The Armor of God, part 2: The Belt of Truth
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For 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.
Therefore 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. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. “(NIV)
Believers in Christ are faced with a spiritual battle. The weapons we are given are also spiritual. The apostle Paul instructs us first to have the Truth wrapped around our waist as a belt which also holds our outfit together enabling us to stand.
It is very important that we understand and and believe the truth. Now there are certain facts that are also true. It is a fact and true that on a clear day the sky is blue and the grass is green. But in the spiritual realm there is a higher truth that is often referred to in the Bible.
Jesus once said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” (John 14:6) Not everyone believed Him when He made that statement. And yet, Christians are known to be people who believe in Him and in everything He said and did. A higher truth has been revealed unto them!
Jesus also said, “You shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32) But how do we explain to an observer why many have at times found themselves in prison for preaching the Gospel? Here there is a higher truth. Their bodies might be bound, but their minds and spirits continue to be free! On the other hand, millions who might be free to move about physically are often both emotionally and spiritually bound!
In the area of spiritual warfare we have a very powerful defensive weapon that protects us from fear, guilt, depression and defeat. Satan greatest power is the power of deception and lies. He can even take a fact and manipulate it to deceive us.
If he can trick us into thinking we are hopeless sinners, he will have succeeded in his plan.
It is a fact that all of us have sinned and have come short of God’s glory. But when the Holy Spirit exposes our sin, it is always for the purpose of delivering us from it. He will always point us to Jesus, His message, His love, His sacrifice on the Cross, and His victory over sin! We believe that He rose from the grave for our justification!
We also believe that our old life died with Him on the Cross, and our new life has come with His resurrection! We are new creations in Christ! We have been changed! All things are passed away and all things have become new! This is the higher Truth that enambles us to stand! (2 Corinthians 5:17).
We who have believed in and have received Him have been given the priviledge of becoming the children of God, born from above, born of the Spirit, born of God! The fact is we are not perfect. We fail at times. But the Truth is our identity is found in Him. God calls us His children, His saints! Regardless of what our accuser tells us, this is who we really are! (John 1:12-13, 3:3-7).
His Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God! (Romans 8:16).
When men sought a way to fly in airplanes, they did not in any way deny the existence of the law of gravity. In fact they took it very seriously, but they did learn to apply other laws of physics. The law of aerodynamics enabled them to rise above the earth like the birds had been doing! Other laws were later applied to the extent that people have actually excaped the gravitational pull of the earth and ascended into outer space!
Likewise God has made us aware of the law of sin and death, but also the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus! The law of sin says that rejection of God’s love leads to hollowness of heart and soul. That emptiness leads to seeking means of pleasure other than God, who would otherwise empower us to live an abundant life.
Christ came to make us free from the law of sin and death and to fill up our emptiness with Himself! We should know this to be true when we first turn from our rebellion and receive His perfect love, but our enemy is crafty. He uses our past, our ignorance of life-giving knowledge, and areas of our lives that have not been fully surrendered unto God. (Romans 8:1-2).
As we noted earlier, we have been born of God, but begin as babies in Christ. We need the care and nurture that God has provided for us in His people, who gather as His church, the Body of Christ. In this community of faith we learn to more fully understand His will, as revealed in His inspired written Word, the Bible. The Word is like milk for babies and meat for the more mature.
God’s plan is for us all to grow unto full maturity, from faith to faith, from glory to glory, into a greater reflection of Him day by day! This is the Truth that the devil hates but that can enable us to stand in every challenge. We know God’s will and we know that we are on His side as we pursue His will. We cannot fail because we are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus! (Romans 8:37).