Put On

by Angie Fotsis

“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the
devil.” Eph. 6:11

“Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.”
Romans 13:14

We are at war. We have a very real enemy who prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8) - “the prince of the power of the air” who is now powerfully working in those who do not know God. Within his sphere of authority, he has an assembly of rulers, cosmic powers, authorities, and demons (Eph 6:10-17) who oppose us. If that wasn’t enough, we are also at war with the world system and the flesh! The only hope we have in the midst of all this warfare is knowing that Jesus has vanquished all our enemies.

One of the main things at stake through the assaults of these defeated foes is the glory of God. God’s glory is the very thing the enemy has targeted since the beginning. What is God’s glory? Well, defining it fully is impossible because of how closely it’s tied to God Himself. But there are some insights we have into better understanding what God’s glory is. The word glory in Greek is doksa and in Hebrew kabo. Both of those terms convey God’s infinite, intrinsic worth; the real weight of who He is. God’s glory is His substance, the essence of His eternal being. God’s glory is the unveiling of Himself – the manifestation of His holiness. When God reveals Himself and His attributes, it is His glory being unveiled. In short, God’s glory is the unveiling of His Person.

Here are a few Scriptural examples that help us understand the concept of His glory a little better:
-When Moses asked to see God’s glory, Exodus says that he saw His goodness. When God’s goodness was displayed to Moses it was equated to His glory being revealed.
-In Ezekiel when the glory left the temple, it was synonymous to the presence of God Himself` leaving.
-The heavens declare His glory (Psalm 19:1). That is to say they speak something of His
character and nature. When we see how beautiful creation is, we marvel at the One who did the creating. It displays His power and beauty.
- In Gen 3 the serpent’s attack against Adam and Eve involved marring the image of God in their eyes. The question “did God really?” was an assault at the character of God’s Person. The serpent was after the glory of God (who God really is). Is God really trustworthy like He says He is?
-John 1 points out that when Jesus came we beheld the glory of God. Jesus was the visible image of the invisible God. Full of grace and truth He unveiled God before our eyes. The Father was glorified (made known) through Him.

What does God’s glory have to do with warfare? Eventually, the whole earth will be covered in the glory of God (Hab. 2:14). This is what the gospel narrative is working towards – God’s glory filling everything. His desire is to be known. Until then, the devil and his minions are attempting to blind people’s eyes from Him. There is one BIG problem in their efforts to veil the masses from God’s glory, though. THE CROSS. Although the battle continues, the cosmic war for the attempt to thwart God’s glory was overcome at the cross. In Col 2:15, Paul proclaims, “And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.” In coming against the plan of God by instigating the death of Christ on the cross, the powers of darkness unknowingly became the instruments in God’s hands to bring God ultimate glory. Jesus rose from the dead and is seated far above them and is now the HEAD of a new redeemed body who is also seated with Him in these heavenly places. By the authority of Christ, the Church can live victorious and glorify the Head.

Because of the cross, we as believers, now possess the hope of glory within us – the gift of the Spirit of Christ. As we behold God by the Spirit, we are transformed from glory to glory into His image – we are becoming more and more like Him in character. We are putting on Christ. God’s ultimate will in each of our lives is to be glorified in us and through us. As we spend time with Him, we get to know Him, become more like Him, and we make Him known. The enemy’s priority is to prevent God from being glorified in and through believers. He doesn’t want us to know God and he sure as heck doesn’t want us to look like him. He wants us looking more like ourselves than Jesus.

In Ephesians 6, Paul uses imagery of armor to show us how to protect ourselves against the devils schemes. He exhorts us to put on the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Spirit, and a prayerful life. These are components of our new self, created to be like God in holiness. We are to clothe ourselves with these realities. Even though Jesus gained the victory, there is an active involvement on our end. The way to stand firm in the victory is by embracing the cross in our lives/putting off the old man and clothing ourselves with the finished work of Christ. And when we are clothed with Christ, we unveil/glorify Him to the world.

The enemy tempts us with lies, attempts to undermine our self-worth and question our place in God, he wants to silence us in spreading the gospel, derail our faith through various life circumstances, attack our thought life with fears and anxieties, keep us from wielding the sword of the word, and desires to cut off our prayer life. BUT, we already possess everything we need for victory. The grace of God is available for godliness. When we go to God, He will divinely empower us to live victorious. The power lies in our union with Jesus. That’s why its of upmost importance to be spending time with Him in prayer and the Word. It is His glory that’s at stake and He has given us His Spirit to overcome.

God will be glorified in the end. That is written. He will reveal Himself and all will bow the knee. The earth will be covered with His glory. But, we have an opportunity now to make Him known through these human vessels. What an honor. This battle is beyond us. It is about God Himself. The enemy hates God. He will attempt to prevent us from bringing Him glory, but by the power of the Spirit we can stand firm in the finished work of the cross. If we begin to view every scene of life and the schemes of the devil as opportunities for glory, we will respond differently in this war. Just like the cross of Jesus, the attempts to derail us will end with God being lifted high and exalted.