The Heart As The Centerpiece: Breastplate of Righteousness

The Breastplate of Righteousness

There is an age old saying that says that the eyes are the door way to the soul. What if I was to tell you that the heart is the centerpiece of the soul?

The heart is the most vital organ in the entire body. Through the heart blood and oxygen is carried to all parts of the body. Without it, we could not live.

Proverbs 4:23 King James Version (KJV)   

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

Proverbs 4:23 New International Version (NIV)

Above all else, guard your heart,
    for everything you do flows from it.

The heart is the source of our life. The condition of our physical heart can act as a reflection of our physical life. Just the same, the condition of our spiritual heart can mirror the condition of our spiritual life.

Heart And Soul…

pure-heart-water

It is within our hearts that love is both born and grows. When we love, we love fiercely. When our hearts are truly in something, we dedicate our time and energy towards the source of our affection. A heart that loves God, will seek to please God and follow His commandments.

Psalm 119:10 New International Version (NIV)

I seek you with all my heart;
    do not let me stray from your commands.

Likewise when the heart is hardened, when it becomes bitter, it can turn away from God.

Proverbs 11:20King James Version (KJV)

20 They that are of a froward heart are abomination to the Lord: but such as are upright in their way are his delight.

Proverbs 6:18New International Version (NIV)

 A heart that devises wicked schemes,
        feet that are quick to rush into evil

It is also within our heart the purest as well as the most wicked of desires or intentions take root. It is for this reason the heart is not only regarded as a treasure worth protecting, but also a  prize for the enemy to claim.

Righteousness

Righteousness can be defined in a number of words:

  • Just
  • Fair
  • Good
  • Moral
  • Virtuous

What does the bible say about righteousness?

During the apostle Paul’s imprisonment, he summed up what it means to be righteous in Ephesian 4:1.

Ephesians 4:1New International Version (NIV)

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.

Righteousness is to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. In other words, Righteousness Is Right Living. How does one live righteously? By following God’s Word. When we acknowledge the presence of sin in our lives, pray for repentance, and turn away from the temptation to do it again we are actively living for Christ.

At the same time, when we live lives of unrighteousness we are extending the invitation for sin.

According to Priscilla Shirer, the devil seeks to attack our hearts in four distinct ways.

  1.  Our Minds: The Devil distorts our thoughts with lies about God, His Word, others, and perhaps even ourselves.
  2.  Our Will: The redirection of our ambitions away from eternal, godly pursuits that are more now aimed towards temporal, short sighted, and even ambitions that are completely against God’s will.
  3. Our Emotions: Tampering with our feelings, piggybacking on runaway responses like anger, discouragement, or sadness to persuade us into making unchangeable choices.
  4.  Your Conscience: Influencing our consciences so that we are steered into living in such a way that it does not line up with Biblical guidelines.

Righteousness

Perfection: Mission Impossible?

When we put on the Breastplate of Righteousness, much like the Roman Soldiers, our armor is to guard our spiritual heart. Its purpose is to shield it, to protect it. When we take the time to equip it and properly utilize it, our Breastplate of Righteousness can deflect a number of fatal blows that the Devil might bring us.

One of the most powerful weapons that Satan uses against us in order to wound us spiritually is to remind us of God’s Perfect Righteousness. As believers, we are called to follow Christ’s perfect example.

 Ephesians 5:1-2 King James Version (KJV)

Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour.

Matthew 5:48  King James Version (KJV)

48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Whoa, talk about a tall order huh?  To be perfect, that can understandably look and feel as though we are being called to do the unattainable. Even more so, like we are being held to accomplish Mission Impossible.

Romans 3:23 might affirm this for some of us.

Romans 3:23 King James Version (KJV)

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.

I cannot count the number of times I have and do still look back on my life and some past as well as very recent decisions and go: Girl, who you kidding?! You think you are ever going to be righteous, perfect, or Christlike… who do you think you’re fooling?

Ladies and Gents…have I got some news for you:

NOTHING CAN PLUCK US FROM GOD’S HANDS!!!!

Romans 8:38-39 King James Version (KJV)

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Our sins are already bought and paid for through the blood of Jesus Christ.

Romans 6:23 King James Version (KJV)

23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

1 Peter 2:24 King James Version (KJV)

24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

When we choose to do God’s will and supplicate ourselves to Him in thought, word, as well as deed…. God can transform us. He can change us and use us in ways we might not have imagined or thought possible!

2 Thessalonians 2:13 King James Version (KJV)

13 But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.

James 1:21-22 King James Version (KJV)

21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

Ephesians 2:10 King James Version (KJV)

10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

1 John 1:7 King James Version (KJV)

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

 

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