by Jay O'Toole
The Lord doesn't always speak in an audible voice, but often in nudges, moving the heart.
The Lord is a gentleman. He is patient. He is longsuffering|
He often remains silent, while we are speaking, but He will not remain silent forever.
He can be grieved and quenched when we refuse His message.
When nothing else works to get our attention,
then He may allow "...the pestilence that walketh in darkness;..."
to come into our lives to urge us to "...abide under the shadow of the Almighty."
When He gets our attention, and we begin to cry, "Daddy, save me," (Romans 8:15, KJV)
then "...I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him."
These selections come from Psalm 91. Many times my thoughts return to my childhood
with the reading of this psalm. When I was a little boy, I was wont to hide behind
my earthly daddy when dangerous or unfamiliar situations arose in my life.
My Daddy on earth was much bigger and much stronger than I was.
How much greater, today, as a grown man, that I can look to my Heavenly Father,
Who is infinitely bigger and stronger than my earthly father ever was.
As children, we were very good at "reading" our parents.
They gave us certain looks, which told us how to act without ever speaking words.
"You better not speak right now. I am so angry about what you have done."
"I love you, Dear One. Come here. Let me give you a hug."
Myriad were the looks in between these two extremes on the continuum.
The Lord in like manner says, "I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go:
I will guide thee with mine eye." (Psalm 32:8, KJV)
Earthly parents would often touch us on the shoulder in public,
especially when we were "acting up." When our eyes met,
they would simply hold up one index finger, waving it back and forth.
This meant, "Stop! Think about what you are doing!
Change your behavior before the hand of judgment falls on the seat of knowledge!"
Of course, at other times a big, strong, gentle arm would wrap slowly around our chests,
drawing us back to them in a warm embrace, simply meaning, "I love you,...just because."
The Lord in His inimitable ways gives us His Own Divine Nudges.
|"...and having on the breastplate of righteousness;" (Ephesians 6:14c, KJV)
Paul seems a little matter-of-fact when he lists the breastplate of righteousness in the spiritual armor of the Christian. Paul says, "Put it on." It is a given, that a soldier will wear his or her metal covering to shield the vital organs of the body from the midsection to the neck from attack.
What is righteousness? Since the base word is "right," then righteousness is the environment in which right can flourish. "Jesus saith unto him, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.'" (John 14:6, KJV) "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1, KJV)
Bottom Line: Jesus is God. Jesus is Truth. Jesus is Right. Righteousness means being like Jesus. Our breastplate is effective against attacks, only when that breastplate looks like Jesus, HIStory's Only Christ (aka Messiah.)
Living like Jesus is the tallest of tasks. I am imperfect as a human being, therefore I need Jesus to live His Perfection through me. The life of the Christian is the life of exchange. I gave Jesus my Sin. He gave me His Mercy and Grace.
The breastplate of righteousness covers vital organs. Jesus is the Vital Core of Righteousness. In Christ, I live. Apart from Christ, I die.
May we all seek Jesus Christ this very day.
The righteousness, that shapes my core
is Jesus in my stead,
for Hope increases evermore
in Him, Who once was dead.
Upon the cross, He died for me.
In state He laid in tomb,
but on the third from death was free,
and brought me to His room.
All righteousness I now possess
is Christ's Gift, evermore.
Salvation in Him ever blessed
with peace to live in store.
by Jay O’Toole
on April 9th, 2021