Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
Written by: Shannon Swenson
In Ephesians 6:14, Paul tells us to put on the breastplate of righteousness. A breastplate is something that was literally used in war; a piece of protection to guard the soldiers’ vital organs. Sometimes the breastplate was a solid piece of metal, and other times it was a drape-like piece made of linked chains closely knit together.
In the physical act of hand-to-hand combat, it is wise and necessary to guard the heart. In the spiritual battle for our heart and soul, it is even more important. Eternal life with Him is at hand when we put on His righteousness. Simply stated, He gave His life, and fought death and destruction to rise again in order to protect us and to win the battle for all time. The war has been won. We must choose to walk in His victory.
He knew we could not handle living a righteous or holy life without Him. He knew that there would be chinks in our armor that give the enemy easy access to our hearts if not solidly protected by His righteousness. Whether we have said yes to Him or not, life is a literal war zone. Left to fight our own battles, we don’t stand a chance.
As Jesus followers, the intensity of the battles still exists but we know that He is in every battle we will ever face. He is never unprepared when life drops a bomb and is always with us when we encounter the next hill to climb. He is never unprepared or surprised to see that even on our best days we don’t fill our minds with His wisdom and truth, and we don’t always guard our hearts as evidenced by the shrapnel we leave behind.
The Bible teaches that when we accept Him into our lives as Lord and leader, we are equipped for battle and clothed in His righteousness and in His goodness, and we are covered by His blood.
Thought of the day: If you find yourself in intense spiritual battles, let today be the day you take a stand, check your gear, and check your heart. Repent and return, recommit your life to Him, and be intentional in guarding your heart from this day forward.
Prayer: Daddy, thank You for wanting to fight my battles for me and for giving me everything I need to learn to continue to surrender my life to You. Give me wisdom and courage to guard my heart, to take inventory of where I have fallen short, and take action to move forward with You as leader and Lord. Holy Spirit, let me leave evidence of Your love with every person I encounter today. In Jesus’ name, amen.