Do you ever think to yourself, “Man, I’m glad that Lady Gaga’s meat dress never caught on”? If you haven’t before, you are thinking it now. Can you imagine what would happen? Dogs would be attacking people in the streets, there would always be the smell of rancid flesh in the air, and tasty beef steaks would be wasted.
Yet some of the fashions that have trended over the years are even weirder. Like hoop skirts, for example. What lunkhead thought that a preschooler’s whalebone construction project belonged underneath a skirt? Or corsets. “Let’s make it harder to breath and permanently alter a woman’s bone structure by shoving her into an accordion!” And don’t get me started on high heels.
Thank God those have lost popularity, right? Good riddance, au revoir, and if you please, never come back. But there’s one fashion choice that is dying with shocking swiftness: the armor of God.
Unlike jelly bracelets and ridiculously poofy perms, the loss of this fashion is cause for alarm. The reaction to someone wearing the armor of God nowadays is relatively the same reaction you would get if you wore a green alien zoot suit yelling gibberish out in public: “You need help, what are you doing, and I’m pretty sure you’re on drugs.” Truth, peace, righteousness, faith, and salvation, all things that the armor of God gives you in full, are things that are rejected as the dreams of a madman. To a soul dead in sin, the Word of God is so repulsive you may as well be trying to get a hug while covered in rotting garbage and cacti.
Despite these circumstances, God still fully expects us to put on this fashion choice every day.
“Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction.” – 2 Timothy 4:2
As much as I at times want to put on the spiritual skinny jeans and Converse of teenage popularity, God calls me and everyone else to put on that full armor. We are the underdogs. By the world’s standards, we are the losers. The defeated. The ludicrous. The outnumbered. But I like our chances. As some of my favorite verses say, “We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.” (2 Corinthians 1:8b-9) Whether Christianity is in or out of season is irrelevant: Our mission stays the same. All we can do is continue to spread the Word and love God. God will take care of the rest.
It’s a heck of a trust exercise, that’s for sure. It doesn’t feel like it’s worth the trial and tribulation. I’ve had difficulty talking about my faith lately. My throat closes up and my verbal word bank gets robbed of everything but unintelligible vowel sounds out of fear. There have been moments where all I can think of is the sheer number of teachers, politicians, scientists, philosophers, and average Joes who cast shame and throw shade on the Bible and anyone who believes in it. And I know that I cannot be alone in those thoughts, so to anyone going through the same thing, I say this:
“And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.” – Romans 13:11-12
While our fashion choices may draw some interesting glances and judgmental stares, we can be confident in the promises of God that the day is almost here. We don’t have much farther to go. Fight for your faith. Defend it. Share it. Our time is almost over.
“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” – Ephesians 6:13