Dear beloved: We are looking at the different pieces of gospel armor spoken by Paul in Ephesians 6, beginning in verse 14. The second piece that we put on is the breastplate (gr. thoraz) of righteousness. The breastplate was strapped onto the chest and the backside and went down to the legs; its function in the physical was to cover the main internal organs of the body, especially the heart. The heart is the primary organ of the body as we all know, but in the spiritual sense it is also the seat of passion, of desire, emotions, and love. We say we lose heart, have a broken heart, put a lot of heart into it, and at times feel heartless. Proverbs 4:23 says, Watch over your heart with all diligence, for out of it flow the springs (issues) of life. In Matthew 15, beginning in verse 11, Jesus says, "it is not what enters into the mouth that defiles a man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man." v17 " Do you not understand that everything that goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is eliminated? v18 But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. v19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witnesses, slanders. v20 These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man."
In Jeremiah 17:9 the prophet states " the heart is more deceitful than all else, and is desperately sick; Who can understand it? v10 I the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind. Even to give to each man according to his ways, according to the results of his deeds." Its no wonder we need armor to guard our hearts, with all that the heart can harbor and control, the enemy of our soul wants desperately to take over our hearts. There are many portals of entry into the heart, which we will talk about in a teaching to follow; suffice it to say that if the enemy can take over your heart, he can run your life. Each week when I go into the prison, I have to pass through the command center to get through the gate; from that command center everything in the prison is watched through video cameras, and all the gates and sallyports (for vehicles) are monitored and controlled. It is the nerve and command control center of the whole compound to direct the lives of 800 men and 200 employees. And so it is with the heart; the nerve and command center for all the issues of life.
A lawyer came to Jesus in Matthew 22:36 and asked Him a question to test Him. v36 "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" v37 and Jesus said to Him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind." v39 "and the second is like it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself." ....Guard your hearts, beloved, love the Lord with all your heart, and you will do well. Some need to spend more time in prayer and fasting and really get their heart cleansed, to ask God to forgive you of some of the issues coming from your heart. Psalm 24:3 sums it all up; Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? And who may stand in his holy place? v4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood, and has not sworn deceitfully. Keep your heart pure beloved, guard it and keep it, watch over what you allow into it, and who you give it to. God bless you, may your heart be filled with the joy of the Lord this day, in Christ, Jim