Commanders don’t send ill-equipped soldiers into battle. Soldiers are trained, prepared, and ready to engage in conflict.
How much more so for us?
We are to be equipped with the full armor of God so that we may be prepared to fight our spiritual battle. No piece of armor can be excluded in warfare.
We need to understand that this battle is not won by our own strength. Just like our righteousness is not earned through our own merit.
God is holy, righteous, and just. Our sin separates us from Him. We can never make ourselves good enough, or do enough good things to measure up to His holy righteousness.
“He who knew no sin became sin on our behalf that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21
But Jesus took on our sin and gave us HIS righteousness. This is the very reason we can come into the presence of God and worship HIM. When He sees us, He no longer sees our sin but He sees the righteousness of Christ.
“He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.” Titus 3:5
Through the purification of His blood, we are now worthy to be in His holy presence. We are transformed by His holiness.
We cannot make ourselves better people by doing good things. Too often, I see so many try to attain this status of being a “good person” that should save them from hell. But we cannot buy our way to salvation.
For “all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags…” Isaiah 64:6
In Zechariah 3:1-7, Joshua the high priest comes into God’s presence wearing filthy clothes. Satan accuses him unfit to be in God’s presence but God rebukes satan and instead places clean clothes on Joshua. “Take off his filthy clothes.” Then He says to Joshua, “See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put rich garments on you.”
God gives us robes of righteousness.
Notice the verbiage here. “I will put rich garments on you…” We don’t place it on ourselves, but it is placed by God’s hands alone. We can shrug it off, we can remove it, but it is by His nail pierced hands that so lovingly places it upon our shoulders.
No longer are we seen as homeless orphans but we are accepted as CHILDREN OF GOD.
No longer do we need to sit outside in the cold but we now have a seat at His table.
No longer are we in threadbare, ash laden, filthy rags, but we are now clothed in rich robes of righteousness.
Robes of royalty.
“I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For He has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of His righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns His head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.” Isaiah 61:10
Our new identity: child of God. Heirs.
So if we are His children and clothed in His righteousness, why do we need the breastplate?
The enemy always attacks the most vulnerable of areas. The breastplate shields the most vulnerable of organs: the heart.
“Above all else, guard your heart for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23
If satan can get to our minds and emotions, it affects our worship and obedience to God.
This is his distraction tactic.
Because sin opens the door for the devil to enter into our lives, when we slip into sinful living and mindsets, we are allowing satan to reel us in with his lies and deception.
He makes it where we begin to question our assurance of pardon. When we fall, we hide in our shame and guilt, questioning how God could even call us His children when we stray.
Agreeing with the lies of satan that we are not a child of God is dismantling our understanding of being clothed in HIS righteousness. There’s nothing we can do to deserve that righteousness that was paid on the cross, and it is by God’s grace alone that it is placed on our shoulders. Because His love is everlasting towards us and we are His children. Period.
But when we start thinking righteousness can be attained by ourselves, we remove that breastplate of righteousness and are now susceptible to corrupted hearts.
Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”
“The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45
“A person may think their own ways are right, but the Lord weighs the heart.” Proverbs 21:2
When we step away from God’s righteousness, our corrupted hearts lead us astray from the protective barrier of His armor.
We justify our bitterness, we justify our unfaithfulness. We justify our sin.
Our hearts get hardened.
But over time, our hearts get damaged as well, leading us to think we could never attain His righteousness again because of how far we have strayed. But that’s not how Christ’s righteousness works. It’s not by our goodness but God’s grace. When we turn back to Him through repentance, He lovingly places that breastplate upon us all over again.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10
When we have that breastplate armor over our hearts, we are reminding ourselves that the battle, the war, is not won by our might or our selves. Our salvation, our eternal home is not attained by ourselves. BUT CHRIST ALONE.
“He Himself bore our sins” in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by His wounds you have been healed.”” 1 Peter 2:24
When we are cloaked in His righteousness, we are given new hearts.
Jeremiah 24:7 says, “I will give them a heart to know Me, for I am the Lord; and they will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with their whole heart.”
The breastplate protects our hearts to remain pure, holy, righteous, blameless before the Lord.
“But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.” 1 Timothy 6:11
Let’s remember, while Satan has incredible power, his power is incredibly limited.
So wear that breastplate of righteousness with confidence. Satan has no hold on you.
Resist the devil, and be confident that your standing before God has been secured.
Be strong in the LORD and in HIS MIGHT. STAND FIRM. Ephesians 6:10
“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Proverbs 4:23
Guard your heart. Recognize wrong thoughts and emotions, taking them captive. Guard your heart by filling your mind with scripture.
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:4-5
Don’t lose heart, my friend.
When you feel yourself trip and stumble, don’t stay down. Don’t get caught in the lie that you are no longer God’s child.
“The steps of a man are established by the LORD, and He delights in his way. When he falls, he will not be hurled down, because the LORD is the one who holds his hand.” Psalm 37:14-17
We are in a spiritual war. And it’s constant. But with God’s armor on, we can do ANYTHING.
“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day - and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for His appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:7-8
Take up your armor. It’s time.
~ Kissy Black