Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ – Romans 13:14
A few days ago, a man asked me a question about God and our fight against the forces of darkness. I’m always ready to quote the usual Bible verse about this, that we don’t struggle against flesh and blood (Eph. 6:14), but what I knew about the man made me stop.
He wasn’t a bad person; he just wasn’t committed to obeying the teachings of Christ. I’m not judging him, just stating a fact. When a man isn’t interested in work, lives with his girlfriend at his parent’s home and doesn’t attend a church, it’s not hard to conclude that the teachings of Christ are not central to his life. So, answering a question about spiritual warfare seemed to be a bit off topic. Instead, I took a different approach.
I noticed he was wearing the jersey of a professional sports team, so I said, “Good and evil are truly at war. But being a Christian doesn’t mean you’ve left the war; it simply means you’ve changed sides.”
He nodded his head at that, so I continued. “The trouble is that many people say they’ve changed sides, but in reality they’re only saying the right words without changing their lives. Sometimes people take a few steps toward Christ but end up in the middle of the road.”
That met with his approval, so I pressed a little further. “For instance,” I said, “you’re wearing the jersey of a professional sports team, but you aren’t really on that team. You don’t have any relationship with the coach or owner, you receive no benefits from the team and can’t claim you’re a team member. All you do is admire the team without joining the club.”
Now I had him hooked, so I continued. “Many people are like that in their walk with Christ. They own the t-shirt but they’ve never joined the team. They claim they’re a contributing member of the Kingdom of God, but in reality they’re just mouthing the words that others like to hear. They’ve not made a commitment to Jesus; they just like to play the part and ask religious questions.”
Finally, I said to him,
“So, the question isn’t really about spiritual warfare, it’s about being fully committed to Christ. For unless you’re committed to Him, you don’t really know which side you’re fighting for or fighting against.”
Too many people who claim to be Christians haven’t clothed themselves with the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 13:14). Instead, they’ve just put on the t-shirt and like to hang out with other fans and quote some interesting stats. But when you put them in a room of real players, it’s not hard to tell the difference between those who simply bought the shirt and those who know they’ve been bought with a price (1 Cor. 6:20).
I want to live my life so everyone I encounter can look at my clothes and know I’m a member of the team. I don’t want to look the part, play the part or just pretend to be a part. I want to be a team player. I want the coach to know He can count on me when He puts me in the game.
So, have you joined the team or did you just buy the t-shirt?