And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.
Following Jesus is a different and distinct way of living. It is living by the Spirit of Christ and not by the desires of my flesh. And those desires are many and powerful! They are influential and carry a bullhorn.
Paul says to put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light (vs. 12). Followng Jesus requires armor! This should tell me something. More than just one of Paul’s metaphor’s for the Christian life (see Ephesians 6), it is a requirement for those who would pursue Jesus.
We ‘put on the Lord Jesus Christ’ because this world, our flesh and God’s enemy is battling against us. Armor is required to stand in the midst of this conflict, let alone emerge victorious. By God’s grace we can ‘put on Jesus.’ The imagery is one of exchanging a set of clothes. We take off our work clothes and put on our pajamas… we put aside the deeds of darkness and put on Jesus (see Ephesians 4).
Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh (vs 14).
This is our life as citizens of Heaven living in this world. We put on Jesus and put away the desires of the flesh. What Paul writes here may be the greatest maneuver in this epic battle! This is the one-two punch that will bring us victory and sanity. We put on Jesus and we do not think about how to gratify the flesh. This is effective because the flesh cannot stand not being thought about! It clamors day after day, wanting its desires to be filled – and to not think about it? Oh yeah, it starves from a lack of attention.
Do this, but don’t forget to put on Jesus first. He’s the One.
Lord Jesus, thank you for providing the victory on the cross. Your blood covers me and cleanses me from all sin. Thank you for providing Your very Presence in my life everyday through Your Spirit. I fix my heart on You today. I think about this new life. I think about how awesome You are. Consume me with the goodness of You today.