I was looking at a picture recently of me in my police uniform from about 1986. What struck me was how unprotected and ill-equipped I was for the job I was called on to do. My uniform was basically the same as police officers had worn in Scotland a hundred years earlier. Police officers in Scotland are not routinely armed and so I had about a 12-inch wooden baton in a special pocket in my trousers, my only way of protecting myself and other people. I am sure I must have looked like something from the Keystone Cops at times, rushing towards a reported armed robbery with my wee piece of wood. On more than one occasion I had to tackle someone carrying a knife and I can tell youI felt very vulnerable.
In contrast now although they still don’t carry guns, my modern counterparts in Police Scotland have stab vests to protect them and are equipped with long extending metal batons and some carry pepper spray and tasers. Scottish police officers of 2022 are well protected and well equipped for what they are called to do.
God wants you to be more like a 2022 Scottish police constable than a 1986 Scottish cop. He wants you to be well protected and well equipped for what he is calling you to do.
Just listen to these words
11 Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled round your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6
In those words, Paul describes for us protective “gear” that God wants us to have for the spiritual battle we will at times find ourselves involved in.
John Stott comments about our God-given equipment
“This constitutes the full armour of God, for as we have seen, He supplies it. Yet it is our responsibility to take it up, put it on, and use it confidently against the powers of evil. Moreover, we must be sure to avail ourselves of every item of equipment provided and not omit any”
If I had my old uniform and the new police uniform in my locker in Paisley police station I would have been crazy not to put on the equipment that would best protect me but that is what many of us do as Christians, we neglect the spiritual protection and equipment God provides, we leave it in the locker. Then we wonder why we so often feel vulnerable, fearful and defeated.