Welcome back to The War Series, Dressed To Kill which is our 2nd Golden Series on the website, and our first series of this year. So glad that you can join me today for another blog post about this War Series. We have been actively talking about spiritual warfare and its components, like Target Practice, Sharpening Our Aim, a few tips on Basic Training Details, and the start of our Issued Uniform which is the Full Armor of God.
Be sure to go back and catch up on previous War Series posts if you missed any.
Spiritual Warfare Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, we thank you for this day that you have made in your image. Lord, thank you for the people who are laying eyes on the words of knowledge that you have given me for your people. Only you know what we need when we need it, and we thank you for that. As we fight in this war, Father protect us and help us find strength in you to fight the good fight. Please help us to stay encouraged and focused on the task at hand. In Jesus’ name, this we do pray. Amen.
Let’s Get Into It!!
The Bulletproof Vest
Uniform Details: Our Bulletproof Vest a.k.a The Breastplate of Righteousness is our second piece of equipment armor that we will be issued. We will wear this armor correctly according to the Word of God. We will be covered and fully protected with this armor.
with the breastplate of righteousness in place,
The second piece of armor that Paul references in the scripture is the Bulletproof Vest. Roman soldiers as well as military personnel, use the safekeeping of the breastplate to protect them from attacks that will cause harm to the vital organs such as the heart, lungs, and any other major functions of the body. If a soldier did not have this armor on then they would be vulnerable to lethal and fatal blows to the body resulting in death or serious injury.
If we go back to the Roman Empire we will find that typically the soldiers would always have on a breastplate or chainmail. Like the metal or bronze breastplates, chainmail were another alternative of armor that consisted of small metal rings or chains that were linked together in a pattern to form a mesh-like design. The heart is the most important organ in the body; without the heart, blood will not flow throughout it. The bible has many scriptures about the Christian heart.
Guard your heart above all else,
For it is the source of life.
What does it mean to guard your heart?
(Comment below in the comment section)
Once a soldier has put on their belt, he must now put on the breastplate. Paul expressed this armor as the Breastplate of Righteousness. If we break down the word “righteousness”, it means the quality of being morally right or justifiable, according to dictionary.com. In addition to the definition, it's also the quality of being virtuous, holding integrity, being upright and pure. So what does it mean to be righteous? To be righteous means that we live a lifestyle that is in alignment with God’s plan for us; in addition to that upholding His laws and commandments.
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life
worthy of the calling you have received.
Putting on the Breastplate of Righteousness aka “Your Bulletproof Vest in this war, it's going to require a lot of things on our part. One, in particular, is the constant putting off and putting on things for the sake of living accordingly. I mentioned this concept earlier in Week 2: Basic Training Details (part 1), Paul expresses the profound imagery of putting off our former selves that belong to our former ways and then putting on the new mindset created in the likeness of God.
Old Civilian Life
New Trained Warrior Life
Eliminating old die-hard habits will always be hard, there's no sugar-coating that, but again our eternal inheritance is at risk so something needs to be done. I'd like for you to ponder on this idea a little more instead of reading past it. Try this activity at your leisure.
List out some old lifestyle habits/ choices that you do and compare them to the new lifestyle habits that God would deem as righteous. Once written down, observe them. Then ask God to help you turn your old habits into Godly character traits according to His will over your life. This takes a lot of self-awareness and honesty to expose yourself to the error and truth of your ways. There will always be something we do that is not pleasing to God, let's face it, we are human and we live in sin, but recognizing that these habits, feelings, or actions are intervening with our spiritual walk is also imperative.
I did this exercise myself, take a look!
What is the most challenging Godly Trait that would be the most difficult for you to put on?
I'll go first, I would say, the act of the flesh dying daily would be the most trying challenge. This world is overrun with temptation and it only gets harder and harder not to indulge or engage in it daily. This world is built on fleshly satisfaction, desires, and greed with a dash of self-righteousness and instant gratification. Knowing that means I have to get my flesh in check daily and know that my flesh will get me into trouble if not monitored.
I protest, brothers, by my pride in you, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die every day!
1 Corinthians 15:31,
The activism of putting on and taking off is the essence of putting on the Bulletproof Vest. Strategically, when wearing this armor, the heart is the most important thing to remember. The enemy knows we must have Godly character traits to please God and to be a representation of Him at all times.
The enemy will provoke you by tempting you into participating in unrighteous habits or making choices but remember the devil is the master of deception and he will have you thinking that you are living according to your flesh and not God.
Our hearts need as much protection as possible because what flows out of them will tell you our true intentions. Out of the heart, the mouth speaks.
They had breastplates, like breastplates of iron.
The sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots,
or of many horses rushing to war.
Call To Action:
How do we use the Breastplate of Righteousness properly and in everyday use?
Righteousness is to be right in the sight of God. Righteousness is perfect holiness. To flee from temptations, the desires of the flesh, and live according to His laws and commandments.
1. To wear this righteous armor we have to go through a process called sanctification. Sanctification is the action of making or declaring something holy. The process of being freed from sin or purified. Another definition is the action of causing something to be or seem morally right or acceptable.
There's always a process when going through war. The bible tells us that we are not of this world. John 15:19 says, “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” Because we live in this world, we have come accustomed to many distractions of this world, accustomed to the culture, and materialistic things. With God, he's not interested in this world, he is interested in you. So we have to be set apart from the world so He can use us for His sacred purpose.
2. When facing temptation and desires we need to focus on God and his Word. Reading scriptures and just meditating on one scripture each day will work. Remember doing anything for Christ is acceptable.
3. Guarding your heart against the enemy. Monitor what you consume. Be vigilant not to let the enemy throw spiritual darts at you; this will cause you to suffer a spiritual death in sin.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness,
and all these things will be given to you as well.
Golden Words of Wisdom:
Will my flesh ever cooperate? 10 out of 10, your flesh will never cooperate with you. The flesh is an uncontrollable and consuming urge for something. It provokes you to get into things we have no business engaging in. Is my flesh under control? Don't let your flesh control you, you control it by being radical worshippers of Christ.
Try your best with living according to God's word. Take it day by day, hour by hour if you need to. But at least try. This battle will not be easy and it will be uncomfortable because it requires self-discipline and the act of going against the flesh. Remember, always be strong in the Lord, because he is your strength!
To act justly is to act in righteousness, both are one and the same.
"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness." Ask yourself this question, Lord, how can I be righteous through and through? How can I look righteous on the outside as well as washed and cleansed on the inside?
We know that we are children of God,
and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.
1 John 5:19
Questions To Consider: Ask yourself these questions and try to answer them to the best of your ability.
1. In my own words, What does it mean to be righteous?
2. What are some things that I currently do that belong to this corrupt world that I have adapted to? How can I “Put off” these things and “Put on” new habits that align with God’s word. Explain your answer.
3. What can be some new life disciplines that I can work on this year?
4. Do I recognize my lifestyle habits/ choices that are completely out of my character but because I indulge or overindulge in them, I now think it’s a part of my character?
5. Is my spirit convicted about something?
Whoever pursues righteousness and love
finds life, prosperity and honor.
Stay tuned for the next blog post!!!
WEEK 3:[THE WAR SERIES, DRESSED TO KILL]: Issued Uniform [Part 3]