“but since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation”
1 Thessalonians 5:8
the imagery in this verse is beautiful. It struck me the other day during my quiet time to break the verse down and think about the parts. do you ever do that? it’s actually a very good exercise…when i actually take the time to do it.
“we belong to the day”
not the night. day time is bright and promising after a dark night. Christ is of the day…He is light. He is the light of the world. and we are children of the light!
“let us be sober”
being sober to me, means being level headed and realistic. i’ve never been drunk but i know what it’s like to be drunk on life and to be silly beyond control. to me this is saying, let us have a realistic understanding of what God has done for us. it is exciting and amazing but it should also bring us to our knees in humbleness.
“put on the breastplate of faith and love”
i find it interesting that this is another place that Paul talks about armor besides the famous Ephesians section. so Paul is stating something in multiple places… it must be important, right?! here he is talking about a breastplate. what does the breastplate do? it protects your body, your chest.
a breastplate protects it. it can’t be made of something flimsy or be handmade out of fabric… it is strong. made of metals from the holy mountain.
it is not my own faith and love that I put on to protect my heart… the armor is a gift from God!! it is given to me to protect my heart from being pierced by something. it is made of faith and love to guard my heart with peace.
“and for a helmet the hope of salvation”
a helmet protects the head… the mind. it keeps the precious skull protected from the lying arrows of the evil one.
again it is not a hope that i can conjure on the inside of my brain… but a piece of armor that goes on the outside.
it is a gift
i have hope not because i make it up… but because salvation is presented to me!
so many days I fail or forget to put on my helmet in the morning before I leave the house. my mind is then so vulnerable and so easily attacked with lies.
when i forget my breastplate my heart is vulnerable. i forget that i am a beloved child of The Light and i let the arrows of the evil one pierce my heart, cause me pain and i fail to love as i should and to have faith that God is in control.
it’s interesting to note the very next verse:
“for God has not destined us for wrath but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ”
the breastplate and helmet are meant to lead me through the battlefield to my salvation and to my Lord. God has a beautiful destiny for me. He has also provided the tools (armor) needed to help me on my way. it is my sober and solemn duty to put on that armor every day.
even especially on days when i think i’m doing ok and i think i can do it on my own. there is no doubt about it… those are the days that i need His armor the most.
can i get an amen?