Protect Yourself

DH playing in the sand
with DD 10 years ago
…notice how she copies
his stance and moves?

“Therefore be imitators of God as dear children…” Ephesians 5:1

If you have children, you’ve noticed them imitating you. This is where half of you smile and half of you groan. Jaws is one of my favorite movies. I love the scene where the little boy copies Brody (his father and really…do I need these () because everyone should know who Brody is b/c surely everyone has seen Jaws. Tell me you have. Please. For the love!) It’s a precious scene. Child mimicking father.
So what does this have to do with the Breastplate of Righteousness? I’m glad you asked.
“God looked and saw evil looming on the horizon—so much evil and no sign of Justice.
He couldn’t believe what he saw: not a soul around to correct this awful situation.
So he did it himself, took on the work of Salvation, fueled by his own Righteousness.
He dressed in Righteousness, put it on like a suit of armor…” Isaiah 59:15-19 MSG 
If God Himself dressed in righteousness, like armor, and then in Ephesians 6:14, tells us through Paul, to put on the Breastplate of Righteousness, and we know from Ephesians 5:1 to imitate…then I think it would be wise to figure out what it means and do it. It’s part of our Strong Suit.
I’m still working through Donna Pyle’s, Your Strong Suit, Bible study. This past week she talked about the Breastplate of Righteousness. She says, “Righteousness (Greek, dikaiosune) refers to the character or quality of being right or just..with Christ giving us His righteousness, our actions (as seen through our values of integrity, virtue, and uprightness) reflect God’s righteousness dwelling in us.”
“not a soul around to correct this awful situation.” “So He did it Himself.” 
The breastplate is a piece of armor that, as Donna says, “protects neck to navel”.
I read about several different kinds of Roman armor, all of which could have been worn during the time Paul was in prison–when he wrote to the Ephesians, using the armor of a Roman soldier as an example. I sure love analogies!
Listen to this:
The Lorica Squamata, which translates into “scale armor” was worn early on by important Roman soldiers. It was worn with a belt to help take off the heaviness of the metal breastplate.
Isn’t that what the belt of truth does for us? When we feel we have to be righteous on our own. Can we do enough good things? Act right all the time to earn God’s graces…the belt of truth takes that heaviness from our shoulders, revealing it is Christ in us that makes us righteous. There is nothing we can do on our own. That’s why the belt and the breastplate go hand in hand.
The belt of truth lifts the heaviness of self-righteousness. We wear Christ’s righteousness to protect our innermost parts.  So what are those innermost parts that need protecting from the fiery darts of the enemy?
The Heart
The Lungs
The Stomach
What do they represent spiritually?
The Seat of emotions
The Seat of praise
The seat of appetites
Next Wednesday we’ll begin picking apart each innermost part and talking about ways the unseen enemy tries to take us out by destroying them. If we are aware of his tactics, we can see him coming. We can plan for attacks. We can defend ourselves. With the Breastplate of Righteousness. Join me next week when we talk about the Heart–the seat of emotions.
Today I’m hosting at Living By Grace and I’d love for you to stop by and “like” the page and share some encouragement or join in the discussion with a community of believers who have the same goal as you do. To live a life pleasing to  God. 

Name one person in the Bible you would like to do an in-depth study on. If you use Jesus/God, be specific. Jesus and His compassion, as Teacher…God as the Father/Healer/Judge…etc.

18 thoughts on “Protect Yourself

  1. Good word! I like the information about the belt helping take the weight of the breastplate. So profound!

    I've honestly never thought about who I'd like to do an in-depth study on…but I'll be chewing on it now!

  2. This may seem like a generic answer, but I can't help it – I've always loved David. He's just so real…and God called him a man after his own heart. And I love his expressive-ness.

    Awesome post, as always. Um, but I honestly don't think I've ever seen Jaws all the way through. Can we still be friends? Hmm, maybe I need to do a little movie-viewing this weekend…

  3. I love John – the one who called himself "His beloved". I absolutely love that John KNEW that about himself.

    Loved today's post and how you push me to think – can't wait for more:)

  4. I love Joseph's story. It's so many levels of trusting in God, and forgiveness.

    Great post, Jess.

