The armor of God is meant to protect us. To help us live the abundant life Christ died to give us.
But we have to pick up the armor. We have to shoulder the burden.
And it can get pretty heavy at times.
It’s up to you whether you’ll let it weigh you down or use it to build your strength.
It used to weigh me down.
I used to be powerless to control my addictions and impulses. Particularly when it came to men.
The armor was a weight causing my steps to falter. I’d look beyond the little peek hole in my helmet, taking tiny, labored steps. And I’d see everyone else having fun. Drinking, having sex, tons of friends, laughter. All these people seemed completely fulfilled, and there I was, sinking beneath the burden of my faith.
So I chucked the armor and joined the crowd. I felt light and carefree. Happy. Just like the rest of the world.
Until the world hurt me and I realized the true burden of sin. Then I ran back to the sanctity of armor. But this time, it wasn’t God’s armor I picked up…it was my own.
My armor shut people out. I isolated myself, determined to never let anyone into my heart again. Not even God could break through.
Somehow, he did. Duh, he’s God. I still don’t know how I let this happen, but I am grateful. It was a gentle softening, a wooing of sorts. I must have cried
enough tears to dissolve my armor until I was left defenseless, crawling on my hands and knees.
And when I picked up the armor of God again – belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, shoes of peace, sword of the Spirit and the helmet of salvation – I made an amazing discovery: somewhere along the way all these burdens had strengthen me. The armor didn’t feel so heavy. I could run farther, stand taller with it on than off.
I’m still weak. I still falter beneath the weight of responsibility this gives me. I still need the armor to protect me.
But the burden is easier to bear.
And all those things I thought I needed? The friends, laughter, sex and alcohol? Somehow, through God’s miraculous wonders, I have solid, godly friendships, my days are filled with laughter, I’ve replaced my need for sex with a much deeper level of companionship. And when I go out I might enjoy a nice glass of wine or a specialty beer. I no longer need to drown my inhibitions to have a good time.
And so, the armor of God doesn’t only protect me against Satan’s attacks. It also protects me against my own.