Ephesians 6:14 ...with the breastplate of righteousness in place
One of the best scenes in the movie, A Knight’s Tale is when the lady blacksmith creates a set of sturdy, lightweight armor for Heath Ledger. While all the other knights are struggling to heave themselves up on their horses—aided by a multitude of strong servants—our hero simply steps up, swings his leg over the saddle and he’s ready for battle.
But A Knight’s Tale was fiction. In reality, battle armor was heavy and bulky. I can’t imagine wearing the kind of heavy bulky armor the ancient warriors and knights had to wear. Still, if I had to go into battle, no matter how heavy and bulky it was, I’m sure I would prefer the weight and discomfort of armor in order to protect my vital organs.
We talk about our hearts as the source of life. And surely, our heart is one of our most vital organs. If our heart is pierced, we’re gonna die.
If our heart is pierced spiritually, our faith is in jeapardy. A breastplate of armor protected warriors’ hearts. God’s breastplate of righteousness protects our hearts spiritually.
The point of a breastplate is protection; not comfort. The point of righteousness is not comfort either. Let’s face it: being righteous in an unrighteousness world is very uncomfortable. But it is the way God wants us to live. And living a righteous life—being obedient to God, faithful to Him, focused on Him—protects our spiritual heart.
If the heaviness of the breastplate of righteousness feels like a burden, we can remember that Jesus told us that his burden is light and Paul followed up, reminding us that we can do all things through Christ, who strengthens us.
Not only does Jesus help carry our burden; he makes us stronger.
Jesus himself is righteousness. If we wear Jesus’ righteousness as a breastplate, it will be comfortable anyway because it is light. And, yoked to him, he will help us carry it--stronger as we are through him.
Tomorrow we celebrate St. Valentine’s Day. It reminds us that hearts are a symbol of love as well as a symbol of life. So much better if they are a symbol of God’s love for us and ours for Him.
That’s worth protecting; worth wearing God’s breastplate of righteousness. Ask God to put it on you. The burden is light.
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, please protect our hearts. Please put your breastplate of righteous on us. Protect us with your righteousness and make the burden light as we allow Jesus to strengthen us and help us carry it into whatever spiritual battle may come our way. Amen.
WHAT ABOUT YOU? How will God’s breastplate of righteousness protect you today?