Soldier, stand up strong and tall. We have a confidence that cannot be shaken, an assurance that cannot be moved. We have a breastplate of righteousness that guards our heart against discouragement and soaks up the dismay of sin.
We put on the breastplate of righteousness when we put on Christ. [Philippians 3:8-9] says,
Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith.”
In order to take up the breastplate of righteousness, we must first lay down our own breastplates. Breastplates of pride, success, possession, comfort; none of these things can give us the kind of confidence or assurance than the righteousness of Christ can. There will always be someone or something to tell us that we are not good enough, or that we do not have enough to offer. When we put on the Breastplate of Righteousness, however, we cease to rely on our own strength. Instead we stand confident in the excellent knowledge of Christ Jesus. Our worth does not depend on us – what we can do, achieve or make ourselves to be. Our worth is found in Christ, and we are whole because He bears our sins and places His righteousness on us.
“But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” [Romans 3:21-26]
The Breastplate of Righteousness protects our heart against the following attacks of the devil:
———- “I am not loved.” ———-
WE KNOW that God’s righteousness demonstrates His love.
Lord, You made Your righteousness for all, and gave it freely for us. I know You love me because You justified me through Christ at the cross [Romans 3:21-26]. You have covered me with Your righteousness so I can stand before You. I know You have, do and will always love us. You are our Father and Your love never fails.
———- “I have nothing.” ———-
WE CAN GAIN Christ, even counting everything else as loss.
Thank You for making Yourself known to us. Thank You for fully satisfying us with the excellent knowledge of Christ [Philippians 3:8-9]. Thank You for helping us in faith so that we can gain Christ and gain His life, to live in Your light and Your life, even while we are in an imperfect world. God, I lay down all I have. I surrender all I am to You. Even if I have nothing on this earth, I know I have eternity with You, and this is better than anything the world can offer [Psalm 84:10].
———- “I am not good enough.” ———-
CHRIST has already taken all our failings and iniquities upon Himself, called us wonderfully made, and good.
Jesus, You are the one who equips me with everything I need to do Your will. You work in me things that are pleasing in Your sight [Hebrews 13:21]. You equip me with Your word, so I am complete and ready for every good work [2 Timothy 3:16-17]. You cover my sins with Your righteousness and You remind me that I am already complete in You.
In who we are, what we have, and what we can offer, the Breastplate of Righteousness gives protection through the promises of God. It reminds us that we are loved by God (this is who we are), we already have everything we need (in Christ), and our loving Him is success in His eyes (salvation through grace, not works).
Our confidence does not have to rely on the ever-changing opinions of our own righteousness. Instead, let us put on our Breastplate of Righteousness and walk in the confidence of Christ’s righteousness.
“For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
No good thing will He withhold
From those who walk uprightly.”