God's Word for Me Today: A Change of Heart

I woke up Thursday morning to a news alert on my phone – someone went on a rampage in Sweden with a sword. A couple days earlier the alert was about a police officer in New York being shot and killed. And as my husband gets his uniform on for work – which includes a body armor vest –  I pray two things; That the armor works, and that he never actually needs it.

Our minds aren’t the only part of us that need protection during our spiritual battles. Our hearts need it, too. God knows our heads and hearts work together, so when one is affected by either Him or the enemy, the other part feels it, too. God also knows we’re always at risk of a battle. So, like the helmet of salvation that we always have on our heads, God gives us His own body armor to protect our hearts – the breastplate of righteousness.

This armor is meant to keep us from those actions and desires that pull us from God – those things that get their start in our hearts. For me, the issues lean toward pride in myself, jealousy, anger, fear and even restlessness. Yours may be different, but we all have these heart issues. Why do we have problems when we’re wearing the breastplate of righteousness? Because the problem isn’t with the armor, it’s with what the armor is protecting. The problem is our hearts.

The pride, jealousy and anger that consume me at times keep me from a fuller relationship with God. They separate me from Him. But God doesn’t want us separated. He wants me to be in a close relationship with Him. He wants to work on me and change my heart. And as He changes my heart, His armor of righteousness keeps working to protect me.

I’ve struggled in a few relationships in the past – with friendships, dating relationships, even work relationships. One of those struggles was really difficult. I needed to be around this person on a regular basis and we didn’t always see eye-to-eye. The situation grew increasingly stressful, to the point where I just did not want to be around the person. But I had to, regardless of how I felt. So I prayed about the situation. I tried to pray for God to change the person I was dealing with – a number of times. The words wouldn’t come. Finally, one day, God opened my eyes and gave me new words – give me a better attitude toward the situation. I prayed for God to change me, instead of the other person. The words had to have been placed on my heart by the Spirit – my prideful self would never have thought that I was the one who needed to change.

God started working on changing my heart. Slowly, my attitude shifted. God’s work on my heart did not change my situation or how I felt about the person, but it changed how I responded to the situation. As my heart was changed to better reflect God’s heart, His armor kept working to protect this fresh heart from more of the enemy’s lies. The breastplate of righteousness gave me a sense of peace in a situation that was anything but peaceful.

How is God working on your heart? Have you noticed your breastplate at work lately, protecting your heart from the devil’s plans? I pray you notice it today. Your Father God is with you right now, fighting for you and with you, protecting you, giving you a new heart – one more like His. You aren’t alone in this fight! The battle is the Lord’s, and He will have the victory!

Scripture Reading:

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore… having put on the breastplate of righteousness…” Ephesians 6:12-14

Psalm 51:10 "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me."

Johns 15:54 "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another."

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