Faith & Fandom
Iron Man: Armor & Upgrades
Updated: Feb 13, 2021
So, to be honest, Iron Man has never been my favorite super hero. I don’t hate him or anything; I just don’t like him that much as a character. In a lot of ways he just seems like a snazzier version of Batman. Rich dude, wears a suit, fights evil. Granted his suit is a mechanical wonder and can fly, but you see where this is going. As a person Tony Stark has always been just kind of a jerk. He’s at times been an alcoholic, womanizer, selfish, and prideful. He also has had moments of redemption, but to reference the scene in the Avengers film;
Steve Rogers: Big man in a suit of armor. Take that off, what are you?
Tony Stark: Genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist.
Steve Rogers: I know guys with none of that worth ten of you. I've seen the footage. The only thing you really fight for is yourself.
So he may not be the hero with the best character, but over time he does prove himself. The one thing I admire about Iron Man is that he never stops improving on himself. True the improvements may be purely technological, but he doesn’t ever rest on what he’s accomplished. There have been over 40 different suits of Iron Man armor. Pretty much whenever a different situation would arise, he would develop and armor to handle that situation. He has armor for aquatics, for space, for stealth, etc. He even has an armor to battle the Hulk. No joke, he built armor capable of fighting the Hulk, lovingly titled “Hulkbuster.” This is a good lesson for us to learn in our spiritual lives. So often as followers of Christ we have that moment we commit to follow Him, and then just kinda leave it right there. We may buy a Bible that we read on occasion, sometimes go to church, but we rarely make that focused of an effort to make improvements. We think, “Ok, I’m a Christian now; I don’t need to do anything else.”
This may be true in the case of the work of salvation, there isn’t anything you need to do to further earn salvation, but in developing your walk with Christ, you are only on “Mark 1” as Iron Man would call it. So obviously they have yet to build a suit of armor that makes Christians better at walking with Jesus, but the basic armor that we read about in scripture is what we see Paul write in “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 6:13-17
So in a nutshell, armor for a believer consists of; Truth, Righteousness, Peace, Faith, Salvation, and The Word of God. So if we actually make the effort to equip ourselves with these things, our faith should be more than just a basic faith. We should be able to face almost any circumstance. This should be enough right? Take a lesson from Iron Man though, he built a robotic suit, he had a suit that was enough. The thing is though he didn’t want to settle for just enough. Even though Ephesians calls this the full armor of God, The Bible teaches us to never settle for what we have in our faith. We need to be constantly developing, constantly growing.
In 2nd Peter 1 we see this amazing description, “5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Peter gives this amazing list of upgrades to our armor. If you notice, this list appears to come in levels. Like you need to achieve the previous level before you add the next. Adding goodness (God’s goodness, not our own), lays the foundation for us to have knowledge because there are a lot of people who lack the goodness of God and can twist knowledge into a weapon. Then with knowledge we can properly add self-control. You’ll find that you will need self-control to have perseverance. At the end of this list of upgrades you find love. To me this shows that not only is love the upgrade that takes the longest to master, it’s also the most important. My favorite part of this whole section is that it comes with a guarantee that if we keep adding, keep upgrading our armor, we won’t be ineffective or unproductive in our relationship with God.
So when’s the last time you upgraded your armor?
Are you on Mark 1 or Hulkbuster? Armor Up.