By Dr. Froswa Booker-Drew
Aging has taught me that clothing has a way of defining who we are. It is the first impression that provides an opportunity for others to make judgments about us. We are defined by our looks and our clothing can serve as an enhancement or a distraction. For many, it is an opportunity to bring attention to themselves by standing out, making a statement, or even fitting in so that we are not noticed. I think no matter how impeccably dressed we are if we leave home without certain items, we are unprepared for the world that we will face. We can look our absolute best and be ill-equipped to handle the challenges, problems, and even darts that are thrown our way without the appropriate attire.
Ephesians 6:10-18 provides us with a dress code that is so important to obtain especially in the season that we find ourselves in. It is the famous passage regarding the armor of God. As Paul was watching a Roman soldier, he was given this analogy to help as we engage in those battles we all fight daily. Multiple times throughout the Bible, God commands us to be strong not in ourselves but in God’s power. As we deal with this pandemic, our strength will not come from watching the news. We must be mindful of where we place our focus and what we give our power to. Dealing with the challenges we face requires being prepared mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually—without addressing all these areas of our lives, we are exposed and open. Who would have thought in our lifetimes that we would witness a pandemic along with the increased visibility of racial injustice and inequality?
We are pitted against one another, never truly fighting the real enemy. Our fight is bigger—it is addressing systemic oppression that has been created and maintained by individuals and organizations in positions of authority. Knowing this creates an opportunity for developing a strategic approach to solve. This battle we face is a spiritual one. It is imperative that whatever the occasion, you must dress appropriately. You would not wear a tuxedo or a gown to an outdoor baseball game. Paul identifies articles of clothing that are imperative for this fight. We wear belts because they hold up our pants. Without a belt, we might expose our midriff or even our private areas. Without truth surrounding us, we might allow ourselves to be exposed. Truth keeps us grounded and when we walk in it, there is no need to be afraid of being exposed. The breastplate of righteousness is designed to cover our organs, those things that keep us alive and functioning like our hearts. In this season, you need to make sure that you are covering your heart and protecting it.
As much as we hear dismal news that frightens us, we must protect our hearts, especially so that we do not grow weary and faint from fear. Shoes are important because they protect our feet. They keep us from getting wounded by objects that are on the ground, the things we do not often see coming our way. As we move through this life especially now, we must not allow our peace to be left behind. We will see things or experience matters that will hurt us but even during our trials and setbacks, we must remain covered in peace. God gives us our peace and remaining in God’s presence is the way we can protect ourselves from losing our footing. Use your faith to block those thoughts that come against you causing trepidation and doubt. Protect your head and hold firm to what you know is the final outcome—God will prevail.
To fight what we are facing, we must stand on the Word of God because Hebrews 4:12 states, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword…” When in doubt, the solution to our problems lies in the Word of God. You cannot afford to leave home without these items or even as you are in Zoom meetings or phone calls. It is dangerous for you to start your day without being dressed appropriately. When wearing the armor of God, you can know that you might immediately not feel good or even look good, but you are ready, provision has been made and protection is complete.