Front and Centre

Well it would be wrong to mention the belt of Truth and then leave the remainder alone. Unless I hear otherwise expect the next few days to be looking at Ephesians 6 and the whole armour of God.

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place

Ephesians 6:14b

The armour is getting serious now, I am sure you have heard reports from conflicts about soldiers with inferior equipment being killed. When a soldier walks onto a battlefield, they want, need the confidence that the equipment they are wearing is the very best. That it will stop a bullet. That it won’t fragment leaving them vulnerable. That it won’t be too heavy slowing movement or making them tired. When I am on our battlefield against principalities and powers I want to be sure of the same things. That my breastplate will guard my heart, that it will not break under pressure, that it will fit me perfectly – tailored to my needs.

That’s why it needs to be the breastplate of His Righteousness and not self-righteousness. If I am relying on myself then trust me, under pressure I am going to break down, let myself down, fail. Absolutely no doubt and if you think otherwise than that about yourself then you are fooling yourself. My experience tells me no-one is perfect, that only God is perfect. So my righteousness, earned by me living right and doing right is weak and shoddy armour, maybe a piece of holey cloth at best. It is going to protect me from nothing.

His Righteousness however is perfect. It is stronger than anything you or I could manufacture. It never cracks under pressure even though I might be cracking behind it. It fits me perfectly because it is forged when I am washed in the blood of Jesus. It moulds and forms around me, flexible to allow me to lift my arms with sword and shield; to walk; to grow in Him. But it is in its essence unchanging and permanent. Nothing can snatch it away from me. It is a gift freely given that comes from accepting I am completely without righteousness in myself and that I need Him to forgive and restore.

I have to watch myself though, I can slip into being self-righteous about having His Righteousness. How messed up is that? But the heart can be deceitful above all things. I have to check all my words, actions even thoughts are loving and true. We are back to that belt of Truth. It is a full armour and each piece counts. A belt might seem insignificant, I rarely wear one; Truth however? I can’t get along without that.

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