No. 304. Thanksgiving and the Breastplate of Righteousness.

Colours of the Rainbow > Thanksgiving > No. 304. Thanksgiving and the Breastplate of Righteousness.

A further thought occurred to me today with regard to the breastplate, and it is this. In addition to protecting my heart from the slurs and condemnation of the devil about myself, this breastplate can also protect me from the devils slurs and insinuations about God’s character. We read in Proverbs 4:23, ‘Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.’ Or from the Amplified Bible we read it as, ‘Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.’ Those ‘streams of living water’, about which Jesus spoke. John 7:3,38.

We know that, as we travel through life, things don’t always turn out as we had planned or hoped. We can find ourselves battling with disappointment, disillusionment and even cynicism. These are feelings and emotions that the enemy can play on in order to harden our hearts towards God. We have mentioned in a previous blog, how Jesus encouraged John the Baptist not to be offended when He (Jesus) didn’t fight to get him (John) released from jail. Matthew 11:6. And we all need to guard our hearts daily from the insinuations of the enemy.

Only just recently I heard of one little boy who concluded that Jesus loved his brother more than He loved him, because he felt that Jesus hadn’t answered his prayer the way his brother’s prayer had been answered. He was perhaps more honest than most of us, for no matter how mature we are as a person, or as a Christian, we will always need to guard our heart so that the enemy’s whispers don’t take root and turn into bitterness. Hebrews 12:15.

My breastplate of righteousness, reminds me not just that I stand totally righteous before God, it also reminds me that Jesus paid an incredible price to give me His righteousness. As I read of His suffering in my place, Isaiah 53:1-11, I am reminded of the extreme love that He has for me. That instead of Hell I get to be included in all the glory that is heaven. Because of His sacrificial love I have become His well loved child. That love which has paid the price for my breastplate, my imputed righteousness, therefore guards me from ever doubting His love and kindness towards me day by day. It enables me to hold ‘mystery’ in my heart when I don’t understand His ways with me here on earth, even as Job did as he wrestled with God in his perplexity saying ‘Though He slay me, yet will I trust (or hope) in Him…..’ Job 13:15.

Reading from the ‘armour’ passage that Paul wrote, we are encouraged to buckle on the belt of truth first of all and this then keeps the breastplate of righteousness firmly in its place over our hearts. Ephesians 6:14. The truths that I know about God, about His goodness, His faithfulness, His mercy and His love will like a belt around me keep my breastplate in place and thus guard my heart from any ‘unworthy and unwarranted suspicions concerning God’s faithfulness’. Jeremiah 15:19. AMP. It will also guard my heart from any insidious lies, that may hover around me, that I am not as loved or as important to Him as person X, Y, or Z.

If we take that encouragement from Proverbs seriously (see above), we will recognise that if our heart is struggling to believe how much God loves us, then all the other issues of life seem to be hard work too. Life just doesn’t ‘flow’ in the same way for us, as it does for someone who is enjoying living in the love of God. So again as with ‘the helmet’ let us make sure that this piece of armour is in place. Let us buckle it on with our belt of truth, and our thanksgiving that He paid such a price for it. Our gratitude will make sure that we don’t just leave it to one side like a discarded, possibly unwanted, Christmas present. And our thanksgiving will be a powerful force, like a buckle on the belt, holding it in place, thus keeping our heart tender towards the Lord at all times.


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