It is amazing to me how certain parts of the ‘armor of God’ were named in Ephesians 6:10-18. I believe that each part was placed and named for a very specific reason, because of how these parts would be used in battle, or a point of vulnerability that the enemy would seek to dislodge from our beliefs so he could attack in that area. The Breastplate of Righteousness is one of those armor pieces that I wanted to highlight because of its important position in a believer’s life.
So I recently preached a message on the topic of ‘Righteousness’. I believe that everyone should have a strong message that they can preach to themselves on their righteousness in Christ. There are so many important verses on this in the New Testament! Romans 5:17 clearly states that it is through the gift of Righteousness that we will reign in life! It is the source of our confidence, our authority, our faith, our peace, and much more!
Some people preach righteousness as something you EARN as a reward for enough good works that you have done, but if you something wrong- shame, shame… you lose your shiny breastplate and you have to work for it all over again. But the New Testament is clear- it is a GIFT that we must believe, receive and use! It is a major reason WHY Christ came to redeem us- to make sure that we were established in this gift! 2 Cor. 5:17-21
See, everyone has to deal with disappointment, mistakes and depression at some point in their life. It is one of the enemy’s favorite tools to use against the believer, and everyone else in the world. The World Health Organization estimates that 350 million people worldwide are affected by depression, and they predict that the burden of this problem is only going to rise. So many physical and mental health issues can be traced back to this spiritual attack. The enemy will take this sense of failure, of hopelessness, and try to poison the rest of a person’s life and potential with it.
This is why the breastplate covers the heart area- it is what pumps LIFE to the rest of your body! The breastplate covers and protects this vital organ, as well as the lungs, and a majority of the rest of your life-giving, waste processing organs! The Bible says in Proverbs 4:23 to ‘above all, guard our heart, because out of it springs the issues (or source) of life.’ And in Ephesians 6:14 it says that it is RIGHTEOUSNESS that covers and is the final defense for our heart!
So now you are beginning to know why it is important for EVERYONE to have a strong understanding of Righteousness, and be ready with a message to preach to themselves on this topic! Understanding and proclaiming this truth helps us rise above the condemnation, and the mistakes of life. It helps us neutralize all the poison of hurtful words and disappointing experiences that we may have had to deal with. It gives a solid maturity to our character, a strong ability to lead, yet tempered by grateful humility under the shadow of the Most High. I recently re-read many of the ‘God’s Generals‘ of the faith, and I noticed that many of their successes were caused by their dogged determination to not give up, and believe great things about God’s Word and what His Spirit can do through them. But I also noticed that the times where the cracks in their character caused them to stumble was when they lost sight of their Righteousness in Christ and His finished work, and they felt they had to do things to establish their own position, or suffered mental breakdowns because they lost sight of their security in His Righteousness through Christ. And yet, the individuals (generals of the faith) that lasted the longest, and had the most stable track record of success, you can see a clear foundational understanding of this sense of Righteousness, and standing in Him. This really spoke volumes to me.
We all go through tough times, but that is what believers are made for. We are made to face tough times, and having done all we are to still stand– and stand strong in our place of victory through Christ. Whining, and crying, and pity seeking only gets momentary relief. But the end result is a poison that rots the bones- eventually eating away at your structure and sense of positional standing in Him. (Proverbs 17:22 , Proverbs 18:14) I don’t care how humble you feel being sorry for yourself, and reveling in your sense of weakness before God, it is wrong, a lie, and a trap for you to stay in that position! Get up- and take the gift that He paid for with His Blood, and use it against all unworthiness you may feel or believe.
In the past I did a blog post on Righteousness, but recently (as mentioned earlier) I preached on this topic a little more in depth. I believe that ‘Faith comes by hearing’- so it is important for this truth to be proclaimed as the fantastic news that it is! I also gave some practical examples so you could even do an internal check to see how tight your breastplate is on. It is better know where you are at now, than when you are facing the battlefields of life, and condemnation and depression tries to hit you like a brick in the face. My hope is that this message imparts strength, and helps tighten that Righteousness breastplate on your spirit and mind, so you can reign in every situation where you are placed in this life. You can truly thrive, not just survive! If the enemy’s arrows somehow slip past your shield of faith, your revelation of righteousness will still be enough so you can still stand strong and unaffected- moving in your destiny.