"Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it."
As we move forward in discussion of the armor that protects us in spiritual warfare, we come to the breastplate of righteousness. I think it is cool that it wasn't named the breastplate of faith or the breastplate of salvation. No, it has to do with righteousness. Why?
One of my favorite Scriptures is found in Psalms, and to me it sums up the power of what covers our spiritual hearts and lungs: "May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope, LORD, is in You." Integrity and uprightness have the ability to guard my heart. If I am walking in His ways instead of my own, my heart is covered.
Our hearts are to be vulnerable enough to love an unlovable world around us, so that leaves them open to be broken consistently. How do we protect ourselves, while maintaining a softness that pleases the Lord? Righteousness. But remember this armor is not ours, it belongs to the Lord. It is not in our ability to live righteous enough to guard against enemy attempts to divide our hearts and knock the breath out of us.
But there is a righteousness that is attained by faith. There is an integrity that is gained by trusting in His ability to do what is right. He cannot fail, so His armor that He offers to guard our hearts with cannot fail either. There is power in walking uprightly with Him. The Word says that the effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. It may seem too simple, but it is true. Doing what is right...and doing it every day...truly has power!
Just as the verse above says, everything we do flows from our hearts. It is in our best interest to make sure that we hide ourselves inside of His righteousness and show the world what an amazing thing integrity really is.
Father, we cannot protect ourselves in our goodness. Our righteousness would cover us with only filthy rags. We need Your righteousness. We need tough armor that only comes from Your goodness. Please help us to guard our hearts with integrity. In Jesus' Name. Amen.