When I was younger my sister and I were given a job: just stand in a gap in the hedge.
Meanwhile, the rest of the extended family were running around the field trying to get a very large, incredibly angry bull to go into a cage to get an injection.
The bull had been given an injection the day before, so it knew what was coming. My sister and I were told if the bull came at us he would stop if we didn’t move. In the mayhem that followed, the bull charged straight at us. As it got nearer we both jumped away allowing the bull to run into the next field!
In yesterday’s reading we were thinking about how our enemy is real and powerful. We are commanded to stand firm against his attacks.
There are three references to standing, and repeated words are usually there to emphasize a point. God wants us to be stable, steady Christians.
But how can we do that? This can easily seem overwhelming.
One of the things our loving heavenly Father provides us with is His armor to protect, defend, and help us. We need to put it on and use it.
The first piece of the armor is the belt of truth.
John Stott wrote that, for Roman soldier’s armor, the belt was:
“usually made of leather, the soldier’s belt belonged rather to his underwear than his armor. Yet it was essential. It gathered his tunic together and also held his sword. It ensured he was unimpeded when marching. As he buckled it on, it gave him a sense of hidden strength and confidence.”
This is a wonderfully vivid description. It helps us to realize what Paul was writing about when he describes how the belt of truth is to be buckled around our waists. It is essential, holding everything together so we are unimpeded in our mission and giving us the strength and confidence we need to stand firm.
This piece of armor is described as the belt of truth. What is true? Where can we find the truth? We know it is found in the Bible, which teaches us to know God, who is completely pure.
In contrast, Jesus said of the devil, “He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not uphold the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44).
The devil is defeated by the truth. Light overcomes the darkness.
When we are tested with difficult times we might be tempted to question if God is really for us. Is He good? Is He powerful? Does He care? Is it worth it?
We know the answers to these questions, but on difficult days we can so quickly forget. Take time to be honest about your feelings, bringing them to God. Then take time to remember the truth of who God is and all He has done, His faithfulness through every past situation. Remind yourself that you can trust Him in this difficult time, and be strengthened by Him.
Isaiah 11:5 offers this description of the Messiah: “Justice will be like a belt around his waist, integrity will be like a belt around his hips.” We are to follow Christ’s example of being sincere, truthful, just, honest, people of integrity who know ourselves and know God.
It can be hard to be honest about our mistakes and failures. It takes humility, strength, and vulnerability. But the truth is, we are sinners saved by God’s amazing love and grace. It is not my goodness that saves me but God’s goodness, love, mercy, and grace. Our honesty means others can know the truth about how God saves and restores.
The devil seeks to destroy, tear down, divide, and bring discord and isolation. He will use whatever lies he needs to in order to bring this about. But the Lord seeks to build up, encourage, bring justice, love and peace, uniting people with each other and Himself – and that’s the truth!
The belt of truth from the armor of God helps us to “live like children of light— for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness, and truth” (Ephesians 5:8–9).
Join us as we study God’s Word using the Armor of God study!
Grab your journal today and dive in!