This morning a car came roaring down my lane and screeched to a halt at my booth. The woman driving began apologizing profusely.
“I’m sorry! I’m so sorry!” I wondered what she was sorry about? She continued.
“I just came flying into your lane way too fast. I know there are people who cross these lanes. I’m so sorry.”
I marveled that she admitted she wasn’t paying attention and genuinely regretted it. She seemed to care about my safety enough to apologize. Hopefully, she’ll be more aware of her surroundings next time she drives where people are working. Today God’s grace protected both of us from something horrible.
Later a tractor trailer pulled up to my booth. The driver handed me his ticket. With a wide grin he said, “Hey, you got my vest on. Give it back!” He pointed to his fluorescent safety vest and laughed.
“Yours is a bit fancier than mine,” I answered forming a sly smile. “Do people ask you why you’re wearing a safety vest inside your truck? ‘Cause people ask me that question fairly often.” He chuckled a bit but more out of not knowing what to say than actually finding my question humorous.
I continued, “I could tell people it’s part of the uniform. You and I know what others have not considered. We don’t stay in the booth or truck all day.” He chuckled again. “We have to be prepared in a moment’s notice to exit our booth or truck directly into traffic. If we get hurt without wearing the vest, no insurance coverage .”The driver looked me in the eye and exclaimed, “You got that right!”
We laughed together about living in our vests 24-7 to avoid any chance of “non-coverage” and then he left.
As usual, I pondered our casual chit chat afterward. I thought about my vest being a vital part of my uniform as a toll collector. It’s similar to a firefighter’s flame retardant suit or a Police officer’s bullet proof vest. These articles of clothing are available and required for protection purposes in the line of duty.
Perhaps you wear a uniform that requires safety accessories such as special glasses, latex gloves or slip proof shoes for example? What happens if you neglect to wear these protective parts of your uniform? You’re exposed to some sort of danger and you’re also in trouble with your employer. You know this upfront so most of us don’t take chances. We diligently protect ourselves by wearing whatever is provided or required, right? Who wants to get hurt AND have to pay for it?
Let’s apply this in a spiritual sense. . .
“Jesus said to His disciples, ‘The harvest is great, but the WORKERS are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask Him to send more WORKERS
into His fields.’ ” Matthew 9:37 & 38 New Living translation
Do we realize and embrace the mindset that our ultimate employer is God? When we realized our need for God and invited Him into our hearts, we became not only part of His family but also His workforce.
Laboring for His harvest in whatever way we are gifted requires safety gear. Fortunately our loving Employer has supplied each of us with special protective clothing and equipment to use while we work and live for Him. Whether we are called to be farmers, soldiers, athletes or something else, His safety gear works in every field of service.
Most of us are familiar with the passage in Ephesians 6 concerning the supernatural reinforced clothing and equipment supplied to us. Some can even recite the verses from memory.
“Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil.” Ephesians 6:13 New Living translation
Now let’s ask ourselves some questions:
When was the last time you actually thought about your spiritual uniform? If it’s been awhile then you’re probably walking around unprotected like a firefighter running into a blazing building wearing regular clothes thinking he will emerge unharmed. We’re fooling ourselves if we think we don’t need God’s armor to survive in this world.
Take some time today to read over the passage in Ephesians 6:10-18 and remember the clothes our divine Employer expects us to be wearing. Each piece is vital. Verse 11 and again verse 13 says to put ALL of it on, EVERY piece;
The belt of truth: We need truth first of all which is Christ Himself. The belt of His truth holds everything else in place. It gives Him the final say in our lives and is directly related to the breastplate of righteousness, they are inseparable.
The breastplate of righteousness: We need it to guard our hearts with practical holy living in obedience to God.
The shoes of the Gospel of Peace: We need to be ready to share the Good News of being at peace with God through Salvation anywhere we go.
The shield of faith: We need it to snuff out the various fiery darts of temptation thrown constantly at us by our enemy questioning what we believe and urging us to do things against our divine Employer.
The helmet of salvation: We need it to cover our minds with the assurance of our own salvation and with the blood of Christ against any other foul thinking the enemy tries to plant in our minds. Fears, doubts, deception, worry etc.,
The sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God: O ur only offensive weapon against our enemy. We need to know the Word to use the sword.
Do we believe there is danger around us? Here’s what the Apostle Peter says as a warning:
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” I Peter 5:8 New International version
Don’t know about you but I don’t want to be eaten alive by the enemy!
Like my lady customer, most days I’m not always paying enough attention to where I’m going. I’m moving way too fast but I truly don’t want to hurt anyone or myself. Do I regret it enough to intentionally don my spiritual armor each day before I plunge forward? I don’t want to get myself in a jam and have “Non-Coverage” because I was not in my safety gear.
We can’t FLURISH when we are wounded and bleeding simply because we neglected to use the safety equipment God has provided. It takes some time and effort to dress each day in our safety gear but it is well worth it. Let’s remember to let our loving Employer outfit us for each new day. Otherwise when we run out into the traffic of the world we’re gonna get hurt.
Shine on. . .