(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)
Back in the mid-seventies I was asked to preach the baccalaureate service for the high school graduating class. I wanted to catch the attention of the hundred-plus graduates with my presentation, so I called it “Streaking, Spiritually Speaking!” That fad of streaking (running naked in public) was gaining popularity at the time, so I thought it was a catchy title! When I announced the subject of my talk, the audience broke out in laughter! It seems that the night before one of the senior classmates was arrested for streaking down Main Street!
Did you know there are several examples of people being naked in public in the Bible? Here are a few example:
- Adam and Eve, we are told in Genesis 2:25, “…were both naked…and not ashamed.” Of course, there wasn’t much ‘public’ when they were in such a state!
- In Exodus 32:25 (King James Version) it describes a riotous and idolatrous celebration into which the Israelites got themselves with the incident involving the golden calf: “…Moses saw that the people were naked; (for Aaron had made them naked unto their shame among their enemies)…”
Saul, the first king of Israel, is compromisingly featured in I Samuel 19:24:
Then the Spirit of God was upon him also, and he went on and prophesied until he came to Naioth in Ramah. And he also strip- ped off his clothes and prophesied before Samuel in like manner, and lay down naked all that day and all that night.
- In Isaiah 20:2, God instructed Isaiah to be a stark illustration of what would happen to the Jews when they were taken captive: “‘Go, and remove the sackcloth from your body, and take the sandals off your feet.’ And he did so, walking naked and barefoot.”
- The prophet Micah, in Micah 1:8, mourned for his people, the Israelites: “Therefore I will wail and howl, I will go stripped and naked; I will make a wailing like the jackals and a mourning like the ostriches.”
- Jesus is often depicted on the cross wearing a loincloth. But He was crucified totally naked to maximize the shame of it!
But the very term, streaker, implies the act of running naked! And there is only one Biblical example of a true streaker, in Mark 14:51 and 52, most likely John Mark himself, the author of the gospel: “Now a certain young man followed Him, having a linen cloth thrown around his naked body. And the young men laid hold of him, and he left the linen cloth and fled from them naked.”
I have never streaked! If I did at my age, someone might say, “I don’t know what he was wearing, but it sure needed ironing!” However, in a spiritual sense, we all streak at times, and some do it constantly! What do I mean? It is a long passage for a Gem, but it is well worth the space – Ephesians 6:10-17:
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the hel- met of salvation....
Paul was writing this letter to the Ephesian Christians from a Roman prison. And he was guarded by at least one Roman soldier. He simply glanced at the soldier’s uniform, and in a spiritual sense described what he saw!
In verse 12 of Ephesians 6, the apostle lays out who is the enemy (this is from the Good News Bible): “For we are not fighting against human beings but against the wicked spiritual forces in the heavenly world, the rulers, authorities, and cosmic powers of this dark age.” Also, in II Corinthians 10:2 through 5 (Easy-to-Read Version):
We live in this world, but we don't fight our battles in the same way the world does. The weapons we use are not human ones. Our weapons have power from God and can destroy the enemy's strong places. We destroy people's arguments, and we tear down every proud idea that raises itself against the knowledge of God. We also capture every thought and make it give up and obey Christ.
Not included in this description of Spiritual armor are the two offensive weapons the Lord has provided named in Ephesians 6:17 and 18: “And take….the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit….”
- The Word of God, the Bible! Between August 2 and August 16, 2013, I wrote a seven-part series on “What The Word of God Can Do.” It is amazing what the Bible, God’s Word will do in your life if you take it in your mind, and get it down into your heart! As Paul wrote in Colossians 3:16, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…” (see also Deuteronomy 11:18-21).
- Prayer is also “…being watchful…with all perseverance and supplication…” (Ephesians 6:18).
✞ “...being watchful...” – Jesus told Peter, James, and John to pray with Him in the Garden of Gethsemane just before He was arrested. After He had spent some time in earnest prayer, Jesus came back to the three and found them sleeping. “Then He said to them, ‘What, could you not watch with Me one hour?’” Prayer involves watching and understanding what is going on around you, in your life, the lives of others, and around the world! ✞ “...with all prayer....” Do you know there are several parts to prayer.....and all are important? ➔ Confession – Start with confessing your sins to the LORD! Here is how King David understood it: When I kept silent, my bones grew old through my groaning all the day long....I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I have not hid- den. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” And You forgave the iniquity of my sin. (Psalm 32:3-5). ➔ Praise – There are so many examples of people praising God in the Bible! Here again is a sample from David: I will extol You, my God, O King; And I will bless Your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless You, And I will praise Your name forever and ever. Great is the Lord, and great- ly to be praised; And His greatness is unsearch- able. (Psalm 145:1-3). ➔ Thanksgiving – We have so much to thank Him for! Paul tells us this in I Thessalonians 5:18, “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” ➔ Intercession – Praying for others! Paul wrote to the Thessalonian Christians: We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, re- membering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father. (I Thessalonians 1:2, 3). ➔ Supplication – This is praying for our own needs! Didn’t Jesus, in what we call the Lord’s prayer, tell us in Matthew 6:11 to say, “Give us this day our daily bread...”? It’s more than just bread! It involves all our needs! ✞ And do all this “...with all perseverance...” (Ephesians 6:18). Keep at it!
It is a spiritual battle, and we must armor and arm ourselves for such a battle!
I am not going to fully describe whom and how we are to battle. I wrote 21 Gems, dating from May 6 to June 21, 2013 on the subject of “Know Your Enemy!” – a good starter course to learn about spiritual warfare! Check it out!
But the point of this Gem is: If we are not donning the spiritual armor, which God has provided for us, and directed us how to use that armor and our accompanying weapons, then we are…
…Streaking, Spiritually Speaking!
And we don’t want to run around naked, do we!