What is Righteousness?

Today’s challenge – Righteousness

It seems that the place to start in understanding the Breastplate of Righteousness is by understanding Righteousness.  I’ve been reading some very technical theological articles on Righteousness and have come away with two impressions:

Before we go any further, I want to lay the groundwork; the definition of the word “just” is: based on or behaving according to what is morally right and fair.

1.)  God the Father is righteous (just); Jesus Christ his Son is the Righteous (Just) one; the Father through the Son and in the Spirit gives the gift of righteousness (justice – just behavior) to repentant sinners for salvation; such believing sinners are declared righteous (just) by the Father through the Son, and are made righteous (just) by the Holy Spirit working in them, and will be wholly righteous (just) in the age to come.  Okay that’s a mouth full…

2.)  For those of us who have accepted Jesus and His salvation, righteousness (justice – just behavior) is in our DNA…it is who we are.  Righteousness (just behavior) isn’t earned, it isn’t practiced, it isn’t available for a limited time, it isn’t measured in degrees…it’s who we are.

Think about it – by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit we are righteous (just).  Let’s learn to give into the nature we’ve so freely been given!

Romans 3:23-24:  For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

The truth about the Belt of Truth…

Today’s challenge:  The truth about the Belt of Truth…have you put on your Belt?

The Belt of Truth…As I’m settling in from my revelation of truth, I’m beginning to understand the depth of wearing the Belt of Truth.  I’m beginning to understand how Truth is not only a protection but a weapon.

In a previous post I wrote that I had strapped on the Belt of Truth…now I understand that when God reveals the Truth to our hearts, we never remove the Belt of Truth.  I’m just beginning to understand the power behind the Armor of God as revealed in Ephesians 6.  If each piece of Armor is a revelation to our hearts … Oh my!  I hope and pray each one of you has strapped on your Belt of Truth.  I pray you’ve asked God to reveal truth to your heart, and I pray for a revelation of truth from God that will secure the Belt of Truth to your soul.

I read an interesting article that said “The armor is of God.  It is NOT an armor that you construct.  Rather, it is an armor that has been constructed by God.  Second, it is YOU that put on that armor.  God will not put it on for you.  God made it available, now you have to put it on.”  The Armor of God is personalized for each one of us…your Belt of Truth will be different from mine.  Your Belt of Truth is customized specifically to fit you…to protect you…to be a weapon that you can wield with precision and accuracy.

Don’t move from the place you’re in today until you’ve put on the Belt of Truth!  Seek the Spirit of God who lives within you.

1 Corinthians 2:10-12:  The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.  For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them?  In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.  What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God so that we may understand what God has freely given us

 

God of the unexpected!

I am still in a state of shock…it’s hard to wrap my head around the fact…I’m almost speechless as it’s still sinking in…I was so completely and utterly duped.  It’s like a sci-fi movie, you know, one of those movies where they reveal the truth, then take you back and show you scenes where the truth is now so obvious.

Throughout my 365 disciplined days (pink hippo challenge) of seeking God, I really didn’t expect anything earth shattering.  I hoped for earth shattering, I hoped for a miracle, but there were many times I pleaded … please don’t disappoint me!  Although I’m in shock … I’m not disappointed!

I expected to put on the “Belt of Truth”, look out into the world and see things that were previously hidden.  I didn’t expect to put on the “Belt of Truth”, look back into my past and see things that were previously hidden.  I really shouldn’t be surprised, I have the Bible that reveals God’s character…He likes to surprise His children.  I imagine Saul of Tarsus, obsessed with his anti-Christian crusade in 38-44 AD, never expected Jesus to appear as he traveled the road to Damascus.  I imagine Saul had the same experience…looking back in his past and seeing Jesus where He had previously been hidden.

The apostle Paul (previously Saul) was so changed by his experience that he traveled the world, opening the eyes of all who would listen to his testimony.  I am so changed by my experience …

Sisters, commit yourselves to seeking God and He will shake the ground you’re standing on!

Acts 9:3-7:  As he (Saul) neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.  He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?  Who are you, Lord?  Saul asked.  “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting, he replied.  Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”  The men traveling with Saul stood speechless, they heard the sound but did not see anyone. 

 

Finally, the Truth!

Over the weekend I had a revelation that was so powerful, so surprising, so unexpected!  This revelation came through my eyes of Faith; I was looking at a situation that has existed since I was six years old, a situation that has hounded and haunted me since I was six years old.  I believed I knew the situation inside and out, since I was the one who had lived each and every moment for fifty-one years.  But I was wrong…I was wrong every moment for fifty-one years.

