In our meditations over the last few days, we have been thinking about the spiritual warfare believers in Christ go through, some more, some less. To fight in this spiritual war, we must have spiritual defensive armor. The armor we are talking about is a provision from the Master who has called all believers to fight.
Let’s put it another way. If your nation were to call you up to fight a war, one of the first things you would do would be to go to the quartermaster stores to get your uniform. You don’t buy it; you don’t earn it. It is given to you by the One for whom you are fighting. You don’t tell the quartermaster what kind of armor you would like. He has already thought that through for you and constructed it to His specifications to equip you to face and defeat the enemy you are fighting. Battles are often won or lost on the strength of one’s armor or weaponry. It’s called the Armor of God for a reason; it is not the armor of self. I don’t want to trust a helmet of my own making, for it might let me down when there is a crucial blow to the head. I don't want a shield of faith of my willpower; I need an impartation of the kind of faith that God gives. To fight a spiritual enemy, we must have spiritual armor.
When Paul wrote his letter to the church at Ephesus, he was under house arrest with a Roman soldier watching over him to stop any escape he might make. As Paul wrote, it is believed he looked at the Roman soldier to illustrate the equipment the Lord gives us for our spiritual fight. With those thoughts in mind, let us now look at what Paul the Apostle wrote about the armor of God. The first part of the armor is the belt of truth:
10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, (Ephesians 6:10-14).
(1) The Belt of Truth
The Roman soldier's belt kept everything in place. Ancient combat was mainly hand-to-hand fighting, so loose-fitting clothing was a liability. Before a battle, the Roman soldier would tuck in his clothes and tighten his belt. In Paul's mind, the truth held everything in place in the Christian warrior's life.
Paul knew that truth is an integral part of spiritual warfare. Without the truth stabilizing us, we come apart when we try and fight against the enemy. There are three ways that we buckle ourselves with the truth. The first is that of knowing the person of Christ, who is the truth. Jesus said, “I am the Way, and the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Jesus is the embodiment of the truth. When we come into a relationship with Him, we are set free in our spirit by knowing the person of truth (John 8:32). The second thing Paul could have had on his mind was that we are to buckle ourselves with a worldview that comes from Scripture. Paul the Apostle, when he was saying goodbye to the elders of Ephesus, said, 26"Therefore, I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. 27For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God” (Acts 20:26-27). When we get to grips with knowing the whole truth about who Jesus is and what He has done, Satan has fewer lies and fiery darts to throw at us. The mature Christian can shrug off the deceptive lying tactics of demons.
The third thing Paul may have been referring to about truth as a belt is that of the absence of deceit by believers. We are to be truthful in the things we say, living in integrity and agreement with the truth of God’s Word. We fall under the condemnation of demons when we are knowingly deceitful. Setting out deliberately to be deceptive allows the enemy to catch us in a lie before unbelievers and destroy our testimony of God’s power. If you are in such a situation, agree with God's Word quickly. The enemy will have no hold over you, and there is no condemnation for those who accept God's provision for forgiveness! To keep this short, let’s look further at the armor of God tomorrow. Keith Thomas
This meditation is a shortened version of the more in-depth study: The Armor of God.
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