Hello and welcome to season 2 episode 26 of The Berean Manifesto, brought to you by The Ekklesian House.  This is Pastor Bill and over the next 10 minutes or so we are going to kick off a three-part series focusing on Ephesians 6:11, “Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the schemes of the devil.”

The term here, "Put on" is the word:

G1746 ἐνδύω enduō en-doo'-o From G1722 and G1416 (in the sense of sinking into a garment); to invest with clothing (literally or figuratively): - array, clothe (with), endue, have (put) on.

It's dressing up to send a message.

The way I’ve got it figured, there are four reasons to dress up.

Number 1 is to lie;
    You're eating Ramen for every meal, living in a tiny apartment or home with 5 to 6 other people, meanwhile you're leasing a Bentley and have a couple of two thousand dollar outfits that you use to make it look like your wealthy and have it all together, but you don't.  You're lying.

Number 2 is by requirement;
    Some authority is requiring you to dress up.  It's very similar to number one, but instead of you lying, it's that your authority wants to send a message to the world around you and you’re being forced to dress up.

Number 3 is to feel good;
    You have low self-esteem or you're stepping into an event that you're nervous or unconfident about and you're dressing up to boost your moral, to feel good.

Number 4 is to bring honor;
    You respect the work you're doing, or you respect the people you're going to be seeing or serving; the people you're going to be around.

In Matthew thirteen, Jesus talks about something similar in the parable of the sowing of the seed.  Not exactly the same thing, but close enough to draw parallels. Matthew 13:3-8 says, “[3] Then he told them many things in parables, saying: "Consider the sower who went out to sow. [4] As he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. [5] Other seed fell on rocky ground where it didn't have much soil, and it grew up quickly since the soil wasn't deep. [6] But when the sun came up, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away. [7] Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns came up and choked it. [8] Still other seed fell on good ground and produced fruit: some a hundred, some sixty, and some thirty times what was sown.”

Were going to talk more about the armor of God over the next couple of weeks, but it's important for you to understand this foundational idea.  What you wear says a lot to those around you. You may think you’ve got everyone fooled, but sometimes why you wear what you’re wearing speaks louder than what you wear.  So the real question is, “What is your motivation behind your "investment of clothing?" Your enduō. Why are you doing it? Why are you putting on the armor of God?

-Are you in that dangerous place where you're like the ground on the side of the road and you're putting on the armor as a lie to hide who you really are?  In this position, you're isolating yourself from the very people who could help you get out of the funk that you are in. The very people who could help you turn around the things that you think you need to be lying about.  It's a really bad place to be in. Are you there, are you in that position?

-Are you like the rocky ground and your only putting on the armor because you are being required by some authority to do so?  Have you found yourself working for some ministry or volunteering at your church or somewhere else and you're pretending to be putting on the armor of God as a requirement to be working where your working.  And, you're afraid that if they see the real you if they see that you're only putting that on for their sakes that it's all going to come crashing down? Do you have that sense that you go to work, or you go to serve and you've got on this armor while you're doing that and then the moment you leave their presence depression kicks in?  You feel lonely, alone, lost. Are you in that place? Are you in that rocky ground?

-Are you like the ground riddled with thorns and you're hoping the armor will boost your self-esteem?  Are you listening to teachings by renowned spiritual teachers and going to church; doing all the things that you think you're supposed to be doing, but really deep down inside you're full of depression and hating yourself.  You're putting on the armor because you’re hoping that these things you're doing are going to turn things around?

-Or are you like the good soil and your motivations behind putting on the armor of God are to bring honor to God.  Are you doing it to bring honor to those around you, and to bring honor to the calling that God has put on your life?

It’s important that you know why you’re doing the things that you’re doing.  What is the reason behind your enduō? Why are you putting on the armor of God?  Only you can decide which camp you fall into. Are you lying? Are you being required?  Are you doing it to make yourself feel good? Or are you doing it to bring honor? Only you can decide today to be that good soil, to put on the armor of God in honor.  Take some time this week to consider, think it through. Think about situations that you’ve been in and how you reacted, times where God has tried to get things through to you that eventually you understood and figure out what kind of ground you are.  Which of these camps do you fall into? If, ultimately, you find yourself not in that good ground, just decide to be moving forward. Just decide, “From this day forward, I will be good ground. There will be no more of allowing the birds to come and devour the words of the Lord.  There will be no more of this rockiness keeping my soil from being deep and then the sun scorching away what God has for me because it couldn’t take root. There will be no more thorns in me choking out the things that the Lord has for me. Decide it, and then be that. It really is that simple.  Just decide to be who you want to be and then move forward as that person. You can do it!


This is Pastor Bill saying, “Until next time…”

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