Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Proverbs 31 Journey: Acceptable to God

Memory/Meditation verse: Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths sinners stumble and fall. ~ Hosea 14:9 (NLT)

We continue this journey with the Proverbs 31 Woman. Again, refresh yourself with her here. We are on week #3 as we related her to a warrior and Ephesians 6. I know I haven't taken these items in the order that you would normally put them on, God's leading has flowed differently. I also know most of you have studied Ephesians 6 since your early days in Sunday school but make every effort to seek a fresh look from a Proverbs 31 Woman perspective.

So far we have explored the Belt of Truth and the Sandals of Peace. This week, we will explore the Breastplate of Righteousness.
You can also find reference to the breastplate of Righteousness in Isaiah 59:17 and 1 Thess. 5:8. Its a heavy topic but so necessary for a woman of God if she wants to honor and reverently serve Him. Re-read Ephesians 6: 11-18 (NLT):

Put on all o
f God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.

The Breastplate of Righteousness is a shield that covers the front of the body from the shoulders down to the upper thighs and extended partially around the back of the body. The breastplate protect the vital organs, most importantly the heart and soul of the person wearing it. So too does the Breastplate of Righteousness protects the heart and soul of the Proverbs 31 Woman.

The Breastplate of Righteousness represents the righteousness of Christ obtained when in His great love for us He shed His blood for our redemption. The Breastplate of Righteousness also represents the righteousness we can have in Christ. The Greek word used here in the passage for righteousness is dikaiosune (Strong's 1343). It is referring to "a state of man who is as he ought to be which is being in a condition acceptable to God" (

To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.
~ Prov. 21:3 (NIV)

Acceptable to God. This is were I feel we should land this week. What makes a woman acceptable to God? A state of living in integrity, virtue, purity of life? Yes. It involves thinking, feeling and acting as He would want us to. That is the daily state a Proverbs 31 woman thrives for-seeking to live a holy and acceptable life. It requires a sincere love relationship, a falling in love with Jesus.

But in every nation he who venerates and has a reverential fear for God, treating Him with worshipful obedience and living uprightly, is acceptable to Him and sure of being received and welcomed [by Him]. ~ Acts 10:35 (Amplified)

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. ~ Rom 12:1-2 (NKJV)

Obedience...acceptable to God. Not an easy task is it? We try, we fail, we try again because we love Him, we want more of Him, to see Him, and hear Him and walk beside Him. Our human nature is to live selfishly, to be more concerned about our day and what we gain from it. We know the only perfect and righteous One is Christ and that His blood on the cross of Calvary became a portal, a pathway to our own becoming righteous...becoming like Him. We have to crave it more than anything else in our life. Less of me, more of Him...

What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death... ~ Phil 3:8-10 (NIV)

It is possible to become like Him, righteous but not greater than God or anyone else. It is possible to live a life of purity and integrity It is possible to obtain a life of virtuous living. Yes, despite this world, it can only be done through Christ in our lives.

Since all have sinned and are falling short of the honor and glory which God bestows and receives. [All] are justified and made upright and in right standing with God, freely and gratuitously by His grace (His unmerited favor and mercy), through the redemption which is [provided] in Christ Jesus,Whom God put forward before the eyes of all] as a mercy seat and propitiation by His blood [the cleansing and life-giving sacrifice of atonement and reconciliation, to be received] through faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in His divine forbearance He had passed over and ignored former sins without punishment. ~ Rom. 3:23-25 (Amplified)

And this is where the Breastplate of Righteousness comes in. We cannot live outside of our sinful inclinations without protecting our heart, our mind, even our flesh without first accepting God's love and forgiveness. Our love for God and our faith in Him is the action that puts this Breastplate of Righteousness on.

I have been crucified with Christ [in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ (the Messiah) lives in me; and the life I now live in the body I live by faith in (by adherence to and reliance on and complete trust in) the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me. ~ Gal 2:20-21 (Amplified)

I need to say this again...the Breastplateof Righteousness put on by love and faith serves to protect our heart, our mind, our soul...even our flesh. The power of Christ blood in the Breastplate of Righteousness leaves satan no room to exploit in our life. Hear me is the link that connects us to God's power, the power we use each minute of our day to live in a manner that is acceptable to Him.

Blessed and fortunate and happy and spiritually prosperous (in that state in which the born-again child of God enjoys His favor and salvation) are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (uprightness and right standing with God), for they shall be completely satisfied! ~ Matt. 5:6 (Amplified)

Putting on the Breastplate of Righteousness each day is an act of obedience. It is a living out of our faith in word, action and thought.

I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. ~ Rom. 6:19 (NIV)

Putting on the Breastplate of Righteousness leads us to this holy living we crave.

The LORD will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the LORD your God and walk in obedience to Him.
~ Deut 28:9 (NIV)

Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.~ Heb 10:9-10 (NIV)

As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy. ~ 1 Peter 1:14-16 (NIV)

He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. ~ 2 Tim. 1:9-10 (NIV)

May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones. 1 Thess. 3: 12-13 (NIV)

The Breastplate of Righteousness put on by love and faith which guides us to live a holy life also enables us to live a life loving others as Christ does...even the unlovable. Combining faith, holy living and love is like a finish on this breastplate that makes it even stronger.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. ~ Col 3:12-14 (NIV)

This week, look at the benefits of holy and righteous living in the following verses. Grow your love relationship and your faith with your Lord. Pray these verses for yourself. Act on them.

Proverbs 11:6
Proverbs 21:21
Isaiah 32:17
Ephesians 4:22-24
1 Samuel 26:23
Job 17: 9
Psalm 1:6
Psalm 5:2
Psalm 34:15
Psalm 34:19
Psalm 85:10
Psalm 146:8
Isaiah 58:8

Father, our Holy and Sovereign God, give us spiritual wisdom and insight so that we might grow in our knowledge of You. We pray that our hearts will be flooded with light so that we can understand the confident hope you have given to those You have called—You holy people who are Your rich and glorious inheritance. We also pray that we will understand the incredible greatness of Your power for us who believe in You, for us who love you. May this same mighty power that raised Christ, your son, from the dead and seated Him in the place of honor at your right hand in the heavenly realms, lead me to righteousness (Eph 1:17-20, NLT). Precious Lord, let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer (Ps 19:14, NKJV). I love you, I want to love you more. ~ Amen

Believing Him~Pamela

No comments: