Paul, the writer of Ephesians, was imprisoned in Rome and surrounded by Roman soldiers. He used the constant presence of a soldier’s uniform as a metaphor for a Christian soldier’s battle armor (Ephesians 6:11-17). Like a soldier, a Christian’s armor contains a belt, breastplate, sandals, shield, helmet and sword. As we put on our nursing uniform and prepare to fight disease, so we also need to ready ourselves for spiritual warfare and understand each article of armor God gives us.
The Belt of Truth
The first piece of our outfit is the belt of truth which holds our armor together and is foundational to our faith (Ephesians 6:14). Jesus prayed in John 17:17, “Set them apart in truth, for you are truth.” This simple, yet profound, statement was included in Jesus’ prayer for the disciples and us. For not only is the Bible true, but God and scripture is Truth, meaning without error and never changing. Truth is what God says, and we have what God says (accurately, but not exhaustively) in the Bible.
In contrast, Satan would have us believe his lies and the lies of the world (John 8:44; Revelation 12:9). Whether it is incorrect facts about the character of God, the divinity of Christ, or the workings of the Holy Spirit, Satan would have us doubt, be misinformed or, worse, uninformed of Truth! Don’t forget, Satan can also twist scripture to deceive and confuse us (2 Thessalonians 2:9). Jesus’ temptation found in Luke 4:1-13 is an excellent example of Satan’s misuse of scripture.
We fasten our belt of truth to our nursing uniform by memorizing scripture and Bible study (Psalm 119:105). Thus we are equipped to discern the storms of mistruths found in the world.
Here is my prayer for you from 2 Thessalonians 3:3-5: Our Lord is faithful to strengthen you and protect you from the evil one while directing your heart toward his love and the endurance of Christ.
Breastplate of Righteousness
A breastplate covers and protects our vital internal organs and is a necessary component to our nursing uniform. This breastplate isn’t just a metal or physical protection, for our breastplate is righteousness. Satan loves to taunt us with our shortcomings, human desires, and anything that causes us to look at the depravity of our soul. This is true—we are depraved human beings—. But we are righteous through Christ’s payment (Hebrews 9:11-14). Our true shield of righteousness is the blood of the cross that has cleansed us (Ephesians 6:14; Hebrews 9:22).
Satan wants us cower in fear and shame. In contrast, we stand holy and pure before God, for he sees us through the blood lens of Christ. When we beat ourselves up because of sin, or try to “work” to be holy, we are playing into Satan’s hand. When we judge others for their sin, then we have forgotten the basic truth of righteousness that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (John 3:17; Romans 3:23).
Our breastplate is a shining, holy assurance radiating from Christ which permeates through us, bringing a warm welcoming grace to patients, families, and colleagues (Revelation 1:13-15; Exodus 34:29).
After we fasten the belt of truth and attach the breastplate of righteousness, we are now ready to secure the gospel of peace to our feet (Ephesians 6:15). These unique shoes or sandals are strong, sturdy and fortified with the message of Christ (Matthew 10:5-13). Jesus did not come to judge or cause war or conflict (John 12:47). Instead, he brought healing, peace and forgiveness. This is the peaceful message we fasten to our feet (Acts 10:36).
One way to change shoes is by not allowing our minds and hearts to be absorbed by stress, anxiety, or fear. All of these emotions and responses come from a spirit of fear and not the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 1:7). These are also emotions and thoughts that Satan capitalizes on.
I am reminded of the children’s story, “Chicken Little,” who has something fall on her head, then runs in a panic yelling, “The sky is falling!” She runs to all her animal friends, Henny Penny, Turkey Lurkey, Goosey Loosey and others. Together they go to warn the King. Depending on the version, the animals either hide in a cave, never warning the King, or they warn the King who explains to Chicken Little and her friends about the large acorns falling from the trees.
Obviously, Chicken Little and her friends forgot their “sandals of peace” and the promises of Christ (Philippians 4:7).
Here is my prayer for you from 1 Thessalonians 3:3-5: Our Lord is faithful to strengthen you and protect you from the evil one while directing your hearts toward his love and the endurance of Christ. Amen.
–By Carrie Dameron, etc.
Carrie will continue her devotional series with more blog posts on “Our Nursing Uniform.”
Carrie Dameron, MSN, RNBC, who is a regular contributor for Nurses Christian Fellowship International and Journal of Christian Nursing. She provides resources for Christian nursing on her blog http://blog.carriedameron.com/.