Wednesday Word: April 06, 2016
Prepared for the War-Part 6: Guard Your Heart
Ephesians 6:14 – Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness…
Last week we talked about being surrounded with Truth. This week we will talk about the last piece of armor, the breastplate of righteousness.
The breastplate is the piece of armor that protects the chest which is where our heart is located. Once we understand the spiritual ramifications of every piece of armor mentioned, we can better prepare ourselves for this spiritual war that is already happening.
We often hear and say that we must guard our heart. We know this means to not allow things in or out that go against God yet we (at least for me anyway) do not practice this as often as we should. Part of the reason for this is because our understanding is either lacking or one-dimensional. The verse above says we are to put on the breastplate of righteousness. I strongly believe this verse shows us the meaning of guarding our hearts against evil (doubt, bitterness, anger, lust, pride, etc.) coming into and spewing out of our hearts towards ourselves, others, and ultimately the Lord Himself. What are practical ways we can guard our hearts/put on the breastplate of righteousness? First, we must come to an understanding of what righteousness is.
Isaiah 32:17 – The work of righteousness will be peace, And the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever.
James 3:17-18 – But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. 18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
1 John 2:29 – If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him.
From these scriptures it seems that righteousness brings peace. We know that Jesus is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). Is Jesus our righteousness; the cleanser of our hearts; the protector of our heart against anything trying to come in or come out that is not of Him? The short answer is yes!!
1 Corinthians 1:30-31 – But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— 31 that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”
2 Corinthians 5:20-21 – Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Our hearts are the center of Kingdom principles and living. This is what it means to guard our hearts; working out those things that are against God. This requires allowing the Prince of Peace in. He is our righteousness and our example of righteousness.
Luke 6:43-45 – “For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44 For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. 45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
Matthew 5:20 – For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.
We must guard our hearts by putting on the breastplate of righteousness who is the One who was made to be righteousness for us, Jesus Christ!!!
Alicia R. Shipe
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