God promises us in Ephesians 6:13 that if we put on the full armor of God, we will stand firm against the enemy.
Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.
Ephesians 6:13 NLT

I had no idea when we first started plans for this year’s theme – Armor of the King – how relevant Armor would be to dance.  And yet, the more I study about the armor, the more I realize that we serve in battle at the studio all the time.
The decision to put on God’s righteousness (breastplate), express God’s truth (belt) and offer of salvation (helmet), walk in peace (shoes) while grounded in His word (sword), and holding up our faith (shield) before us as we move forward each day automatically puts us into the battle.  In weak moments, when we let go of any piece of this armor, we are vulnerable and weak against the enemy.
Any apathy we may have toward the things of God – any areas of willingness to brush off righteousness, faith, and peace or ignore truth, salvation, and God’s word – is sobering.  This is true in all areas of life.  In dance, I see this apathy when people say, “That song isn’t so bad (even when it promotes the opposite of your beliefs),” or “That’s okay to do that move (even though it causes someone else to stumble in their thoughts),” or “That costume is okay (even though there is more skin showing than you are comfortable with).”  But when a song promotes what is opposite of God’s truth or a move or costume is void of righteousness, we can see from Ephesians 6 that there is no guarantee of standing firm.  The enemy pushes us down when we compromise, because he sees our areas of weakness.  It is not a mystery how God upholds His people.
We cannot do this on our own, either.  I am not at all suggesting that this is an opportunity to try harder and somehow do better in our own strength to serve God.  The armor is His protection, and only He can surround us with this barrier against evil.
I have been preparing for battle lately by picking up my sword (the Bible), seeking to make decisions with my breastplate (God’s righteousness) and belt (God’s truth) on, secure with my helmet (salvation) and shield (faith) that God has given.  I pray for each of our families and students that God’s grace and protection would surround each of you as well.