Romans 13:12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.
This whole chapter is loaded with immensely practical teaching, some of which we might not want to hear. Being told to pay taxes (verse 7) is very appropriate for this time of year, but it’s hardly a topic we’re thrilled about! However, gratifying our fleshly whims (verse 14) is hardly the way to grow to be the spiritual warrior, the disciple and child that God desires. When Paul wrote this letter God was forming in him the truths about spiritual warfare that he later expressed more fully in 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 and Ephesians 6:10-18, but this in no way conflicts with those. This image of the armor of light is succinct and vivid, not to mention attractive, and it is given practical detail in verse 14, where it says to “clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ.” Jesus Himself is our armor of light! When we are abiding in Him, as He talked about so much in the Upper Room Discourse just before His arrest, (John 13-17) we have absolutely nothing to be afraid of. However, we can’t put on Christ while we’re clinging to the “deeds of darkness” this talks about. Too often we treat Jesus like an add-on, an accessory, when He Himself said that we have to deny ourselves and take up our cross daily to follow Him. (Luke 9:23) The battle is fierce, but if we want the armor of light, we’ve got to let go of everything else.
I am not in a place of active physical persecution, like many of my brothers and sisters in Christ are, but I am still very aware of spiritual warfare. The devil doesn’t want to let go of the people of Japan! I have endured attacks of various sorts, and too often my flesh has enabled those attacks. Nothing substitutes for being in Christ! I’m in a struggle right now that is entirely of my own making, and my own strength and wisdom aren’t going to get me out of it. I have repented of the thoughtlessness that got me into this situation, and only the power of God will get me out. If I were the only one involved I wouldn’t be so concerned, but I have wounded an already wounded brother, and I can’t heal him myself. Sometimes even well-meaning words can be deeds of darkness! I’ve got to release the whole situation, myself included, to my Lord for whom nothing is difficult, (Jeremiah 32:27) so that He may turn it all around and use it for blessing, and His glory. (Romans 8:28)
Father, thank You for this Word. Thank You for the beautiful answers to prayer yesterday. There were disappointments in other areas, but those too are in Your hands. Help me be humble enough, quiet enough, before You today to hear what part You want be to play in Your plans, so that indeed, Your kingdom may come as Your will is done, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!