Written by Rev. Lydia D’Ross, ordained minister and the Outreach Chaplain for the Renewal program at Brookhaven Hospital
Before battle, a soldier would fasten the breastplate around his chest to protect his vital organs. If a soldier failed to wear his breastplate, an arrow could easily pierce his heart or lungs. Why is the breast plate of righteousness so important to our spiritual growth? The breastplate of righteousness is to protect your heart as well as your spirit and if unprotected, it will affect your physical body. God truly wants your whole heart and nothing less. The heart sets the course of our life. The way we direct our heart, is the way we live our lives. Jesus said that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45), and “where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:21). A heart that is not right toward God is like a “deceitful bow.” When we struggle in our life, it is all the more important to spend time with our heavenly Father to show us the path of goodness and righteousness. Failing to apply our breastplate may lead to the deceitful bow piercing through our heart.
It is the reason why we must do everything we can to protect and guard our heart from pride, envy, jealousy, anger, resentment and uninvited feelings toward ourselves and toward others. Psalms says, “If our heart is stubborn, hard, or proud, we will be unable to believe the Word of God.” (Psalm 78:8)
It takes faith to believe that the breastplate of righteousness is working for you. It is your truest defense when you wear the armor. We will encounter injustice in our lives, but we can find hope through the force of righteousness.
There are six pieces to the armor and we have discussed thus far the helmet of salvation and the breastplate of righteousness. Next week we will talk about the shield of faith and the sword of the spirit according to the book of Ephesians.