When I get dressed in the morning (let’s be honest, if I get dressed in the morning), my clothes pretty much stay on my body until I take them off.
My shirt performs its body covering tasks with the same fervor and effectiveness from the moment I put it on until I take it off to put on my pajamas (let’s be honest, if I put on my pajamas).
Sometimes I’m tempted to count on my "breastplate of righteousness" to just stay on and perform its task of safeguarding against the devil until I would decide to take it off.
I mean, why would a belt stop performing belt duties unless I unbuckled it?
I want the moments I have felt strongest in my faith to lock-in indefinitely.
That’s not how faith works. That’s not how a lot of things in life work.
Just like exercise, cleaning, healthy eating, and other things that are for our good, this armor is not intended for one time application.
You can’t look back to your confirmation class or a Bible study and check off your Ephesians 6 armor accumulation checklist for good.
Feet fitted with readiness? Check.
Belt of truth? Check.
Shield of faith? Check.
Helmet of salvation? Check, check, double check.
I should be good to go now, right?
I’m often tempted to consider my faith in the lens of things I have done in the past to strengthen it. Just because I have been strong in my faith doesn’t mean I will always be strong in my faith.
I think we’re all pretty familiar with the phrase “Take up your cross and follow me.”
Daily, it says.
Daily take up your cross.
Don’t pick it up one time, set it down in a good spot and pat yourself on the back for your obedience.
Christ died once for all, but he did not consider that task (however monumental) the end of His work on our behalf, checking out from His relationship with us and then waiting to catch up with us after we pass through the pearly gates.
Consider the benefit of regular exercise, healthy eating, consistent tidying (ok, well, I’m not personally familiar with that last one, but I can imagine).
How much greater is the benefit of consistent, focused, regular dedication to putting on that armor, and prioritizing our faith?
The same way a run after a few weeks (Months? Years?) off requires considerably more effort than the consistent and committed runner, a prioritized faith that is given its proper place on our priority list leaves us closer to our heavenly king, and His will for our lives more discernible.
It also keeps us alert and on guard against that prowling lion, the devil, always waiting for a moment of weakness to work his way into our hearts.
Don’t put yourself at risk and complete a one time checklist of tasks for the maintenance of your faith.
Instead, consider the magnitude of what is at stake, the sacrifice made for you, and the joy awaiting you, a purchased and won child of the ever-living, ever-loving Father in heaven.