I’m currently doing a study on the Armor of God with one of my small groups at church, and it has been one of the most empowering and directly pertinent studies I’ve done in a while. If you are looking for a great study that will really help you examine your life and discover all of the tools that God gives us as protection from the advances of the enemy, I highly recommend Priscilla Shirer’s The Armor of God study. Her study has given me a renewed power and helped me to better understand what the armor of God really is, so this series was meant to share with you some of my own revelations that I’ve had while studying Ephesians 6:10-19 more deeply.
If you’ve ever heard the phrase “gird your loins,” you might have wondered where that saying comes from. It’s seems weird, but it’s actually used in the bible. I never realized that before becoming a Christian, but in Ephesians 6, Paul talks about “girding our loins” with truth. Girding is the act of tucking in a garment in and usually securing it in place with a belt or band. Some translations might refer to this process as wearing the belt of truth.
“So stand strong, with the belt of truth tied around your waist…” Ephesians 6:14
This belt is the first weapon of defense given to us from God, which Paul describes in Ephesians 6:10-19. I, myself, never really got what it meant until I studied the passage and learned more about the history and context through Priscilla Shirer’s study. What I didn’t realize was that the whole passage is in reference to the armor that Roman soldiers used to wear in battle. The belt that Paul is referencing was not a fashion belt like what we are used to today. Our belts are used to hold up pants or purely decorative. What Paul is referencing here is more like a massive support or tool belt that soldiers could use to carry their other weapons and equipment. It not only helped to protect the soldier’s body from the wounds of battle, but also gave support and stabilized the soldier’s core.
As an occupational therapist, I am well versed in what it means to have a strong core. We teach our patients and clients that they need to hold in and contract their stomach muscles to help them stand upright for good posture (to avoid falls) and to protect their backs from injury. When you have a strong core in your body, your limbs and other body parts (especially your back) are supported and protected from injury. In Paul’s analogy, we see that the belt is the support for the physical core and the support for our spiritual core should always be God’s truth.
Paul gives us a great visual example of what holding onto God’s truth can provide for us: support and protection for your soul. When we let our guard down and start listening to the lies of the enemy rather than the known truth of God, we lose that support and protection. But when we are prepared to combat those lies with God’s truth, we are better able to protect ourselves and God’s truth gives support to help us have His other tools at the ready. We effectively become strong soldiers for God.
How many times have you ever been told (by a person or by the enemy) that you don’t have worth as a single person? One lie I encountered today while at church was that I don’t belong in a church community because I was surrounded by mostly other women with husbands and children. If I hadn’t been alert to the enemy’s weapon of choice (lies) and I hadn’t been prepared with one of my favorite verses in regard to singleness (1 Corinthians 7:25-28 ) I might have unintentionally allowed the enemy’s lies to take up residence in my mind and my heart. Luckily, I was prepared with God’s truth and was able to depend on the support and protection of God’s honest promises (wearing my belt) to ward off the advances of the enemy.
It’s easier to distinguish the lies when you know what the truth is in the first place. That’s why it’s important to be well versed in what God’s word actually says. When we forget or don’t find it important to sit down and actually read the bible, we can forget what the real truth is. Think of it this way, unless you’re a monk living a life of prayer and solitude, you are likely exposed to the worldly influences around you on a far more frequent basis than the pages of God’s word. It’s sad, but true. Even when you’re involved heavily in ministry, you’re still exposed to the world more frequently than God’s truths. We get those negative, enemy saturated messages that tell us we are unworthy, ugly, stupid, not enough, or otherwise unlovable in every commercial we view, billboard we pass, social media post we see, and each conversation we encounter with someone else if we aren’t careful to keep our truth belt on and at the ready.
So take time each day to do a little soul care. Spend time in God’s word, reading, listening, discussing with other Godly influencers in your life, and praying in an honest conversation with God in order to keep your belt not only on, but in tip top shape. A Roman soldier would never have run out into battle without each piece of armor in good, solid condition, and God doesn’t want us in our daily battle without being covered by His influence and support. So accept God’s grace and all of the tools He has provided for us and put on your belt of His truth!