We continued to dig into the concept of Standing Firm, beginning our week with reading Ephesians 6:14 and Isaiah 59:12-21.
We looked at the breastplate of righteousness. It is the piece of the armor intended to protect the heart and lungs, very needed organs to stay alive.
The study tells us that we are imperfect people; and at any point in the day, I am reminded in my own life of my imperfections. On any day, I may get impatient, say something I regret, think something mean or ugly, etc. You get the point.
And yet, Christ offers us, what the study words as, “positional and conditional righteousness.”
- Positional righteousness is imparted to us at salvation.
- Conditional righteousness develops through the daily process of sanctification.
Here is what hit me as I read: We so need the breastplate of righteousness as it protects our heart. What should be hidden in our hearts?
“I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:11, NLT)
The breastplate of righteousness will protect God’s Word, hidden in our hearts, so that the enemy is not able to uproot the truth we hide there. The breastplate will protect God’s Truth from being distorted.
This confirmed the depth to which we need God’s Word daily and hidden in our hearts. We need the breastplate of His righteousness to protect our hearts and the treasure harbored there.
We looked at the shield of faith mentioned in Ephesians 6:16.
“Faith is the realization of our hope gained through salvation and a firm belief in God’s promises to us.“
(from Stand Firm by The Daily Grace Co., page 46)
The words in bold made me stop and think. Then I wrote this down in my margin:
Christ gave Himself up for the church “so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word.” (Ephesians 5:26, NASB)
Jesus = The Logos = The Word
Much the way the sword doused with water helped to quench the fiery darts of the physical fiery darts of the enemy, our shield of faith, believing and trusting in God’s promises, will protect us from Satan’s fiery darts.
“No matter the discouragement, suffering, shortcomings, doubts, or disappointments this life brings, may we not shrink back.”
(from Stand Firm by The Daily Grace Co.,Â page 48)
This brought to mind Hebrews 10:39: “But we are not among those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith for the safekeeping of the soul.”
The study asks: What does it mean to put on the shield of faith? How does faith help us to fight sin?
This piece of armor has an important role, and we need to keep our shield of faith in place. May we not shrink back, but stay the course, and win the battle!
Ephesians 6:17 and Hebrews 4:12 brought us to look at the sword of the Spirit.
We know the sword of the Spirit is our only offensive piece of the armor. All the other parts are meant to be defensive and offer protection.
“But the sword is to be used as a weapon to pierce, penetrate, and divide.”
(from Stand Firm by The Daily Grace Co., page 55)
Jesus quoted Scripture when the enemy came to Him in the desert with temptation. Christ was able to resist him, and obey the Father, by responding with God’s Word.
“We too can walk in obedience, with the help of the Holy Spirit, by knowing and delighting in God’s Word.”
(from Stand Firm by The Daily Grace Co., page 56)
God’s Word + the Holy Spirit = Obedience in our lives
The study asks: What power does the Word of God hold in our daily fight against sin?
We sin every day and in so doing, may we realize with intense urgency, our great need for God’s Word every single day.
God’s Word, hidden in our hearts, needs to be protected.
Our shield will douse the fiery darts of the enemy,
as we know and wield God’s Word, our sword of the Spirit.