Suit Up--Part 4


Eph.6: 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place.
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Ever fall and land flat on your stomach? Whoosh! The air leaves your body and for a timeless instant, you wonder if you are dead.
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A whack to the chest or abdomen can be fatal and that's why few pieces of armor were more crucial to survival than the breastplate. Made of bronze or chain mail, it covered the vital organs and attached to the belt. If the belt was loosened, the breastplate slipped right off.
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You're quick. You know where we're going with this, but the thought is already forming in your head: Righteousness? Well, that lets me out. I was all for that Belt of Truth thing, but if this armor-wearing requires me to be perfect, forget it. Can't do it.
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GREAT! You're already on the right path!
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Because, remember from last time, Whose name is stamped on your armor? The moment you accepted Christ's sacrifice on the cross as payment for your sin, He handed you a breastplate and said, "Here. Your righteousness is not sufficient to protect you. Wear mine."
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That's right! The Breastplate of Righteousness is not yours! Satan can slice major holes in any attempt of ours to appear righteous. Wearing our righteousness into battle would be like wearing a silk shirt rather than bronze armor.
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So how do I keep it on?
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By "seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness." By making God's ways your ways, His laws your delight. By keeping your sin confessed and your heart humble before Him. At the point where you say "no" to God, a little crack appears in your armor. Satan is adept at finding those cracks and thrusting a spear into your vital organs.
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Sounds great. So why doesn't everyone wear it all the time?
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One reason too many believers let their breastplate slip off is that it can feel heavy. A soldier's breastplate had to be thick and heavy to deflect the enemy's spears and arrows. Seeking God can be exhausting and time-consuming. It requires that I make choices against my fleshly desires and often say no to myself. Seeking His righteousness means I turn away from enticing worldly attractions--not because I have to. But because it tarnishes my breastplate.
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Another reason believers aren't wearing their armor is that they don't believe they possess it. Satan has already planted the lie that says it is your OWN righteousness that will protect you, and since you know you are not nearly good enough to stand strong on your own, you shrug and give up.
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Third, too many think that simply because they accepted Christ at one time, they are automatically suited up. But as we pointed out in the first post, if this armor has to be put on, then it is clearly not already on. It is an act of our will to don each piece and see that it fits securely. Satan wins many victories over defenseless Christians trying to do battle in their underwear.
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Everything comes with a manufacturer's warning these days. Pages of examples of what NOT to do if you want to use your new item successfully. God's Breastplate of Righteousness has a list of things that will also cause it to malfunction in your life:
  • Tolerating sin in your life. (I know it's wrong, but...)

  • Direct disobedience. (Choosing my will over what I know God wants for me.)

  • Holding on to bitterness or unforgiveness. (If you knew what he did to me...)

  • Allowing earthly concerns to crowd out time for God. (Good things take away from the best things.)

  • Entertaining "speculations or any lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God." 2 Cor. 10:5

  • Allowing sinful compromise into your life. (The movie was mostly good except for a couple of scenes and the language...)
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God provides an excellent protective device for your heart, but it has to be buckled securely to the Belt of Truth and kept clean and shiny to protect you. It would be a shame to let such quality armor go to waste.
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