The truth is astounding; there was sacrifice and love where I saw only neglect, there was unwavering faith where I saw only weakness, there was a raging spiritual war, where I saw only apathy.  The truth has forever changed me.  I’ve lived every moment of the past fifty-one years based upon a lie – I’ve make decisions for not only myself, but for my precious children, based upon a lie – I’ve looked at my family, looked at the world, and looked at God, based upon a lie.

Without advance knowledge or warning I stepped out onto the spiritual battlefield.  Oh, but my God had prepared me … for a year prior I had committed to, and followed through 365 days of seeking Him.  There were only the four of us on the battlefield…God, satan, satan’s puppet and me.  The battle lasted less than 60 seconds and I spoke less than 10 words…but Goliath was down and beheaded!

For fifty-one years I thought my inheritance was neglect, weakness and pain.  But all along my inheritance has been love, faith and victory!

John 8 31-35:  “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.  Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.  They answered Him, We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone.  How can you say that we shall be set free?  Jesus replied, very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.  Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever.  So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

 

 

Accepting and opening your gift.

I need…I honestly don’t know what I need, but I feel a longing and need so strong that it’s all I can think about.  I’m looking for something…I’m constantly looking…what am I looking for?  Where is the peace and rest in You?  Where is the contentment?  These words seem to describe the condition of so many of us…many of us who belong to Christ.

I’ve been pondering that question as I struggle with the same feelings of restlessness.  As I prayed and journaled and wrote out my PRAYer (P-Praise, R-Repentance, A-Ask, Y-Yes) I began to sense an answer.  Peace, satisfaction and contentment are gifts from the Holy Spirit, they are available but we have to accept them.  We have to take the gift, remove the wrapping paper and all the scotch tape, open the box and remove the gift.  Wait…we’re not finished yet!  After the gift is opened, we have to read the instructions in order to see results.  In my case, I have to read the instructions numerous times and then ask for help!

We have to accept peace, satisfaction and contentment…we have to take them out…read the Bible to see how to activate them…we have to practice handling them in order to achieve maximum results…WE HAVE TO GO THROUGH THIS PROCESS EVERYDAY!  Therein lies the secret…it’s a discipline.

Ecclesiastes 3:12-13 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.  That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil – this is a gift from God.

The little girl inside…

Today’s challenge:  The little girl inside.

I remember the first time my therapist opened the door of my mind to the fact that there was a little girl (me) inside who was still about six years old.  She lived through a traumatic experience she didn’t understand, which caused her to be paralyzed.  She’s hid behind the door viewing my life’s experiences through the thin sliver she can see from her hiding place.  She’s afraid, she’s immature, she’s prone to throwing tantrum fits when she feels threatened.  Over the years I (the adult version of myself) have worked with her as her fear has caused seemingly unreasonable responses.  But for the most part, I’ve just tried to keep her sated.

As you know, recently I’ve struggled with my daughter.  I’ve battled fear, and anger, and depression over this struggle…seemingly unreasonable.  As I looked at myself; specifically this struggle through my “eyes of Faith”, the Holy Spirit has shown me the little girl inside.  Once again she’s terrified of being left alone by the people she loves!  She isn’t going to be soothed with kind words or reason, her fear has caused her to lapse back into the tantrum of a two-year old.

The enemy of my soul is urging me to “keep her sated” once again…by any means.  But…I’m wearing the Belt of Truth…and I “see” her for who she is…a frightened little girl who needs Jesus.

Mark 10:13-15:  People were bringing the little children to Jesus for Him to place His hands on them.  But the disciples rebuked those who brought them.  When Jesus saw this, He was indignant and told them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them!  For the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.  Truly, I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.

The intimacy of shared pain.

Today’s challenge – Sorrow

I was talking to a friend yesterday about my spiritual experience with wearing the Belt of Truth, and I made this statement “the Truth is heavy”.  When I spoke those words somewhere in my spirit I knew there was a depth that needed to be explored, but that moment was not the time or place.  This morning in my personal journaling I wrote “I am in a place of sorrow”.

I began to realize that wearing the Belt of Truth; opening my spirit to the Truth of God takes me to a place of heaviness and sorrow.  I can’t just skim the surface…I can’t wear my rose colored glasses…I can’t just smile and nod…I can’t see the battlefield without seeing the pain and casualties.

Once I opened my eyes to the world only visible by Faith, and once I strapped on the Belt of Truth, I began to understand how God’s heart grieves for His creation.  Once I purposed to Stand, and remain with Him in the heaviness and sorrow, He drew me in and we shared an intimacy that comes only through shared pain.

2 Corinthians 1:5 – For just as the sufferings of Christ overflow to us, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.  

