The breastplate on a suit of armor is like a bulletproof vest. It protects the vital organs. To run into battle before properly placing one is to accept the risk of mortal harm!
Is your outfit appropriate for a dress code which requires full armor? The Breastplate of Righteousness…
“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.”Ephesians 6:11-13
“Stand firm then…Ephesians 6:14b
with the breastplate of righteousness in place…”
“Righteous” is not a title we can earn or ever achieve. Jesus, who was wholly righteous, had to die in our stead so that God could attribute His righteousness to us. When we accept the gift of His sacrifice, His righteousness becomes our identity to wear.
As part of the command to put on the full armor, we are instructed to have our breastplate of righteousness in place. Knowing what it cost our Savior to purchase it for us, why would we ever misplace it? That is a crazy question, but we know we do just that.
Perhaps when we meet someone for the first time, the temptation is to not have our righteousness front and center. Maybe we would rather not lead with that. Sometimes we succumb to a strong desire to appear more acceptable and approachable, by pushing that breastplate to the side.
And it isn’t always the most comfortable thing to wear. A breastplate of righteousness is a bit heavy on the dance floor at the club. It would seem a bulky outfit for a day at the lake with friends. And who wants to deal with armor when we’re just lounging at home?
If we do not have our breastplate of righteousness in place, we’re vulnerable in so many ways. When the enemy starts firing and telling us that we’re fake and unworthy, we’re exposed to the core. That arrow gets through, straight to our hearts. And so do all the others that he may choose to fire.
The breastplate in God’s full armor has to be in position. If we wear it, as we have been commanded, we are covered. When the enemy shoots and tries to highlight our inadequacy, his attempts are deflected by the righteousness of Jesus, the identity behind which we stand.
Of course, we consider the breastplate a vital piece of armor when we know we’re headed out to battle. But our enemy does not reside on a predefined battlefield. In fact, he prefers to trick and deceive and surprise.
We need this breastplate to be in place at all times. We must work and play with our armor on. We even sleep in the identity Christ has given us. Moreover, it is our absolute privilege to do so, because without Jesus it would not be an option.
How is your battle-readiness right now? Is your Belt of Truth securely buckled? Is your Breastplate of Righteousness in place? Is your outfit appropriate for a dress code which requires full armor?
Next up: The Boots! (Feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the Gospel of Peace)