14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
What comes to mind first and foremost for me is to notice what exactly the breastplate is covering; the heart and other critical internal organs
This is the largest form of protection that we are to wear, not carry. It is placed tight up against the body, form fitted to move easily with the body but with the very critical role of making sure that if we allow something past the sword and shield (skill items) that the wrapped around solid piece full covering breastplate will be the greatest and last line of defense.
Righteousness – ˈthe quality of being morally right or justifiable.
We Must Get Our Own House In Order
God created us for righteousness, for goodness, for love. We are designed by the greatest Creator for great things. We must get our heart right with God.
I don’t think the order of the Armor is a mistake either. First was to point out who our true enemy is and his tactics of Spiritual Warfare, then we are to Gird our Loins with the truth of believing who we are in Christ and what He is doing in our lives.
Once we have identified the enemy and are gaining a clearer understanding of who God is, and who we are; it is now time to get our actions and behaviors aligned with God.
Righteousness is where the first true test of Free Will comes in to play in our lives. We have a choice with everything thing we do, from the food we eat, the type of employee we are for our bosses, the types of friends we hang out with, the words that come out of our mouths, the way we drive, the way we parent, the very meditations of our hearts.
Righteousness is a choice
The rub here however as I see it is that I desired and tried to be righteous my whole life and was rarely successful at best. I used to think of myself as a “good person” but as the bible tells us, none are good.
The Apostle Paul sums up our dilemma here perfectly, to desire righteousness but be unable to carry that out.
15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
As long as we are on this side of Glory, our sin nature will always be calling to us like a siren song, beckoning us through temptations, fear, pride, lusts, ungodly desires. And as is so plain to see, the world is embracing those desires, feeding them, profiting off them.
The giant corporate machine of materialism and wealth could care or less if you get cancer using their products, or get diabetes, high cholesterol and stroke, or crash into a tree, or go bankrupt, or, or, or….
The world is craving more of everything at the expense of everyone else. It is a mindset of consumption and depletion.
But that is not our way any longer. We must be intentional in our battle to be different than the world, transformed, renewed.
3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Righteousness will never be something we will attain on our own, it is only God in us and through us who will change our hearts, fill us with purpose, passion, compassion, courage and love.
24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!…
9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
We simply need to reach into the wellspring of life in the arms of our Father in heaven, to seek His Spirit, His Righteousness, His Holiness, for it is only He who Justifies. His blood, His death, His resurrection is what makes us righteous.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Father God, I thank You yet again for the message this morning that clearly is in my path for me for it speaks in bold opposition to the shame and guilt of past sins, and offers grace and mercy for the struggle of present sins and promises Your faithfulness in the presence of future sins. I seek Your righteousness Lord, to have my heart and my mind and my life aligned with Your will, to treat others as greater than myself and be willing to sacrifice all that I am for the greater good and Your glory. I thank You that the cross covers my shortcomings in the flesh, and that Your Spirit will always be with me willing me and empowering me to make the right choices, to speak only truth in love, to be sacrificial with my time, talents and treasure, not in an effort to earn righteousness, but in response to the righteousness and justification that You have placed upon those who openly, willingly and joyously proclaim allegiance to Your kingdom. Thank you Father for rescuing me from my old life and giving me hope, promise, and desires to only look forward to the things that are to come. May we all serve Your will this day and not our own. In Jesus’ precious name I pray…