This is how I fight my battles....
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 powers of this dark world and 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...Ephesians 6: 10-14 NIV
Today’s post continues our study of the Armor of God. And today we will look at the breastplate of righteousness…
First, let me say that I feel some days that I have desperately missed my calling. I’ve been given the nickname “Drill Sergeant” in certain circles of my life (though not at Children’s Check-in…I don’t think), so thinking about armor and studying this piece of Scripture has really spoken to me. ;)
Breastplate. The first thing that stands out to me is that this piece of armor covers the heart. What does the Lord say about guarding our hearts? (We’ll get to that below, but you probably already know)
And I realize that I have failed miserably at that. And failing takes its toll somedays. This life-giving, blood-pumping vital organ…carries oxygen throughout my body and keeps my soul in the here and now. It’s been broken and shattered, figuratively. He mends it back up, thankfully, over time. I ought to put on this breastplate EVERYDAY. But I forget. Or I am simply careless. Totally my fault.
In medieval times, a breastplate would have been incredibly vital for survival. In a joust or in combat, taking a sword to the torso would have most certainly been fatal. And if it hit your heart, instantaneous death. So, why do I not cover myself, as though with a breastplate, in the Word, and by the Holy Spirit, each and every day? Why do I leave myself, my most vulnerable area, so open to attack?
If I stopped to consider that when I leave my house every day, I am in for a series of jousts, perhaps that would help me develop better habits and, ultimately, not leave myself so very open for attack. That doesn’t mean the attacks won’t come. It just means I’d be better prepared to fend them off, and/or repel them. When I don’t cover myself, I take things too much to heart and I let my heart react before more clearly responding with a third-party objectiveness, or (better yet) with God’s still small voice guiding me.
But what’s also important about this piece of God’s armor is that it’s not just a breastplate – it is the breastplate of righteousness. Real talk: what is that exactly? What is this “righteousness” we hear so often in church speak? *shrugging my shoulders*
My dear friend Merriam Webster has some intel for us:
righ·teous | \ ˈrī-chəs \
Definition of righteous
2a: morally right or justifiable a righteous decision
b: arising from an outraged sense of justice or morality righteous indignation
Okay, so this breastplate, that I need to be more diligent in putting on each morning, is one that is aligned with God’s law. One that is free from sin. One that pursues excellence (note: it does NOT say perfection).
Well……..if I’m living each day trying to be more like Jesus, and trying to make Him famous, then the righteousness should just come on along already hitched to the breastplate. (I’m not saying it’s easy; but it is possible) So, my morning routine should include, daily, the gentle reminder that I need to guard my heart with God’s Word (and law), so that He can pour outward from me to others, AND so His Word can be a barrier between my little ole heart and the attacks of the enemy.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23 NIV
We are told to guard our hearts – plainly, clearly. What better way to do that than to cover it over in God’s Word, His love, His law that keeps us from sin?
So, Sisters…I say SUIT UP! I’m moving forward in greater awareness of the importance of God’s armor. Will you join me? It’s life-saving. And life-giving.
Know today that I’ve got your six! (If you’ve got anything you’d like me, or our entire blog team, to lift up in prayer for you, holla atta girl!)
Much love, Jess