Here is your 24K Leadership thought for today –
To say that a person is “all dressed up and nowhere to go” is an old expression implying that a person has planned for an event that doesn’t happen. Let’s take a look at a common dilemma for believers in their attempt to apply the Ephesians 6 instruction about putting on our armor. The pieces of the armor can be recited by small children, has been the prop to countless Sunday School lessons, is the subject of songs and jingles, and has a plethora of pulpit messages attached to it. It has become an outfit to be purchased in Christian bookstores or can be made from cardboard covered by aluminum foil. If we “google” the phrase armor of God, there are 12,700,000 results that appear in .030 seconds. Most of us have likely been in a prayer meeting where we walked through the motions of putting on the armor. The nagging question is, “What have been the results of us putting on the armor?” which circles us back around to the title.
Jesus’ ministry was results-oriented. No wonder that He had the constant ability to talk about His relationship with His Father. He said that He came to glorify His Father. He said that He did nothing without the Father. He said that He and His Father were one. He said that He wished we were more like He and His Father. A chief characteristic that Jesus displayed demonstrating His lineage is being results oriented. Let’s go all the way back to Genesis where God began speaking, “Let there be . . . and there was . . . (Genesis 1:3).” Jesus’ ministry reflected the Father’s speaking ability, “Lazarus, come forth . . . (John 11:43).” Jesus said, “. . . be whole . . . (Mark 5:34).” Again and again, we can find examples of how closely Jesus mirrored the Father’s results-oriented speaking. It begs the question, “What happens when we speak?”
Is there anything worse than putting on an outfit and having no agenda to match the attire? Can you imagine putting on an evening gown or a tuxedo and just sitting around your house? Can you imagine putting on your best outfit and waiting on the front porch with no itinerary? The reason we get dressed up in the natural is in response to an invitation for a specific event or purpose. Yet, we put on the whole armor and . . . .
According to Oxford’s online dictionary, a colon is a punctuation mark that separates two clauses of which the second explains or expands the first clause. Ephesians 6:17 ends with a colon. Paul lists every piece that we are to put on – the helmet of salvation, the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of peace, and the shield of faith – and then his writing pauses with a colon to conclude the list. By what we just learned, the colon says that what is being said next explains what was just said. What is coming is the reason or the purpose for what was said immediately before the colon. And what is next? Ephesians 6:18 (following the colon) says, “Praying . . . . “ There obviously is more, but let’s pause right there and say it again, “Praying . . . . “ The first word after the colon explains why we have the armor. Our instruction to put on armor is for the purpose of praying. This isn’t just any kind of praying, but this is results-oriented praying. We are outfitted with armor so that we can pray. We stand against the devil by praying. We are all dressed up AND we have somewhere to go!
Here is your 24K Leadership Challenge for the day – be results oriented!