From Armor to Assurance: Embracing God’s Guidance to Guard Your Christian Heart
There are so many things in this world grabbing for your attention at every given moment in time. It gets worse with every passing day with all of the ways we can so easily access media today. We can access porn with a tap of the finger, watch junk filled movies by downloading them via the cloud, listen to songs about shooting cops and sleeping with all the beautiful women in the world just by plugging in your headphones, or slander and curse out people we don’t know from other parts of the world because of a video game. Now mind you I’m not saying media itself is evil and there isn’t good which can come from it, obviously this is a media ministry we run and we are committed to bringing you the best content we can with a God centered focus. The point is there are more evil things, with the fewest obstacles to access, at any given time today and we have to be mindful of what we let inside us.
We don’t want to give a place for an evil spirit to reside or a foothold to the devil. When we let something begin to fester it will grow into a bigger problem later on. I think of the old anecdote about a splinter left under the skin. At first it’s just a tad painful with a little blood, then a scab starts to form with maybe a little puss, eventually it becomes infected and could kill if not treated. This is what my journey with sin in the area of porn addiction has been like. There was a good portion of my life where because I didn’t clothe myself in the identity of who God had told me I was that I had a hard time fighting the spirits of this world which constantly try to destroy us. They put thoughts in your head like; just this once, or satisfy your desire this moment and you can worry about overcoming it the next, it’s just a little thing, why would God care?
I thought things I never wanted to and then began to desire those things because I was feeding into things other than God. This is why when the bible says sin leads to destruction,
“But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers.”
– 1 John 14-16
We think we are ok and it starts off maybe small and innocent and pretty soon we are shooting up in an abandoned warehouse, we are paying for sex with a prostitute, we are stealing to pay for the money we’ve gambled away. We rationalize and repeat.
There is good news! Just like with the time of Noah God saw the wickedness of man’s heart was only evil continually but still made a way for us to live with Him! Even in our evil God is giving us a way to choose Him. He is a good and loving Father and provides a way to repentance and salvation. These roads and choices may be hard but doing the right thing is never easy. It’s easy to slip into sin and be swept away rather than choosing to go against every inclination of the heart and choose to follow God.
One way we can defend against these attacks from the enemy is to put on our breastplate of righteousness. It’s one of the pieces in the armor of God Paul talks about and a big part of its importance is because we are made righteous by our belief in Jesus’ death and resurrection on the cross. It’s our understanding we are truly wicked in nature and intent but He took it upon himself and His shedding of blood to cover our iniquities, transgressions, and sins because we were unable to do so ourselves. God provided Himself as a perfect sacrifice of love.
How does this help us in the attacks Satan and his minions try to level against us? Understanding it’s not by your works is a key to keeping our focus on God and His will for our lives. We are righteous because we were chosen by God to accept His work so we can co-labor with Him. Realizing the grace in which God has given us helps us to look at others with sympathy and compassion and should lead us into wanting to help those people become closer to God in their walk. It helps us know our justification comes from God so when Satan says you aren’t saved, or here’s something to look at, or follow your feelings, we can point back to God saying He’s our defender, I’m not that person anymore.
The breastplate serves as defense to the chest and heart. It’s the piece of armor which keeps us from falling into the desires of our carnal natures or following our feelings into despair. It’s important what we let into our lives because it affects the outlook we have on life, it’s where our thoughts go when our emotions start to unravel. Are we seated in God’s promises or the vanities or our sin? The more we continue to understand God’s sovereignty and His authority we can begin to put our trust in Him and what He says because He has the final say. When His gavel drops we are made righteous by His wounds, washed clean by His blood, made holy because He chose to make us holy. So put on the breastplate of righteousness today and guard your heart. Know the God of the universe gave His only begotten son so you could be in His presence for all eternity working alongside Him.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
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