This has been a few stress filled days as I traveled to Los Angeles to attend and speak at the Celebration of Life for my dearest friend Joan. I am home now looking at our picture on my desk, remembering her smile of encouragement, her faith and her being family to me. She encourages me to write and keep speaking out about our beloved Savior.
In today’s passage, Romans 13:12-14 Paul is speaking to the Roman Christians about their behavior. Since they belong to Christ, much is expected because they no longer walk in darkness and have been given the fortitude by Jesus to meet the new high standards He has set for all of us. “The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.”
The Roman Christians had just come out of idolatry and the worship of pagan idols. They were asked to give up those practices that focused on the fleshly nature of man and live morally upright lives based on love for one another in Christ. It was a tall order then, and is today too. There are many ‘idols’ that pull us away from focusing on Jesus and, they seek to occupy our time, talents and monies. Paul exhorts the Roman Christians to put on the armor of light. What is the armor of light? I have been pondering this and I feel it is God’s character that was shown to mankind in Jesus. In verse 14, Paul tells them to ‘put on the Lord Jesus Christ’. Both of these phrases, suggest we need to put on the godly character of Jesus in place of our old nature. His godly character has support, armor and the indwelling power of the Holy Spirt that makes it tough enough to withstand than anything we can ever face.
How do we put on this armor of light? First, we need to be committed to Jesus and firmly believe Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” We need to believe in Jesus and His saving work on the cross on our behalf.
Second, we need to spend time in God’s Word getting to know who He is, what He has done, what He will do and how we are to live lives for Him. Psalm 119:105 “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
Secondly,(again) we need to spend time in prayer talking with God- Adoring Him for who He is, Thanking Him for all He does or has done, Confessing what you know and He reveals to you as sin and seeking His help by asking Him to intervene in the circumstances of your life. Psalm 46:10 ““Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
Thirdly, we need to seek the fellowship of other believers so as to encourage and strengthen each other in Christ.
Because Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead, I can put on Christ’s armor of light to successfully live each day. With His armor of light, you will be as different as night is from day in your new life in Him!