Dad, are you naked under all those clothes? —7-year-old Josh to his dad
Satan is smart, wise, and very, very tricky. If he can get you asking the wrong question, you will never come up with the right answer. If you are a Christian (you have accepted God's forgiveness and asked Christ to take over your life) then the wrong question is, "How do I make myself righteous?" But this is the question Satan loves for you to ask, because it has no right answer. It also distracts you from a fundamental command of God that can seriously protect you from the lies of Satan in many areas:
Stand firm then... with the breastplate of righteousness in place. —Ephesians 6:14
Please note this passage doesn't say to go out and find a breastplate of righteousness. He doesn't say to go out and create a breastplate of righteousness. Anything you try to build yourself is based on your own performance, your own works. If you build your own armor, it's going to be flawed and weak, and you'll know it. You'll always have to make sure you're doing enough to be protected, enough to be righteous, enough to justify yourself. On top of being extremely exhausting, that is way out of sync with the way it's supposed to be. God wants you to stand firm in the breastplate of righteousness He has made for you. Your job is to put your trust in what He has done.
Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes. —Romans 10:4
The breastplate covers the whole chest area going down to the abdomen. It covers all the vital organs, the things that keep you alive. You have this righteousness in Christ.
Know it and stand firm in this truth! You have nothing to hide from the Father, and Satan can no longer use your guilt to manipulate you. In the Upper Room, Jesus said "Satan has no hold on me" (John 14). Satan had no hold on Him was because He was completely righteous. You shared in His crucifixion and resurrection. Everything that He won, you won too – which means Satan has no hold on you either. That's the truth. The best he can do is to deceive you from the truth by getting you to ask the wrong question.
How will you answer?
Abba Father, I refuse the fleshly instincts to try to make myself righteous. I see Satan's attempt to distract me with the wrong question. I look to You, and You only as the answer and the source of my righteousness. By the power of Your spirit in me give me the wisdom to stand firm in the breastplate You have provided and made for me already. Amen.
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