“Discipleship and the Armor of God: The Belt and the Breastplate”
By Pastor Randy L Ballard
Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. – Ephesians 6:14
I am presently preaching a series on the Whole Armor of God. We have just finished covering the belt of truth and the breastplate of righteousness and have discovered some astounding truths that speak to the importance of discipleship.
As you know the breastplate of righteousness covers your heart, which in the Bible is the center of consciousness. When we know and obey God’s truth (put on the belt of truth), our heart will beat in rhythm with the righteousness of God. The breastplate of righteousness does many things, but one is it keeps Satan from penetrating our hearts with his lies.
WHAT IS RIGHTEOUSNESS? It is the standard that God requires for people to be acceptable to Him. Truth is what God says about a matter. Righteousness is the application of truth in the believer.
When we possess unrighteousness in our heart, it is an invitation for demonic flow and blocks the move of God in our lives. Unrighteousness gives Satan a legal right to us. Unrighteousness doesn’t just include what we do but the motivation behind why we are doing it.
A good illustration is trash that is allowed to stay within our house too long. After a while, it can take on a certain scent that is unpleasant to the smelling sense. Eventually, it will draw bugs (gnats, maggots, flies, and even roaches). God too, has a unrighteous scent. He knows it’s there. Satan too, knows it’s there. He and his demons are drawn to sin and unrighteousness. That’s his nature.
But righteousness keeps demons away. I love Psalm 15:2, He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.
If we know, accept, and practice the truth…drive it down into the spirit level…into our hearts, God then opens up a release valve and releases righteousness from the heart throughout our entire being. That’s what happened when you got saved. You received the truth of the Gospel message. You confessed the truth out of your mouth – you believed the truth in your heart – your confession was made into salvation – your belief in your heart was made into righteousness, (Romans 10:9,10).
If we never look in a mirror, we don’t know what we look like. One of my favorite scenes in the original Planet of the Apes series is when the man and wife apes see themselves in the mirror for the first time. At first it frightened them, but after a short while they grew fond of seeing themselves as they straightened their hair and made adjustments to the way they saw themselves.
In order to see what we really look like in the inner man, we need a reflection. The word of God provides that for us. That’s why we need to put on the truth daily. Discipleship is you and I learning to feed ourselves daily the word of God in fellowship with Christ. That’s why Jesus taught us to pray, “Give us our daily bread.” He just wasn’t talking about nutriment for our bodies. But more importantly, He was referring to nourishment for our spirit man – the word of God.
It’s vital for us as believers to get the truth down in us so that the righteousness of God is saving and changing us from the inside out. Religion can’t change the heart. It affects the outward man, but can’t touch the heart. The righteousness of God works in us releasing a brand new us. As the truth digs in, the heart pumps up righteousness…the new you…righteous thoughts, righteous deeds, righteous words, etc.
Proverbs 11:30 says “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life…”
Isaiah 32:16 and 17 says “…and righteousness rules in the fruitful field. And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.
Romans 14:17, “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”
As you may know, we have discipleship tools at Relational Discipleship Ministries that will help you hold you accountable to yourself and others to get the word down in your heart daily so that you can walk, live, and benefit from the righteousness of Christ in you. I pray that you are becoming a disciple and making disciples for Jesus Christ! May God bless you in Christ Jesus today!