On July 9, 1755, George Washington colonel of the Virginia militia, General Edward Braddock of the British army and 84 other American and British officers rode toward Fort Duquesne – now the city of Pittsburg, accompanied by 1300 troops to expel the French in the French and Indian war. Seven miles from the fort they were ambushed in a wooded ravine. In the ensuing two hour battle 30 of the French and Indian attackers had been killed, 714 of the 1300 British and American troops had been shot. Of the 86 British and American officers, only George Washington was left on horseback, all the others had been shot down. He was in every part of the field, a conspicuous mark for the murderous rifle. Two horses were shot under him. Four bullets passed through his coat. His escape without a wound was miraculous. Dr. Craik, who was on the field attending to the wounded, watched him with anxiety as he rode about in the most exposed manner, and used to say that he expected every moment to see him fall.
Fifteen years later, in the peacetime of 1770, Washington and his close personal friend, Dr. James Craik had opportunity to return to the scene of the ambush from which he was so miraculously delivered. Hearing that George Washington had come back, an old Indian chief traveled a long way just to meet with him. The chief, a leader in the ambush and following battle, had waited 15 years to personally meet the object of his respect. The chief explained that he had commanded his braves to single out and kill all the officers. Washington had been earmarked for death and the chief himself had fired at him seventeen times without effect. Believing Washington to be under protection of the “Great Spirit,” the chief then ordered the braves to not harm him. Finally, the chief said to Washington,
“I have traveled a long and weary path that I might see the young warrior of the great battle. . . I am come to pay homage to the man who is the particular favorite of Heaven, and who can never die in battle.”
George Washington had no idea what a mark in history he would become through or after that day of July 17, 1755, but like David with Goliath he stood against the enemy believing in his righteousness.
As we believe in the truth of who we are and what we have in Christ it allows us to continue the armor of God
. . . with the breastplate of righteousness in place . . .(Ephesians 6:14)
Most of us are familiar with the statement ‘Once a Marine always a Marine’; one thing the Marine Corps is known for is rebuilding a person into a Marine. When they are asked who they are their natural response becomes ‘I am a Marine’. In a way, that is how righteousness works for us. When asked who we are, as Christians we should respond that we are righteous. But what does it mean to be righteous?
We may have the impression that righteous means to become perfect before we are protected by the armor of God, but that is not what it is about.
- We have already been given the belt of truth, righteousness is living that truth.
- Righteousness is accepting who we are in Christ and believing in God’s Truth.
- When God looks at us, He sees us completely clean and forgiven and through that we are righteous.
- It is putting to practice what God has told us through His Word. Righteousness is aligning our will to God’s will and standing our ground because we believe what God tells us.
Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. (Romans 4:3)
When we read about Abraham he was not perfect, in fact he did a lot of things wrong, but he always believed God and the words given to him.
Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” (Romans 4:20- 22)
It is possible to be in possession of the gift of righteousness and yet never fully receive it.
- Unfortunately about 90% of the Body of Christ has not taken possession of their righteousness and walk in condemnation.
- The Holy Spirit will convince us of the lies we have believed, through repentance we will make an agreement with the Spirit of Truth, and in light of the Spirit of Truth we change what we believe and accept God’s truth.
Satan will try to counterfeit that conviction with accusations and it is designed to drive us into false comforts to ease our guilt.
- He wants to tell us that we aren’t righteous and that we are of no value to God or man.
- The devil desires to penetrate a person’s mind and emotions, and delights in finding believers who do not know they are righteous.
- If we don’t have your breastplate firmly in place the devil will be able to deal a blow that injures our spiritual walk immensely.
- When we walk in the lies, we willfully rebel against the truth God has shown us; we open ourselves to demonic attack.
- With this wrong attitude we would be defeated before that battle even started. Consider these questions:
- Is there any area of your life that God has spoken truth to you that you have rebelled against and opened a door to the enemy?
- Are you being deceived?
Being people of flesh we can grow deaf to God’s instructions fully convinced we are following Him completely.
- That is deception which results in unrighteousness, and that leads to vulnerability in the face of demonic attack.
- If we aren’t wearing the breastplate of righteousness our heart can be condemned by the enemy and our minds deceived.
- But when we stand firm with our breastplate, our backs are also guarded.
Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. (Isaiah 58:8)
Righteousness is using these spiritual weapons God gives us to their God-given potential. And that requires risk, but the righteous are as bold as a lion (Proverbs 28:1).
- When we know that God has made us righteous it doesn’t matter what the enemy shoots against us because nothing will penetrate. We stand our ground because we believe what God tells us.
- When we understand this God-given righteousness serves as a breastplate it will affect our attitude positively and profoundly, it will impart both confidence and tremendous authority.
- With that confidence and authority our righteous boldness may come across as egocentric or arrogant, they won’t understand that we are Christians that now understand that we are the righteousness of God in Him (2 Cor. 5:21).
David experienced having his righteousness looked at as arrogance with his brother in 1 Samuel 17:28 but his righteousness is shown verses 45-49.
When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.”
David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”
As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell face down on the ground.
As David shows with Goliath, God has clothed us with a piece of armor called the breastplate of righteousness. By developing an attitude of righteousness and seeing ourselves through the work of the Cross, we will receive a divine impartation of confidence and boldness that will always put us on the winning side.
The devil will still attempt to tell us that we are not righteous but once we have our breastplate of righteousness firmly in place, we can fight any foe and face any enemy! As we begin to walk in righteousness, all we have to do is walk into a dark situation, and that darkness will flee from us. Evil forces always flee from the brilliant light that righteousness brings out in us.