 

Strategy – Generational Curse or Blessing

Today’s challenge – Strategy

I have a picture in my mind of putting on the armor of Ephesians 6, raising my sword so that the blade is pointed straight up into the sky, bellowing a battle cry that would shake the ground beneath my feet, and then running to fight my enemy.  What?  Wait a minute…I think I’m supposed to be following someone.  Where did everyone go?  I think I better lower my sword and find out where my Master is…maybe I should attend the strategy sessions going on over there where everyone else is gathered.

Now that my eyes have been opened by the belt of Truth…now that I have realized fighting this war is a group effort, not an act of one lone warrior…now that I have settled down after “seeing” the battle in the spiritual realm…now it’s time to join the rest of my unit in understanding the strategies of our enemy.

Our enemy has been fighting this battle for thousands of years.  His strategies were formed generations ago and he’s reaping the destruction of seeds planted before I was born.  My Bible study group is studying Gideon by Priscilla Shrier and I am learning a great deal about the strategy of my enemy.  The first thing to realize is that we’re experiencing either the victory or defeat of our family line.

Take some time and find out what battle you’re fighting!

 

Wearing the belt of Truth – Remember

Today’s challenge – Remember

My original plan was to work through the armor of God as outlined in Ephesians 6 so that I would be equipped to fight my enemy, but since I put on the belt of Truth (Ephesians 6:14) the Holy Spirit has prompted me to stay here…to look at my world, both internal and external, as I wear the belt of Truth.

As I’ve mentioned before I’m a news junkie.  I find the news particularly interesting as the candidates in our Presidential election are so “colorful”.  This morning I sense the Holy Spirit prompting me to camp for a bit and read the news wearing my new accessory.  Instead of reading current events, the Holy Spirit took me to Judges 8:33-34 that says “No sooner had Gideon died than the Israelites again prostituted themselves to the Baals.  They set up Baal-Berith as their god and did not remember the Lord their God, who had rescued them from the hands of all their enemies.”  

As I wear the belt of Truth and sense the weight of it as it hangs around my waist, the Holy Spirit shows me that God’s people have been here before.  The events of today are not unique, Ecclesiastes 1:9 says “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”  Our Father knows His children and warned us of this time…

Deuteronomy 8:11-14:  “Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe His commands, His laws and His decrees that I am giving you this day.  Otherwise, when you eat and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God.

The first Truth the belt of Truth is imparting is to remember … from where the Lord your God has delivered you!

Actually putting on the belt of truth!

Today’s challenge – Putting on my belt of truth.

I don’t know about you, but I struggle with boredom and isolation.  My mind constantly needs to be challenged…so much so that I will find the most trivial cause and create a critical event.  I lament to God, of course blaming Him, for the lack of mental challenge.  I sulk in moments of peace, which of course I perceive to be God’s lack of attention to my plight.   It seems that although I’m learning to see through “eyes of Faith” the world around me, I seldom look upon myself through those eyes.  So this was the subject of my morning with my Heavenly Father…seeing myself through “eyes of Faith”.

I see that the boredom and isolation I believe to be my introverted personality is if fact a strategy of satan.  His lie that I am bored and without direction causes me to consistently look for something to “sink my teeth into”.  I tackle every project with reckless abandon listening to the whisper that says “this is what you were created to do”.  With the same consistency, and the added element of emotional exhaustion, I throw my hands up in despair when the work of my hands doesn’t reap the results I saw in my mind.  Then, I sulk and blame God…and so the cycle begins again.

Using the revelation of the last few days, it’s time I fight for control over my mind.  Here’s my prayer…I hope this encourages you to write your own prayer. Remember, the battle is always fought first in our minds!

P (Praise) – Father, thank you for patience and your faithfulness to me.  You knocked on the door of my heart for so many years before I opened the door and allowed you to come in.  Thank you for the many, many years of walking with me, even though we’ve walked the same path over and over again.  Thank you for teaching me, for mentoring me, for forgiving me so many times…more than I can count.  Thank you for sending your Son so that I might have the privileged of coming before you in His name.  Thank you for loving me!

R (Repentance) – Father, please forgive me for listening to the lies of satan.  Forgive me for blaming you for my own failures, forgive me for my demanding nature, forgive me for my sense of entitlement, forgive me for seeking satisfaction from this world instead of from you.

A (Ask) – Father, I ask in the Name of your Son Jesus, that you would impart to the gift of discernment. I ask that you would open my “eyes of Faith”.  Allow me to immediately know when satan is near, allow me to immediately recognize his lies…no matter how they are disguised.  Father, by your Spirit, impart to me your ability to discern between your Truth, the lies of my enemy, my flesh, or the enticements of this world.

Y (Yes) – Father, your Word says “Oh people of Zion, inhabitants in Jerusalem, you will weep no longer.  He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when He hears it, He will answer you. (Isaiah 30:19)”  Father, hear the sound of my cry!