For we are not fighting against human beings but against the wicked spiritual forces in the heavenly world, the rulers, authorities, and cosmic powers of this dark age. So put on God's armor now! Then when the evil day comes, you will be able to resist the enemy's attacks; and after fighting to the end, you will still hold your ground. So stand ready, with truth as a belt tight around your waist, with righteousness as your breastplate …. (Ephesians 6:12-14 TEV)
In Ephesians, the apostle Paul says the second thing to do in spiritual warfare is to wear righteousness like a breastplate. Roman centurions wore a breastplate to protect their vital organs, such as the heart, liver, lungs and kidneys.
What is the breastplate of righteousness? It is purity of heart and purity of motivation.
The Bible asks, “Who may ascend the hill of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false” (Psalms 24:3-4 NIV).
Who gets to be close to God? The Bible says he who has clean hands and a pure heart. That doesn't mean you are perfect; it means you are confessed up. You may not always do the right thing, but you want to do the right thing. Your heart really is pure, although you will still make mistakes.
Jesus said it like this: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” (Matthew 5:8 NIV). If you want to be blessed in your work, in your finances, and in your family, you must have a pure heart. You need integrity and purity. You need to act on the truth and keep your motives clear.
Let me ask you this: Is your heart pure?
Satan is going to try to weaken you and make you a pushover by tempting you to fill your life with impurity. He’s going to give you impure thoughts. He’s going to give you impure motives. He’s going to suggest impure desires. He will try to give you impurity through pornography, through movies, through books, and through music. He may try to give you impurity through greed or pride.
On the other hand, when you wear the breastplate of righteousness, you are genuinely trying to keep your heart pure and keep your motives clean. Satan is afraid of anyone with a pure heart, which is also a brave heart.
Where is there impurity in your life? Come clean before God, and then put on the breastplate of righteousness.
Saddleback Resources offers a small group Bible study related to these devotionals: The Invisible War-Winning the Battle of Temptation.Rick Warren
is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church
in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and best-known churches. Rick is author of the New York Times Best Seller The Purpose Driven Life
, and also The Purpose Driven Church
, which was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of Pastors.com
, a global Internet community for ministers. © Copyright 2011 Rick Warren.