During our vacation this year a member of my family (who will remain nameless) made a conscious decision NOT to put on sunscreen when we were spending the day at the beach. Repeatedly during the day I kindly mentioned how hot the sun was and offered the sunscreen. Needless to say before the day was out the consequence of spending the whole day in the sun was taking it's effect. For several days I endured listening to the complaints of this sunburn. Even after arriving home I caught myself thinking of this comical choice. It came to my mind so much that I found myself questioning God about it. Then He spoke...
"You do the same thing" came the voice of God across my mind. I said out loud, "I do not! I always put sunscreen on!" Then as soon as the words were out of my mouth, God placed upon my spirit exactly what He was talking about. He reminded me of an incident that happened because I didn't protect myself. He reminded me how I was hurt, how often I complained about it, and how long it took me to heal. "Ouch!" Just like my family member I made the same choice.
God used this incident to speak to me about my habit of going it alone when things appeared of little importance or just for fun. I'd go without my sunscreen on and then I wonder why I came home burnt. God did not say the incident would not have occurred but I should not have been surprised by it and in the future I need to be prepared. If we don't want to get burnt in this world by people or circumstances, we need to put on the full armor of God. We do this by spending time in God's presence, asking Him to direct our paths in prayer and preparing ourselves in the Word, the Bible.
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor 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. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." Ephesians 6:10-17