Righteousness, a defence

In the past I used to find myself constantly caught up in never-ending battle cycles. I thought that, as a Christian, I needed to fight.

I remember one day after a prayer meeting had been arranged to break curses we had broken a few times before, I became exasperated. I asked myself when these curses would actually break. We would gather, arm ourselves with scriptures, find the curses that we thought were responsible for our lack of progress and then proceed to break them. After that, we would leave the meeting satisfied until such a time that we felt the last prayer was no longer enough and we needed to intensify. Then we would set another meeting and off we would go again.

This carried on until one day, a question started nibbling at me: Is the cross not enough? This question got me to pause (a very long one) and ask further questions. It also brought a desire to look more closely at the scriptures. I also remember reading a book titled “The cross is the end of the curse”. The more I looked at the Bible and the finished work of Jesus, the more I realised how free I actually was. I also realised that my real battle was to be against ignorance as there is strength and freedom in knowledge.

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…” Hosea 4:6a NKJV

“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32 NKJV

“…but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits” Daniel 11:32b NKJV

We are encouraged to put on the whole armour of God as Christians to resist or withstand the enemy. To resist is a defence position; you resist the entrance of anything unauthorised. The devil comes with schemes and wiles of deceit to distract us from who we are and what we already have and if we do not equip ourselves, we can easily fall for his lies and find ourselves trapped in this never-ending cycle.

Having put on the breastplate of righteousness. Ephesians 6:14b GNT

You are already standing when you put on righteousness. The passage of scripture didn’t say to do righteous deeds or work at righteousness, it says to put on righteousness.

When you are asked to put something on, that thing is already complete and ready for you to just put on. Don’t try working out righteousness. God himself has become our righteousness by meeting the requirements. He has already redeemed us and taken away EVERY condemnation. Your righteous deeds don’t make you righteous, you are righteous by accepting the gift of salvation. Through salvation you become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21, Romans 3:20-22)

You are righteous on the days you don’t feel righteous and on the days you do—God’s righteousness has nothing to do with what you did or did not do but solely rests on what God has already done and finished.

 

The scriptures describe righteousness as a breastplate; an armour which goes over the heart to protect it. In battle, one of the most vulnerable parts of the body the soldier has to protect is his chest. An enemy’s arrow through the chest could mean instant death. So, the soldier protected his chest in Roman times with plates made of steel. This is what righteousness does.

Righteousness is like a steel protection over our minds because that’s where the enemy attacks: our minds. If you do not know you are righteous, the enemy will play mind games on you, and you will jump on the treadmill of performance. On the day you don’t perform well enough, you will yield to the condemnation of the devil and go right under. Even on the days you perform enough, you will base your walk on your performance which is flesh in itself and anything from the flesh cannot be of God (Isaiah 64:6).

So we must arm ourselves with God’s already complete work of righteousness and ensure that our minds and hearts are protected with the confident knowledge that through the gift of salvation, we have all that we need to defend our victory!