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Devotions

Is your Breastplate Appropriate for a Dress Code which Requires Full Armor?

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!

Bulletproof vest: Is your Outfit Appropriate for a Dress Code which Requires Full Armor?
Photo by Nur Andi Ravsanjani Gusma on Pexels.com
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…
with the breastplate of righteousness in place…”

Ephesians 6:14b

Righteousness is “the quality of being right in the eyes of God”.

Christianity.com

“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.

Breastplates: Is your Outfit Appropriate for a Dress Code which Requires Full Armor?
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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.

Costume:Is your Outfit Appropriate for a Dress Code which Requires Full Armor?
Photo by Cas Holmes on Unsplash

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.

Surprise attack: Is your Outfit Appropriate for a Dress Code which Requires Full Armor?
Photo by Anastase Maragos on Unsplash

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)

If you’d like to read the Introduction for this series, click here.

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Devotions

Is your Belt Appropriate for a Dress Code which Requires Full Armor?

My husband and I have recently lost a good amount of weight. Suddenly, our belts are not simply ornamental pieces of our wardrobe. We expect them to serve the very vital function of holding our pants up!

Is your Outfit Appropriate for a Dress Code which requires Full Armor? The Belt of Truth…

“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, with the belt of truth buckled round your waist…”

Ephesians 6:14a
The Belt of Truth: Is your Outfit Appropriate for a Dress Code which requires Full Armor?
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

What is the purpose of a belt, and what might one mean in the spiritual realm? Just as a belt, fastened around our waist, keeps our pants on, the belt of truth in God’s full armor keeps us from unseemly exposure. It safeguards our dignity. It keeps the rest of our outfit in place, lest it fall and trip us up.

And a correct understanding of truth is vital! This does not refer to the trendy use of the word which suggests that your truth and my truth may differ but are both valid. This is objective truth – God’s truth. It excels above experience, presides over perspective, and transcends time.

Notice the belt is buckled. It is not an offensive piece of equipment. We do not whip off this truth and lash out at someone with it. If we do, we will be the ones to end up entangled, exposed, and embarrassed.

Belt: Is your Outfit Appropriate for a Dress Code which requires Full Armor?
Photo by Gioele Fazzeri on Unsplash

Let us consider then: Are we wearing the right belt, or have we been duped by what is trending and fashionable? If we try to pass muster with subjective truth, we’ll regret it. We will need a wardrobe change with every new wind of doctrine.

Friends, let’s not settle for an imitation belt. We fight a devious opponent who will leverage our hypocrisy. Our outfits must be appropriate for a dress code that requires full armor.

The belt of truth is for our security. It is meant to be put on and relied upon. God’s truth is a sure thing. It holds us together, gives us peace of mind, and shows the enemy we’re prepared.

With this piece of the full armor correctly placed, we can turn our attention to the rest of our gear. Next up: The Breastplate of Righteousness!

If you’d like to read the Introduction for this series, click here.

Categories
Devotions

Is your Outfit Appropriate for a Dress Code which Requires Full Armor?

Have you attended an event, or been associated with an institution where a dress code was required? If so, you’re aware that the one who enforces the mandate is the only one whose interpretation really matters. The terms “Black Tie”, “Semi-Formal” or “Business Casual” can leave some room for imagination, but when the specifics are well defined, you’d better be dressed accordingly.

Is your Outfit Appropriate for a Dress Code which requires Full Armor?

I remember being in school and having a code of conduct which stated that our skirts were to be no more than 2 inches above our knees. The handbook was clear that we were to measure, floor to hem, from a kneeling position. Sometimes girls would take the number from the top of their knee, in a standing position, then feign indignance when the principal told them their skirts were too short. They were trying to pass with a false measurement.

Fabric and findings: Is your Outfit Appropriate for a Dress Code which requires Full Armor?
Photo by pina messina on Unsplash

Another relevant memory comes to mind. I was involved in a wedding where the bridesmaid’s dresses were ordered from an on-line tailor. The young ladies were asked to send their measurements, but several did not take it seriously and sent rough estimates and guesses. When the dresses arrived, those who had followed instructions had beautifully fitting gowns, and the others, who had taken shortcuts, were left scrambling for alterations.

God cares about our spiritual outfits. He knows what we battle and has given us an appropriate dress code. He requires that we put it on. It isn’t a helpful suggestion, or a good idea. He commanded it, not once, but twice in this passage:

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 (emphasis mine)
Armored knight: Is your Outfit Appropriate for a Dress Code which requires Full Armor?
Photo by Maria Pop on Pexels.com

The verses after these, specify exactly what pieces of armor we are to include. Sometimes, if I’m being honest, I may use my own measurement and think I am within dress code. Other times, I take the lazy way out and fail to follow God’s explicit instructions. The battlefield is not a good place to have a wardrobe malfunction! (Is any place?)

I want to invite you along, over the next several Mondays, as I look at God’s definition of “full armor”. He is the one who enforces this dress code, so I want to be sure I share His interpretation. I will ask myself, and you if you’ll join me, “Is your outfit appropriate for a dress code which requires full armor?”

In heavenly armour we’ll enter the land
The battle belongs to the Lord
No weapon that’s fashioned against us shall stand
The battle belongs to the Lord

The Battle Belongs to the Lord ~ Song by Petra