Have you ever watched a toddler dress himself? Socks go on backwards. Underwear ends up on his head. Pants are inside out. It’s really quite entertaining, until you have to leave the house! His clothing would function much better if he could only put it on properly.
What if we are putting on our spiritual armor inside out and backwards? Have you ever wondered if we are wearing our gospel-shoes on the wrong feet? What if we have the wrong grip on our swords?
I can imagine that God often chuckles at my own fumbling attempts to wear my spiritual armor. He must shake his head as I try to wrap my brain around these strange concepts.
Many Bible teachers focus on the items themselves: the sword, the shield, the helmet, etc. This summer I became curious about what I would learn if I studied the armor from a different perspective. What if I focused on what each of those pieces represents rather than the word picture? What if I ask how truth affects spiritual warfare rather than focusing on the belt? Maybe it would only be a minor difference, but I felt like I needed to find out.
Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. Ephesians 6:13-14 NLT
According to verse 13, we need EVERY piece of God’s armor in order to stand against the enemy’s attacks. If I have righteousness but not truth, my armor is not secure. If I have truth without righteousness, my heart is vulnerable. Let’s take a look at the first piece of armor on the list: TRUTH!
Our society proclaims the lie that truth is relative, that it changes from person to person, from century to century. However, God says something quite different.
God’s Word is eternal truth.
The entirety of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.Psalm 119:160 NKJV
If you want to learn truth, you must study God’s Word. The books about God’s Word can be tainted by an author’s mistaken opinions. A pastor, in his humanity, may include accidental falsehood in his sermons. Radio programs and podcasts are also vulnerable to human error. Only God’s Word provides us with pure, unadulterated truth.
The second part of Psalm 119:160 clearly states that God’s judgements last forever. They do not change with the generations. They are not limited by geographic regions. We do not have to find a different truth than our parents found because there is only one unchanging truth.
God protects us through truth.
He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings shall you trust and find refuge; His truth and His faithfulness are a shield and a buckler.Psalm 91:4 AMPC
Going back to the Hebrew words for “shield” and “buckler”, we find some interesting meanings. The word for shield can also be used to describe a thorny hedge. The word for buckler can also describe something that surrounds a person. Picture truth as a force-field that has both offensive and defensive measures. It protects you from the attacks Satan’s lies and temptations. At the same time, it repels the enemy with its thorny surface.
God sets us apart through His truth.
Sanctify them in your truth. Your word is truth.John 17:17 ESV
This was one of Jesus’ final petitions to the Father before his crucifixion. He asked the Father to set us apart for His use through truth. The more truth invades every area of our lives, the more God can use us to promote His goodness and love. God’s Word purifies our thinking, our doing, and our feeling…but only if we read, study, and apply it. Only by immersing ourselves in it daily can it cleanse and purify each part of our hearts.
A Different Perspective
Perhaps we should look at our spiritual armor a bit differently. Maybe simply saying “I put on the belt of truth” isn’t enough. What if we actually put on the belt of truth by searching God’s Word, applying its truth, and letting it change us? How could this new knowledge revolutionize our spiritual warfare? How much more successful would we be against the enemy’s lies and temptations?
The effectiveness of our truth-belt depends on how much we saturate our lives with God’s truth.
Gear up! Put on your belt of truth!