My husband and I have a running joke when one of us, in the course of conversation, declares, “I had an idea!” The other one’s funny bone gets tickled and usually pops off with the reply, “Ah! Two BBs in a boxcar collided!” Somehow it never gets old; it just sends us off into a good hearty laugh all over again, refreshing us in the moment.
Sometimes it’s a “two BBs in a boxcar” moment for me when the Holy Spirit causes two scriptures of spiritual thought to collide and bam! The refreshing light bulb of holy illumination goes on. I enjoyed such a moment on Sunday morning as my inner man felt energized all over again when these two thoughts hit me:
I was reading the brief conclusion of a book I’d been enjoying over the past couple weeks. A phrase in the second to last sentence jumped off the page at me – “…Christ is the full armor of God.” That was one BB.
The second BB immediately jumped up and down in my mind, waving its hand for recognition…that well-memorized lead-in of Ephesians 6:11 “Put on the full armor of God…”
The spark that erupted from that collision is found in Romans 13:14 “Put on (clothe yourself) with the Lord Jesus Christ…”
Before you roll your believer’s eyes and moan, “Well, where have you been?,” I will grant you that sometimes I’m so far behind I think I’m first! However, I sensed something else was going off in my spirit Sunday morning. I had prayed for and written about fresh layers of scripture to be revealed this year in my blog post “The Fresh and the Familiar” (Dec 2011). All I can say is that the familiar was refreshed again in a clearer and more dynamic way. And so I write…
As I began to ponder the thoughts taking shape, I recognized I’d been handed another Kingdom protocol: Christ, our apparel. Once put on, not taken off. Melded with Him, unable to separate where I end and He begins. That thought challenged me that my bearing in the royalty realm should continually reflect more of His image and less of my own.
Cerebrally, we know that. We nod our heads and shout “Amen!” in agreement to the good Word of God. But I have found that the gap between our head and our heart can resemble the Grand Canyon. That is, until the Holy Spirit – that precious, “tell it like it is” Spirit of Truth – turns on the Light in a once-shadowed area of our wellspring.
If we’re honest, how many times have we heard that daily we need to dress in God’s armor? If we forget to mentally, or even prayerfully with good intention, put on the helmet of salvation, buckle on the belt of truth, slip our feet into gospel of peace shoes, and pick up our sword on the way out the door, how much have we beat ourselves up for forgetting that part of our spiritual uniform when the day goes sour or we come home bruised?
Revelation moment: Christ is not a uniform to be put on (or forgotten) each morning and traded for pj’s at the end of the day. He is our very Life in whom we live and move and have our being when we have put Him on.
- He is our helmet. The mind of Christ wants to think and reason and find His expression through us. He wants His virtues and values to be our mind’s First Responder, not the Last Resort of Opinion.
- He is the belt of Truth, the guardian of our loins out of which His fruit is birthed in our lives. James 1:18 says, “He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.” He created then and He still creates in us today new birthing through the continual word of truth. Kind of like this blog post…
- He is our breastplate of righteousness; indeed, He is our righteousness. Being clothed with Christ means we have chosen to believe the great wardrobe exchange has taken place (Isaiah 64:6). When we truly believe what He says we are, Christ our Helmet kicks in and our ears begin to hear what we’re saying with a clarity we hadn’t known before. Pride sounds like the self-exaltation it is. Self-pity rings with the tone of the wound that has been plucked again. Fear of failure and the internal mocking voices are exposed in the Light of Christ’s mind. All these and more reveal where we remain stuck in believing that Christ has already accomplished victory for us even as He invites us to live more fully His image.
- He is our shield of faith. Paul declared in Galatians 2:20 that “…the life I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” All He requires of us is a grain of faith like a mustard seed. Yet how often do we revert to listening to the voice of the Adversary instead of Christ our Helmet, named Faithful and True in Revelation 19:11.
I’m not finished fleshing this out. Instead, I feel a Christ Our Apparel, Part II coming on. Please stay tuned. In the meantime, I pray that Holy Spirit creates some “BBs in the boxcar” moments for you too. If He does, feel free to share a comment about His inspiration and insights opened up to you. No Holy Spirit “hobo” should ever find themselves rattling around in the boxcar alone!
I’ll be back as the Lord keeps laying down more track – refurbished, replaced, repaired, re-Truthed.