  5. Tagg: I have to admit…I'm disappointed. I really am. 🙂 Waaah! Watch the movie! Okay but really, we can still be friends and David isn't generic. There's so much meat there and so much to learn. I'll email you a study I did on him. A-Mazing!

    Susan: John is one of my favorites as well. Beth Moore has a great study about him. Have you done it?

    Loree: I can't read Joseph's story without sobbing. When he turns away to weep. Gets me every time. We watched the animated movie at Kids Camp one year and I started crying during that moment and had to step out for a moment. That and when Moses dies and God Himself buries him…oh! I'm tearing up now! 🙂 It also could be because I'm sick today too. LOL

  6. The apostle Paul. He was a persecuter and murderer–the ultimate sinner–who literally walked from dark into daylight when he had his come-to-Jesus meeting! We may not think the dregs of garbage in our lives is as stinky, but Jesus tells us all sin is equal in His eyes. Whoa! Now, that's deep. I'd love to have been on that road to Damascus and been privy to Paul's innermost thoughts that day. When I think and study about Paul, I'm reminded of the depth of our Savior's love for mankind–and for ME.

    Saw Jaws as a teenager. Ohhh! Tense stuff. Even the music made my knuckles turn white!

    Great devotion today as usual, Jess!

  7. Oooh, that's interesting. I hadn't thought of it like that before.
    One person I kind of like is David's first wife (and horribly enough, I forgot her name. It might've started with a D? Or an R? Hmmm) lol

  8. Elijah! I just finished 1 Kings. 🙂

  9. Cynthia: I would have loved to been there to see the transformation in Paul take place!

    Jessica; His first wife was Michal! Saul's daughter. 🙂 Very interesting character herself.

    Julie: Elijah! Good one!

  10. Your post reminds me of the words from a song, although it'd be a copyright infringement to repeat them here, but you'll probably recognize which one I'm referring to. It talks about how it's not about what he have done but what Christ did for us.

    On the days I mess up for feel like I've fallen short, that's a comforting reminder. One that motivates me to try harder and draw closer, not out of guilt or shame, but out of love and gratitude.

  11. I love how you dig deep into His Word to come up with your amazing nuggets of insight! And yes, I love Jaws, even though I couldn't put a toe in the ocean for months after. That means we can still be friends! 🙂 Off to retweet your wonderful treasure trove of words…

  12. I've only seen scenes of Jaws, and can't bring myself to watch the whole thing. *shudder*

    As for whose life I've like to study, I'd have to say Joseph or Job, cuz right now, I'm learning more about being content and those guys? Well, I think they learned it, and definitely the hard way. I'd love to dig deeper into that.

  13. I was sure I would be original, but apparently not. Michal has me totally fascinated (working on a novel about her – or at least with her as a focal character). And I've never seen Jaws (bad, bad me! LOL).

    Great post, my friend.

  14. Good question – tough one too. 🙂 I think I'd like to do an in-depth study of some of the women in the Bible, like Ester, or Hanna or Mary – the mother of Jesus. I would love to know more of their thoughts, their struggles, what helped them have such great faith.

    And yes, I watched Jaws as a kid/teen and can never play in the ocean the same again.

  15. Yes! I have – one of my all time favorites. Then again, most of hers are:)I love her teaching style. Love your digging into the Armor of God too. I've taken classes and studied lots on it and am still amazed at new discoveries that others share. I've really enjoyed your study on it as it pertains to strength.

  16. What an excellent post on a topic we may have all heard so many times we tend to 'skim' it. It needs to be re-said!

  17. Yeaaah, imitation is good–too bad kids don't just imitate our positive traits. 🙂 And um…no, I haven't seen JAWS. Should I admit that? I've actually read the book but I haven't seen the movie. But my niece hasn't seen STAR WARS, and that shouldn't even be legal.

    Anyway, great thoughts on Righteousness. I'm glad it's Christ's righteousness and not my own that I'm dependent on for my salvation!

  18. Getting to your post late.
    Been that kind of day, Jess.
    But I didn't want to miss out on what you had to say.
    What one person would I want to do a Bible study on?
    Hhhhmmm … how about … the woman who had bled for years and years … and risked touching the hem of Jesus' robe — she was so desperate to be healed.


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