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Playing Dress-Up



The first shot from the cannon caused the hair on every man's neck to stand on end. By the time the smoke cleared, every sword had been drawn and the attacking force engaged. The lookout in the crow's nest had seen something moving in the distance. The shot from the cannon was both a warning to the approaching forces as well as a wake-up call to the pirates on the ship.


The attackers had spied out the ship and knew where the captives were being held. It was imperative they free them and they were willing to do whatever it took to get them out alive. The attackers had good reason for using the element of surprise.


In a matter of minutes, the captain was on deck and fighting with the best of them. In fact, he was a wanted man. The ship's captain gave orders that no one was to kill the leader of the attacking band of raiders; the captain was saving him for himself. Before long, Peter Pan and Captain Hook were fighting it out, swords clashing as they battled back and forth. You probably know the rest of the story.


Their battle was make believe…our battle's for real. While serving in Portugal as missionaries, we were engaged in a very real and quite intense battle. An unseen enemy, with sword drawn and an eternal prize at stake, attacked our son unremittingly. The attacks would not cost him his life, but the affects would be long-lasting. He totally shut down. He stopped eating, he stopped talking, he stopped laughing, he stopped sleeping…he lived in terror for several years. When we first came home from the mission field, the therapist thought he was autistic because he so shut down and withdrew into himself. We couldn't get anything out of him.


After a year-and-a-half of therapy, we began to see a glimmer of hope. God was at work in his life. But for the next few years, he insisted on dressing up in one costume after another. He loved "being" Peter Pan. When he had on that costume, he was a go-getter; bold, happy, full of life. One day I asked him why he always wanted to wear that costume. He said, "Because Peter Pan is brave; I am not." When he put on that costume, in his mind he put on courage, bravery, and hope; all the things he felt the enemy stole from him when he was attacked.


We are each called to put-on something as believers. With an enemy intent on attacking each one of us, we are told to put on the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul wrote this in Romans 13:14: "But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts." When we put on Jesus, we put on everything: the full armor of God, salvation, hope, redemption, sanctification, and victory; for victory comes in no other name. He's our warrior. He stands up and fights for us.


In Joshua 5:13-15, Joshua met the preincarnate Christ. The Bible says: "And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, "Are You for us or for our adversaries?" So He said, "No, but as Commander of the army of the LORD I have now come." And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, "What does my Lord say to His servant?" 15 Then the Commander of the LORD's army said to Joshua, "Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy." And Joshua did so."


Joshua quickly learned that the Lord didn't come to take charge, He came to take over. When we put-on the Lord Jesus Christ, we allow Him to be in control and to fight our battles for us. He's eternally brave, He's eternally courageous, He's eternally hopeful. These are the things He gives us when we put Him on and walk in Him.


Now our son has learned to put on for himself, not a Peter Pan costume, but the Lord Jesus Christ and, in Christ, he is once again bold, courageous, and full of hope himself.


Are you? Have you put-on the Lord Jesus Christ? Do you walk in His courage, His bravery, His hope? I challenge you today to put aside the lusts of the flesh, which spell defeat; and to put-on the Lord Jesus Christ and to walk in Him. Only then can you be victorious in your battles today…and every day.


But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.










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