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18 Gauge Cold-Rolled Steel

One of the oldest forms of body armor is the breastplate. It has been used all throughout history as the main way to protect the torso, the home of vital organs, against attack. Body armor today still uses the breastplate in the form of flak jackets and bulletproof vests. Soldiers and policemen feel much more comfortable in combative situations with their vital organs protected.

Spiritually, there are three things that can ruin the functionality of the body and destroy the vital organs. Every day we are in a battle against both the schemes of the devil to defeat us and our own human nature and lifestyle. If we allow these three things to penetrate us and run their course, our lives can literally be ruined. They are not uncommon and they affect us all to some degree. They are the destructive characteristics of anger, bitterness, and unforgiveness.

The initial wound causes anger to form. Anger is acceptable so long as no sin is done as a result. Anger can be controlled and worked through, and by effective communication eliminated. The result of anger, many times, is bitterness. Over time a wound can become infected with bitterness, if it is not cleaned up and allowed to heal. If bitterness sets in, the next complication is unforgiveness. Unforgiveness can not only destroy physical relationships with those around us, but it can prevent eternal life. The refusal to forgive is only rewarded with your not being able to receive personal forgiveness from God. The manifestation of these three things is commonly betrayal. A person who has been wounded, has allowed the wound to go unhealed, and has developed anger, bitterness, and unforgiveness, will soon speak badly about the church, the Body of Christ, leadership, methods, programs, and the preached or taught Word of God. This verbalization of betrayal takes the momentum out of the Body and ruins God’s vision for the church. Associating with these people can wear on your own endurance and make your already-tough battle even more difficult. Because of anger, bitterness, and unforgiveness, betrayal becomes an immense obstacle to the proper flow and functionality of the Body, or in some cases, of a particular ministry within the Body.

An example of how anger can eventually turn to betrayal is in a husband and wife situation. Over time, if the disagreements and incompatibilities result in anger that leaves wounds that are not tended to, bitterness and unforgiveness result. So often the end demise of that relationship is betrayal and someone becomes involved in immorality. The husband and wife team is a natural opportunity to learn how to communicate and develop ways to heal up wounds quickly and look for ways to prevent the same offence. If these steps are ignored, a relationship is in trouble. If we can learn to allow healing to occur in our homes, we can be much more effective in our ministries to others.

There is a form of protection given to us to help prevent against the fiery darts of the enemy. The armor that best suits the protection of the vital organs that keep the functionality of the body is the breastplate. It is one of the oldest forms of armor in all of history, and God, in His Word, used this armor in a symbolic way to inform us how we are to protect ourselves against the enemy, which can be the devil, or our very own lifestyle and the way we act. (See Ephesians 6). God, in His wisdom, chose to call the armor that shields us against anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, and betrayal, the breastplate of righteousness. It’s His righteousness that we take upon us as protection against the things that can destroy us. Our ego and pride are replaced by His righteousness. Our shortcomings and sins are covered by His righteousness. It no longer becomes a big deal to have to win an argument or always be right. We can control anger better and prevent sin from entering our lifestyle. It is not by any work of our own. It is only His righteousness working in us. All we need to do is hold out our arms and let Him place the armor on us. As a result of His righteousness, the wounds we receive from others and those that have hurt us in the past are gradually, and sometimes instantly, made whole. Any new would-be wounds have to find their way past His breastplate of righteousness, and this only happens when we remove His righteousness through a wrong lifestyle or by trying to use our own righteousness as a form of defense. Our righteousness will never work.

His righteousness plays a big part of how we fight as a whole. So often we are so eager to wield the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, and we try to do it without His righteousness. In Ephesians we are encouraged to put on the whole armor of God. Without all of it, the armor is ineffective in stand-alone situations. We readily swing the sword with unauthorized authority and as a result, people leave our time of “ministry” cut and covered with gashes. When we deliver the Word while wounded with anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, and betrayal, we kill our own and do no damage whatsoever to the enemy. Without His righteousness, the sword is wielded improperly and its user is defenseless against attack. Without a right relationship with the author of the Book, its message can never be delivered in the way that God meant for it to be delivered. Proper relationship occurs when we wear His righteousness. Wearing the breastplate of righteousness not only protects us from hurts, but it enables us to deliver the message of our ministry without open wounds of anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, and betrayal. It is so vital to our survival that we have relationship with God and take on His righteousness so that we may be protected from hurts and may safely enter the warfare of bringing hope to those that are lost.