Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Breastplate of Righteousness

Ephesians 6:14 (NIV)
14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place.

A breastplate was used during a time of battle to protect the heart, the internal organs, the weakest and most vulnerable part of the body. Righteous by definition is:
right·eous (rī'chəs) adj.
          1. Morally upright; without guilt or sin: a righteous parishioner.
          2. In accordance with virtue or morality: a righteous judgment.
          3. Morally justifiable: righteous anger.

To be without guilt or sin. Are any of us without sin? No, that is why we have Jesus, and with Jesus we can embrace the relationship with God, a relationship that is without guilt and without sin. To go boldly before our heavenly Father, to thank Him for our blessings that He bestows and to ask for His aid in our endeavors.

That’s the explanation for the verse but how do we apply it? We have already covered the fact that we are at war. The battles that are waged daily between Satan and God’s children are brutal. Our first step is to recognize the enemy and how he attacks. Satan comes against us is our hearts, our emotions, and our feelings. Feelings can be influenced and changed. Feelings are not always constant and we need to realize that Satan knows that too. He can use the lies that he whispers to make us doubt, to make us feel that God cannot forgive us, to harbor unkind feelings towards our family or friends. But with the Breastplate of Righteousness we can move into battle with our heart protected and our feelings true, because they are protected.

When Satan attacks he has many things in his arsenal, but in my opinion, one of his most powerful weapons is to attack our faith. If we start doubting God’s word, His truth, then Satan has made what could be a fatal blow directly to our heart. By striving to be virtuous, moral, without guilt or sin, we can heal the wounds from the past and reinforce the armor for future attacks because my friends, the attacks will come. We need to protect our hearts with the breastplate, to keep all the tender parts safe, our heart whole, and we must step boldly into battle with the knowledge that we are morally upright, without guilt or sin, and wrap our hearts with righteousness because of the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross.  Armor up, the battle is at hand.

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