We have heard a lot about personal protective equipment these days in our pandemic world. Personal protective equipment, commonly referred to as “PPE,” is equipment worn to minimize exposure to hazards that cause serious workplace injuries and illnesses. Personal protective equipment include items such as masks, face shields, gloves, safety glasses and shoes, earplugs or muffs, hard hats, respirators, or coveralls, vests and full body suits. PPE is especially prevalent now in the healthcare industry among doctors and nurses and other medical staff treating COVID-19 patients.
The concept of PPE reminds me of the focus on the armor of God in the Bible, described here:
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. —Ephesians 6:13-18
Like PPE in our physical world, the armor of God in the spiritual world protects us from the harm and danger that the evil forces against our God fling at us. Let’s take a look at each piece of our spiritual PPE:
• The belt of truth: We know that Jesus alone is the way, the truth and the life. That keeps us firm against every falsehood that threatens to infect our souls. And the truth is that Jesus has saved us and is with us always.
• The breastplate of righteousness: Jesus has made us righteous through his suffering, death and resurrection from the dead. We are safe in him. Our hearts are protected by his grace. No evil force can change that fact.
• Shoes fitted with the readiness of the gospel of peace: There are times when we need to move in response to the Lord’s bidding, and the shoes of our spiritual armor help us to do that quickly, knowing that we have the peace of God’s Good News of salvation to guide us. These shoes make us ready to run from evil and not be afraid.
• The shield of faith: Hardships, uncertainty and sickness can be like darts that try to poke away at our faith. But when we lift up the faithful shield of our hope in Jesus, the darts are deflected and our confidence remains strong.
• The helmet of salvation: Evil, doubt and dread can get in our heads during trying times, but with the helmet of salvation set in place over our minds, the bad thoughts cannot get in and the good thoughts of God’s blessings even in hard times remain.
• The sword of the Spirit: So many messages come at us from various media sources about what we should and should not do and so many words of worry and doom come at us from the Evil One. But we can slice through all the talk and get to what matters most with the Word of God. Let the Spirit help you turn to the pages of the Bible that get you to the news that you should listen to above all other outlets.
No matter where you are and what condition you are in, always remember that you have this spiritual PPE on and you can do great things because of it.