The Apostle Paul tells us to “put on the whole armor of God” in Ephesians 6:13-17. Then he goes on to list what that includes: the pants of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the boots of the gospel of peace, the shield of righteousness, the sword of the Spirit and the helmet of salvation.
A radio preacher once declared he didn’t want any “streakers” running around in his congregation. He explained those are the ones who are only wearing “the helmet of salvation.” He wanted everyone fully clothed in the whole armor of God.
I wonder if we have any streakers — people who have been baptized, but never truly developed a relationship with God? To change metaphors, they haven’t put down spiritual roots. It’s a shame how many people have never learned how to pray, meditate, fast or study. Perhaps now they are too embarrassed to ask anyone to teach them.
I can identify with those folks. I vividly remember obeying the gospel, but as I came out of the baptistery I wondered, “What do I do next?” The simple answers were “live the Christian life” and “spread the Good News,” but no one really showed me how or what that means.
The “Spiritual Disciplines” are all about growing deeper in our relationship with God. They begin with the “inner disciplines” – learning how to pray, fast, meditate and study and then they manifest themselves in the “outward disciplines” — simplicity, service, submission and solitude. Finally, there are also the “corporate disciplines” – the activities of relationship – worship, confession and celebration. But to really grow spiritually, you will want to be a part of a small group. In the company of the committed, you’ll learn how. Join a few other Christians to share stories, laugh, cry, pray and learn in an informal setting. You’ll not only learn how to put on the whole armor of God, but you’ll make wonderful new friends who really care about each other.