So my second round of teaching adults is here. I teach Sunday school for 2-5 year olds and teaching adults is waaaaayyyy different. It's great and nerve-wracking at the same time.
My topic is the breastplate of righteousness. I went into it focusing on righteousness. I had had a word from the Lord that He wanted to work righteousness in my life in 2o10. So I jumped at the chance to teach that subject. Woohoo, Lord tell me more about righteousness!
Well I got started studying and I think He wanted me to learn more about the breastplate instead. I hadn't even thought of the breastplate being significant. Sure it's significant in the fact that it is a protection. That it protects your vital organs (especially from a physical view). But it really is so much more!
The word breastplate in Hebrew (2382 Chazayah) is a combination of two words 2372 Chazah: to gaze at, meant to percieve, contemplate, to have a vision of, behold, look, prophesy, provide, see and 3050 Yahh: the Lord most vehement (passionate).
When we put on the armor of God, we are putting on this breastplate- the Passionate Lord's prophesy and vision. What better place to have His prophetic word than over our hearts? The position really speaks to me. His word protects our inward parts. Gives me chill bumps!
Not only is it positioned over our heart, it is positioned BEFORE our hearts. When we go into battle, it is their ahead of our own passionate heart, protecting.
If you look at the combination of the words for breastplate indicates that it is a revelatory armor. It is prophetic and visionary, basically revealing things yet to be seen.
Now for a more physical view of a breastplate. When a soldier enters a battle, what does he put on? His armor. What are the two components in the armor of God that are solely for protection? The helmet of salvation and the breastplate of righteousness. Now in the physical we have a third component, the sheild. Well the shield can be used as a offensive and defensive mechanism so I will not include it. It can also be lost or damaged in battle (in the physical not the spiritual mind you). You would be a silly fool for not putting on your helmet or your breastplate when going into battle (it would be silly to not have all the parts, but you know what I mean).
The breastplate gives you not only protection but what?... Boldness and confidence! You are to go out boldly knowing you can not be taken down because of what is sheilding you! If we are to look at the Hebrew meanings of breastplate it should look like this: walking in boldness for The Passionate Lord's Vision. There are those chill bumps again...
Now onto righteousness. In the Hebrew it translates (1343 geeh, root word 1342 gaah) to mount up, to be risen, be majestic, increase. Our translation in english defines it as: a state of being blameless before God or morally upstanding. How do we achieve this state or moral rightness and majesty before the Lord? We purify our lives. We tear down anything that is not of Him! How difficult to kill our flesh everyday!! But it is necessary for the Lord to work in our lives in a greater measure.
This new season everyone is entering is a deeper intimacy with the Lord. We must purify ourselves in order to achieve this state of blamelessness. Of course we are not perfect and never will be until the Lord returns, but we can strive for purity and righteousness everyday.
What is the first step to righteousness? Putting on the breastplate of righteousness and letting that protect you, guide you, go before you. Let it sink into your heart so that the Lord can begin removing all the hinders Love for Him. As you let that sink in, the rightness and boldness will rise up (just like the Hebrew translation to be risen indicates). It is also letting your spirit do all the ruling in your life and not your soul. Your spirit is the one that is connected to the Lord and as it gets its marching orders, we need to obey and not buck the system.
So how do we let our spirit rule? Practice, coninuous practice. You will eventually start to get it right. Shine the spotlight on the dark areas of your life and give it to God. Have Him wash it clean. He is the only One that can! When things come into your mind that are filled with fleshly or evil desire, cast it to the pit! Get rid of it! If it's a continual struggle, seek out a friend to confess to and be in agreement with. Always be praying for that purity to enter your life in a greater measure. Pour out your righteousness on Your people, Oh God!