The more I am exposed to the unmerited favor of God, the more the epiphanies make their way into my paradigm, renewing my mind afresh. He's taking things that have been tucked away and making sense of them, opening my eyes to see them differently than I have known.
Yokes of performance and striving have filled my life for most of my years. Slowly but surely each one is being exposed for what it is. The wheat is being sifted to blow away the chaff, allowing that which has no value to be removed for good. Scriptures that I have read for my entire life are being seen through different lenses. The more the Spirit of God fine tunes my eyesight the more clearly I see, things are not what I thought they were.
I'd heard the passage preached throughout my life. If you look in my Bible you'll see the notations from things heard that I wanted to put into practice. Each element was described beautifully, revealing it's importance. Exhortations were often strong and commanding. "Put on the full armor of God."
How does one actually put an armor like that on? How do you envision wearing it all day? I feared what would happen if I didn't. I was told I would leave myself open for attack. Was I doing it correctly? If I didn't would I then be exposed to dangerous attempts at my well being? I tried hard to obediently put on each piece daily, doing my best to picture each part in it's place .
That is until the epiphany came.
The armor is not something that I put on. It is something I sink into. It's not a visible set like the knights wore. It is Jesus in Me.
Paul is exhorting me to live in the identity of my new nature where Jesus' completed life interweaves with mine. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live. Christ now lives in me. We are interwoven together as one.
Jesus is the armor that I sink into. Jesus in Me.
I don't put it on, as an act of obedience, I live in it. Paul is inviting me to realize what is already true. I am Jesus in Julie. The resurrected Christ lives in me. He is my armor. Each piece described in the passage points back to the One who conquered sin, death and the grave.
The belt of truth - Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. (John 14:6)
The breastplate of righteousness - Jesus is the Righteous One who makes me righteous. (II Corinthians 5:21)
The shoes of gospel of peace - Jesus is the Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)
The shield of faith - I live by the faith "of the Son of God" who loved me and gave Himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
The helmet of salvation - Jesus is the Savior of the world. (Luke 2:11)
The sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. - In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was with God. (John 1:1)
It's not about my envisioning placing armor on my body, it's about living out what happened the day Jesus walked out of that tomb. I was made righteous once and for all. My old life is gone. I was given a new nature. Christ lives inside me perfecting my imperfections. He is the way to the truth to the life. Even on my worst day I am and will always be the righteousness of Christ.
Once more the chains that once bound me fall away as I realize it all. Jesus invites me to step into His completed life in me. Just the thought of it all astounds me. Christ exchanged His life for mine. He gave me another chance at life. He made me new.
It's not up to my obedient act that gets it right. It's Christ in me that makes me right. Baby step by baby step I'm learning to see this Jesus who lives inside me. As I do I find absolute protection as I realize, Jesus the Prince of Peace, the Righteous One, the Savior of the world has now become my armor. I'm sinking into the full armor of God.
©copyrighted: 2011; Julie L. Todd