How many of us have had the totally embarrassing dream that we’re suddenly caught in a public situation where we find ourselves without all or some of our clothing? The children’s story, “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” by Hans Christian Anderson (based on an earlier story by Juan Manuel, Prince of Villena) deals with similar theme where men’s vanity gets in the way of what is reality. In Anderson’s tale, a little child blurts out the truth (“and a little child shall lead them.” Isa 11:6) of the emperor’s nakedness. In our society clothing is a matter of modesty, protection and personal choice. In other cultures it may be unnecessary or even unwanted. But to us, it is an automatic ritual in which we participate–usually more than once a day.
I wonder if each of us has made our spiritual clothing as necessary a daily ritual. As soldiers in God’s army, we are told exactly what to wear and why in Ephesians 6:11-17. “11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” The next verse adds, “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
Dress like this every day and you will always be clothed and protected. But like regular clothing, it must be a personal choice made daily.