Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Light Saber to the Rib Kills the Boy EVERY TIME

I’m going to show my age here, but did Jane Russell do a commercial for “cross-my-heart” bras? Sorry men. This whole breastplate thing looks different on a woman, and my mind wandered in this direction…you know, that whole ADHD thing.

Several years ago a girlfriend and I went to Italy on an amazing trip. We took an excursion to Austria, and as part of that excursion, we took the tour of a castle. The owner of the castle had been a collector of uniquities – my term for unique, bizarre, and downright strange things. One of the more normal things he collected was armor. There was one armor set that could have been worn by Goliath. It was mammoth! What I thought was strange was the armor the size of a 3 year old. They had armor made so their children could play in it! How could a child possibly play in a suit of armor? Seriously. Can you imagine being the one who had to shape the little, bitty breastplate? How tedious that must have been because they were exact replicas of a larger one. A coworker of mine left the Farm and went into a branch of law enforcement. She may be 105 pounds on a good day and very petite. When it came to her bullet proof vest, it had to be cut down to her size.

If I were to get a breastplate, I’d want them to forge a six-pack for me…ripped. I may be soft in the middle behind that breastplate, but on the outside, I WOULD LOOK GOOOOD! But once again I chase a rabbit, squirrel or eagle.

But in the armor of God, the breastplate of righteousness protects your chest. Your chest houses your heart and lungs, so obviously when I wake the boy up and put on his breastplate of righteousness, I cup my hands, and I beat it onto him. I tell Pearce that the breastplate of righteousness protects his life force. Lungs pump oxygen, and the heart pumps the blood. Without them, you die. So, Pearce, may the force be with you! When he and I play swords or light sabers, I am for his heart. He does a great dying scene – hysterical. He aims for one of my appendages, so if he gets me below the knee, I hit the floor to his level and continue the battle.

Righteousness is doing what is right in God’s eyes. I tell my kids, when your friends do something they aren’t supposed to or they make unwise choices, you have the courage to stand your ground and do what God would have you do. By choosing what God would have you do, you are preserving your own life much like having a life preserver. But here’s the thing about the breastplate, it only protects the front. It is does not cover your backside. God equips you to stand your ground. When you choose to run with the pack and they desert the place where God wants you to stand, your backside is exposed, and that is where you will get attacked. You’ll get bit in the behind every time.

Proverbs 4:23, “Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life.” How many times have you gotten your feelings hurt or your heart broken because you allowed something or someone in that shouldn’t be that close to your heart? If we are wearing the breastplate of righteousness, whatever is meant to hurt our heart God can use for his good. Consider Genesis 50:20.

If you are doing what is right in God’s eyes, the choices you make will be life preserving because you are following Him and His leadership. We are under His protection when we are living in His will. Does that mean we won’t go through trials? Uh, NO! What it does mean is that when we go through trials we can have faith that He is hemming us in from the front and the back (Psalm 139). He is already at the end of the struggle, and He has gone ahead of us to prepare the way, to make the rough places smooth (Is 42:16). And when we get weary fighting the good fight, God fortifies us with His strength. Psalm 73:26, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart, my portion forever.”

See how important it is to put on that cross-your-heart breastplate of righteousness? Now, go! And may the force be with you!

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