The Clothes Make the Man?
by Rhonda Rhea
Glass half full person. Glass half empty person. I tend to be more of a dribble whatever’s in the glass down my shirt person. It’s always best if I try to coordinate whatever I’m wearing with the meal of the moment. That’s one big reason I so want a chocolate suit.
My husband? We should always buy him shirts made of ink. Spots under the pocket wouldn’t be spots. They would just be, well, more shirt. They say the clothes make the man. If that’s true, Richie’s clothes make him…INK MAN. Yet you should know (and I’m not saying this with even a hint of sarcasm), “Ink Man” will always be my hero. He has a special “spot” in my heart.
In a spiritual battle, I choose to team up with those who are well-armed. The villains waging war against us in this life are heavier on the evil than any you’ll find in your average super hero movie. Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:1-12, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (ESV).
“Cosmic powers over this present darkness”? Nothing in the comics compares. Then again, nothing—imaginary or real—compares with the strength we find in the armor of God. We’re able to stand against evil as we put on that armor. If Tony Stark came strutting up to some giant super villain without his suit, not only would he look ridiculous, but he would also be toast. I can just imagine him trying to shoot power beams out of his hands. Nothing. Or maybe jumping up to fly off, getting nowhere. As a super hero, Tony is nakedly nothing without the suit.
Even worse, he’s defenseless. It would be the ultimate in foolishness for him to even think of going into a battle with an evil nemesis without his shields up.
For us spiritually, we are armed and battle-ready when we take off anything fleshly—all traces of self-sufficiency and those prideful thoughts that seek to deceive us into thinking we have any kind of power of our own we can carry into the fray. Verse 10 in that Ephesians 6 passage makes it clear where our battle-readiness should come from: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.” His strength. His might. Because it’s His battle. And the next verse tells us we should put on the whole armor “of God.” Not of self. Not of man. Not of any of our own ideas of how super-hero strength should operate. His armor.
No power on this planet or any other can prevail against us when we’re armored up. His truth enables us, His righteousness empowers us, His Gospel of peace emboldens us and the faith He gives us fortifies us. No need for any glass-half-full kind of thinking here. We can’t lose.
Battles fought in His strength? I’m happy to tell you in the most positive way that we’re “well-suited” for each and every one.