…Truth, RIGHTEOUSNESS, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. LEARN HOW TO APPLY THEM. You’ll need them throughout your life… (Ephesians 6:13-18 MSG).
Beloved, our feature text says we should learn to put on a breastplate of RIGHTEOUSNESS (NKJV) and when you think of it, the breastplate protects the Roman soldier’s vital organs, especially the heart. In the same way, you are to put on RIGHTEOUSNESS to fortify your heart against satan’s attacks. We know that our own righteousness is as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6) so it is the righteousness of Christ imputed to us that we are to put on. However, do you know you can put on a breastplate but still be exposed?
The Bible records how King Ahab was killed. Someone… shot an arrow at random and it struck the king of Israel BETWEEN THE PLATES of his armor… (1 Kings 22:34 NET)
They got him BETWEEN THE PLATES of his armor… In the same way, any Christian who thinks they have put on the breastplate of righteousness but still lives an ungodly life is not fully guarded and can be struck BETWEEN THE PLATES of their armor.
Sin provides an opening which becomes the point of the enemy’s attack. It gives the devil a foothold. Cain can tell you how this works. He would tell you what the Bible says about anger is true. The Lord said to Cain, “WHY ARE YOU ANGRY? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” (Genesis 4:6-7 NIV). Cain did not listen to God’s warning so anger turned into envy, then murder which led to him being banished from the presence of God and then he suddenly realises that he is now exposed to the attack of the enemy. He said… whoever finds me will kill me.” (Genesis 4:14 NIV).
Beloved, we are covered under the Lord’s presence but if a child says to her daddy, “people keep attacking me every time I go to that place you told me not to go, what do you think the daddy would say? He would say, haven’t I told you to stop going there? Stay under the covering of this house and you would be properly protected.
Beloved, living a godly life is necessary to defend you from the arrows of the enemy and it involves SELF-CONTROL because… a person without SELF-CONTROL is like a city with broken-down walls (Proverbs 25:28 NIV). SELF-CONTROL is a battle because your flesh and spirit are constantly fighting each other (Galatians 5:17). Your flesh says ‘DO’ but your spirit says ‘DON’T’ and the more ‘DON’T’s you listen to would help build up your spirit man so it overpowers your flesh.
Beloved, people spend hours in the gym building up physical muscles and they then want to expose their body so people can see how good they look but you can’t afford to be exposed to the enemy. Learn how to put on your breastplate of RIGHTEOUSNESS at all times.