Breastplate of Righteousness
You have been set free from sin and
have become slaves to righteousness
The breastplate guarded the heart of the soldier much like righteousness guards the heart of the believer. In the Bible, the heart often refers to our thoughts, emotions and what we believe (Proverbs 27:19).
Scripture refers to two kinds of righteousness-- imputed and imparted. Imputed righteousness happens at salvation when God clothes us with the righteousness of Christ and declares us in right standing with Himself. This is also called justification. By faith we believed what Jesus did for us at the cross and in turn, God instantly applied Christ’s righteousness to us in a legal way that resulted in God treating us as if we had never sinned. This righteousness is permanent, gives us all the rights of a kingdom child, and makes imparted righteousness possible. When you truly grasp how wonderful this is and that it applies to your prodigal (if they have received Christ) as well as yourself, it is a source of rest and security. For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21 NLT). God declares us righteous, but that doesn’t mean we automatically live a life free from sin. Imparted righteousness is the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit to transform us little by little to be more like Christ. This is also called sanctification. We have been freed from the penalty of sin, but not the power of sin. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord who is the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:18).
Living a righteous life is about living a life that is pure and holy…set apart for good works (Ephesians 2:10). It’s what comes from the heart. We are told to Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life (Proverbs 4:23). Part of guarding your heart is finding healing and freedom from past hurts that have wounded you and are now infecting your heart. It’s about finding the lies you believe and letting them go. God wants to reveal truth to you so He can heal your heart and bring freedom to your life. This is part of the transformation of becoming more like Christ.
Often things from our past are sources of the lies we believe. It’s hard to know what is right and true and good when you are bound by a lie. It’s hard to guard your heart above all else when you don’t know what the truth is. You don’t even know you don’t know the truth in your heart because you think the lie is what is true. Positionally you are in right standing, but practically speaking, your heart looks something like this picture.
Every week for six months, I met with two ladies who wanted to see me get free. Every time we met, they invited God to join us and speak. They would say something like, “God, what memory do you want to bring to Lynn’s mind?” I was to say the first thing that came to me. They continued to ask God to show me what He wanted me to know about that memory. I kept saying the first thing that would come to my mind (sometimes it didn’t come right away). The goal was to find the lies and the truth. They wrote down everything, but encouraged me to only keep the truth. I typed up three pages of truths that God spoke to my heart over the six months. Many of those truths were for me then but many are for me now.
Did you ever stop to think that God wants you to know what lies you believe? He wants you to see them so you will get rid of them and He can fill that space with His truth of who you are in Christ, what was really going on back then when you got hurt and let the lie in, where He was and what He was doing, and what it means for you now.
Since then, I have learned to do this on my own…just me and God. I have been able to help a few others as well. It is my heart to see the captives set free, whether it’s our prodigals, unbelievers, or those who love the Lord. I would have never guessed I believed so many lies. But as I rejected the lies, I found out first hand that the truth really does set you free (John 8:32). And putting on the breastplate of righteousness truly does guard your heart.
Get quiet and picture yourself with Jesus, your Savior, your Shepherd, Your friend. He is so glad you are here with Him. He is longing to reveal something to you. Ask Him to take you to a memory. What is it about this memory that He wants you to know? Is there a lie you believed? Write down the thoughts, feelings, pictures or impressions that come to your mind. Tell Him you don’t want to believe the lie any more. Now ask Him to reveal the truth. Again, write down what comes to your mind. Agree with God about this new truth He has revealed. You may experience the pain of what happened when the memory is surfaced. Or you may feel nothing. When the truth is revealed, you may feel joy or like a burden is lifted or you may not feel anything. Our feelings don’t dictate the truth but truth will always be in agreement with God’s Word.
1 GN: Guard Your Heart
In the middle of this crazy messed up world we live in Surrounded by voices pressuring us to give in Believe me, I get it I know you wanna fit in Everybody’s telling you What you’re missing But don’t listen to anything but the truth
Know your worth ‘cause you are priceless More than gold, more than diamonds Be the light inside the dark Keep your faith and guard your heart It’s where life, it’s where love is Every beat has a purpose It holds everything you are Above all else Guard your heart Your heart Your heart Your heart Guard your heart
Maybe you feel all alone like something’s missing And all of your friends have found their prince charming Believe me, I get it You’re so tempted To settle or give up on love But it’s in God’s timing You can’t rush it, don’t believe you are not enough
I’m not saying to build a wall Just to trust that God won’t let you fall I’m not saying to build a wall Just to trust that God’s in control of it all