a lead vest of righteousness?

I recently took a trip to the dentist. This was my first time at this dentist, so they needed to do x-rays of my teeth to see what they were working with. So while sitting in the dental chair, they place a large and heavy vest over your chest. This vest is made out of lead and it is meant to shield the rest of your body from the x-rays they are taking. Basically, the radiation from the x-ray has to be limited to just the part they taking the picture of, as it is bad for the body to be exposed to too much radiation. Thus the lead vest protects other vitals parts of your body during your dentist visit so only a small part for just a quick second is exposed for the actual x-ray. (Now don’t I sound smart…fooled you!)

As I sat at the dentist, the dental assistant left me with the vest on my chest. I was reclined a bit in the dental chair and I could feel the whole weight of this vest on my chest. After a few minutes, I could really notice this heavy vest. Although I’ve been to the dentist dozens of times, during this visit, with the vest still on my chest, it made me think about what exactly this vest was doing and why I had to have it. It wasn’t an option. It was for my safety. It was keeping a vital part of me, safe from over exposure and damage. It was a shield covering my chest. 

In Ephesians 6 we are encouraged to put on the armor of God so that we can stand firm against Satan’s exposure in our lives. We are encouraged to put on every aspect of God’s armor, including the breastplate of righteousness, so that we are covered and protected by our righteous Lord and Savior. Righteousness also means blameless. Jesus was blameless and perfect, and He took our sin upon Himself and became a willing, perfect sacrifice, suffering the punishment that we deserved. This act of God, through Jesus, takes the righteousness of God and clothes us in it. It is nothing we can do on our own. Rather, it is what God has done for us. God desires for us to be covered from that over exposure and damage this world will place upon us. 

God has given us a “lead vest” of righteousness. We are protected by the righteousness of God when we surrender our life to Him and seek to live a holy life of absolute service and devotion unto God. Isaiah 61:10 says, “I will rejoice greatly in the Lord, my soul will exult in my God; For He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness…” Our righteousness comes by faith in God and God has clothed us in His righteousness and we are covered by Him.

You are covered and protected by God through His righteousness. The world around you wants to expose you to lies and deceit – it is everywhere we look in our culture today. But God has provided a perfect plan to keep you protected from over exposure and damage.  This world will want to radiate through you. Satan will bombard your heart and mind with lies, with temptation, and complete chaos. But God only wants us to be exposed to His perfect love and righteousness so that we can can reflect His most powerful and live transforming love for this world. For whatever your soul is exposed to, it will radiate out of you. 

John Wesley said that our lives, if they are covered by the righteousness of God, that our lives are characterized by Holy Spirit-inspired joy, holiness, and peace. He called these elements, undeniable markers of the Kingdom of God in ones life and they also prove that you have your “lead vest” of righteousness on. So the question is: are you covered – are you covered by a “lead vest” of righteousness?

When we believe in Him and live a life of surrender and devotion to God, He has promised to wrap us up in His robe of righteousness.