I’m very interested in security, even though I’m fortunate to live in a remarkably safe place. I lock my car even if I get out and only walk a few feet away, whereas my father, who cycles most days, wouldn’t know a bicycle lock if you gave him one. I’d better not tell you where he lives!
He can get away with leaving his bicycle unlocked because the people around him are trustworthy (and his bike is definitely not state of the art!). Actually my car’s not state of the art either, but it’s my habit to lock it up. You might be thinking – ‘well if he left his bicycle unlocked where I live, he would certainly lose it before tomorrow!’ Security’s also about environment and not just the bike or the person who owns it.
It’s like that with spiritual protection. Part of the glorious, royal armour our loving Father gives us is the breastplate of righteousness (Ephesians 6:14). We need this protection because we live in a spiritually unsafe place - this world. We won’t need armour in heaven. The angels won’t be shooting fiery arrows at us! But we’re not in heaven yet, so right now we do need to be protected.
Jesus gives us His righteousness, in exchange for our mistakes and sins. We just have to change our ways - in other words repent. That becomes our breastplate, protecting us.
But the verse also tells us to ‘put on’ the breastplate of righteousness. That means when we are tempted to do wrong, if we choose the right path, we remain under God’s covering. We’re choosing righteousness. But if we choose to do the wrong thing, the sinful thing, it’s like taking off our covering. Whenever I choose to do wrong I take off my breastplate of righteousness. And that leaves me without spiritual protection, open and vulnerable to the enemy, who would love to steal, kill and destroy.
That small temptation – the thing would not harm anyone (so I tell myself) – is a major issue if it removes my spiritual protection. It’s not worth it! If you would always make sure to lock up your bike, then you’re wise. Let’s ask God to help us be equally wise with our spiritual protection every time.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for the protection I have in You. Your glorious breastplate of righteousness covers me, even though I have made so many mistakes in my life. When I’m tempted to sin in some way, please help me to keep that protective breastplate on. I do want to stay safe in You. Thank You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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