The breastplate covers your heart. It shields you from enemy attack, especially in the realm of emotions.
Some sentimentally claim that the truth is so wonderful that it defies definition. Others say that Paul is referring to the belt of truthfulness or integrity. I’m convinced that Paul is referring to objective gospel truth.
God provides armour for his soldiers, not for the unsaved. It doesn’t work for them. The gospel is the power of God for our salvation, but it’s foolishness to those who don’t know Jesus.
It is not impossible for us to be so gung-ho in pressing forward that we forget that we ourselves will come under attack from time to time.
We must be strong and be strengthened, but there’s a trust element too. We must be strengthened by faith.
Day after day we experience fear, battle, hurts, sickness, wounds, unkindness and perplexity. We didn’t expect what’s happened to us. How do we get through? ‘Well, pull yourself together!’ No! Our strength comes from Jesus.
Strength is perfected in weakness. What does that mean? ‘Hey, soldiers be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. Come on pull yourself up.’ No. Paul is the one writing, the chief soldier.
Soldiers aren’t surprised when they have to engage in warfare. But I sense that sometimes we’re shocked when we hit difficult times. We think we’ve found the secret of happiness but we’ve also found a life in which we need to wear the armour every day!
It’s no good saying to someone, ‘I’m praying that you might be strengthened.’ We’re saying, ‘You’ve got to be strengthened!’ It’s not just a theory; it’s got to be practised – you’ve got to learn how to do it, how to live in the strength that God provides.