seatbelt on when we get into a vehicle. So much so that we don’t even think about it. Personally, I’ve gotten in a vehicle, put my seatbelt on, and later noticed it was on and not even remember putting it on. Putting on the full armor of God needs to become just as automatic as putting on a seatbelt.
The apostle Paul wrote to the church in Thessalonica to put God’s armor on, since they belonged to the day. What does he mean by belonging to the day? It means we live after Christ had been crucified, buried, and raised from the dead. It means we live in the new covenant.
He goes on to tell them to be sober of mind. In other words, understand you are being attacked by the devil and prepare yourself for those attacks. He provides the short list of God’s armor to protect the vital body parts.
The breastplate protects our heart. The helmet protects our head. Our hope of salvation helps keep our minds focused on the promise of eternity with God. With the protection provided by hope, we can ward off thoughts of failure, anxiety, worry, anger, and hate. Maintaining our hope in Christ protects us from being led astray by temptations.
Paul wraps up his message by stating God did not put us in this world to suffer wrath, His wrath. Rather, God desires us to accept the salvation He has offered through His Son. Salvation through Christ is our ultimate hope.
I pray we all decide to put on the armor of God. I pray we hold on to our hope in Christ. I pray each one of us understand we live in the new covenant implemented by Christ. Put on the armor of God. Protect yourself from the devil’s attacks. Hold on to your faith and hope.
1 Thessalonians 5:8-9 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.