Not surprisingly, given my confession yesterday about my aversion to the mention of ‘warfare’, another bible passage that I did not enjoy reading was Ephesians 6:10-16. Paul’s exhortation to ‘put on the whole armour of God’. It generated some anxiety in my heart that a) I was walking around without my armour and was therefore vulnerable to the enemy, without knowing exactly how he would attack me, and b) that even if I did manage to ‘put it on’ I might surely miss out on, or forget, one vital piece, and still find myself outgunned by the devil (or more likely by one of his minions).
Now with my new thoughts about warfare- that my Heavenly trainer and coach is always with me in any and every battle- I have been looking at these verses with fresh eyes, and I am beginning to see that I can be thankful for this armour. I also don’t need to be faint hearted at the thought of ‘trouble’ from the enemy, because I have realised that every piece of the armour that Paul describes is already mine in Christ. ‘Putting it on’ therefore, is actually more like activating my faith about who I now am ‘in Christ’, since all of the pieces of this armour as they are listed; truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation and the word of God, are found in the person of Jesus.
Let us look first of all at this ‘belt of truth’. The belt I believe was the piece of the armour that held everything else in place. It’s the foundational piece on which everything else hinges, and Jesus said ‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, John 14:6. He also said, after He had been teaching one time, ‘Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free’, John 8:32. Our whole salvation and relationship with God is based on truth, and God is the source of all ‘truth’.
The devil on the other hand, Jesus tells us, “has no truth in him” but “When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies”, John 8:44, and that includes all half lies and any falsehood. It’s as black and white as that. Jesus furthermore said that not only was He ‘The truth’ but that “the Father will give you another counsellor to be with you forever- the Spirit of truth.”John 14:16,17. So the good news is that Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all allied to help us stay with the truth in the face of the devil’s lying.
This is where Eve’s deception began. The devil asked her ‘has God said?’ He made her question what she had heard, and then having hooked her in with that doubt, he flatly contradicted what God had said to her saying “You will not surely die.” It was a clever half lie, because of course they did not die immediately. He then slurred God’s character by implying that God was just being mean and keeping her and Adam in their place, by saying ”God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil”. Genesis 3:1-4.
Our enemy is one, ‘who changes the truth of God into a lie’ Romans 1:25. He may do it through a friend or a preacher, through an atheist or humanist, or by planting a lie himself into our thoughts. He will, by any means possible, put his lies into our heads and hearts. He will tell us lies and half truths about God, about ourselves, and about others and therefore I believe that ‘putting on our belt of truth’ is about allowing the Holy Spirit to give us discernment so that we don’t start believing the devil’s lies instead of God’s truth.
We have recently discovered, through a marriage course ‘Love After Marriage’, that God is releasing to His people a very effective way of dealing with some of the lies that we are believing in our lives. These could be lies that we have believed since childhood, or which may have come into our lives very recently. God is doing this because He is wanting ‘His body’ to step up into becoming ‘His bride without stain or wrinkle’ Ephesians 5:27, and we therefore cannot afford to be believing things about God or ourselves that are not true.
The process is simple, we take some time out and ask the Holy Spirit to highlight to us – to bring to our attention – any lies that we are believing about ourselves or God. We take these lies to the cross, where Jesus destroyed the work of the enemy and we repent and break any agreement we have made with these lies. We then ask the Holy Spirit to replace the lie with His truth. It is simple but powerful, and important to write down and check with the scriptures the truth that God is giving you to replace the lies. Remembering that His truth will set you free.
So today let us thank the Lord that He is helping us, His people, to get that belt of truth in place so that we can quickly dismiss the lies of the enemy and find our freedom as His dearly loved people.