" Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist..." – Ephesians 6:14 (NIV)
Isn't it odd that every time you set out to do the work of God, you seem to be pushed back, resisted, or bombarded with attacks to your mind, relationships, and perhaps even your physical body itself? It can be really daunting, disheartening, and make you feel like you are in a battle for your life! Well, I hate to tell you this, but you are, in fact, in a battle for your life! Because of Satan and the evils of this world, we as believers are in a battle for our lives and for the whole of Christianity. We are fighting for God and the fight is hard! There is however, hope since God understands our battle and our needs to fight.
Paul tells us in Ephesians that we must put on the armor of God to stand against the schemes of the devil. But, what is the armor of God anyway? Today, I will be continuing our series all about the armor God gives us to stand against the evil one and what it means to put it on as a soldier of Christ. In our first article in this series we looked at what the armor of God is as a whole and today we will look at the first piece of armor: the Belt of Truth.
The Belt of Truth. I know you might be thinking, "What does a belt have to do with truth?" That's a fair question, if we're being honest a belt usually covers our truth. We wear a belt to hold up her pants so our underpants aren't shown or around our waist to give an appearance of a slim figure. But I don't think that God is talking about a belt in that manner. Sure, it is true about those all those things and I believe the belt of Truth could to all those things as well; but let's look at this verse and try to see if we can decipher what it means.
The verse clearly says the stand firm with the Belt of Truth buckled around your waist. So, this clearly means that it will be like a regular belt, strapped to our waist or pants. But, what is the truth part all about and how does an article of clothing correlate with our spiritual life? As we said last week, Paul who wrote Ephesians was using the image of armor, specifically that of Roman armor, because it was something that was common to see in the days of the early Christian Church; and even today, we can visualize the armor that Paul is talking about.
So, let's discuss the armor of the Roman soldier so that we have an accurate illustration of this Belt of Truth that Paul is talking about and what it does. Like we said previously, a belt is used to hold something up; it's also commonly used, and was used by the Romans, to carry weapons securely around a soldier's waist. Not only this, but due to the flowing nature of the garments that the Romans wore, the belt would cinch up any excess fabric to make sure that the soldier did not get hung up on anything in battle. The belt then, was a central and key component to the kit of the soldier. Without it, it would be difficult or near impossible for a soldier to fight.
Now that we have a basic understanding of what the belt does for a soldier, let's turn toward our spiritual life and figure out what that means for us as we battle not flesh and blood, but spiritual forces of evil. When Paul calls us to Buckle (or in some versions tighten) the Belt of Truth around our waist, what truth is he talking about? Well, let's think about this: if the belt, as we said, is an integral component of the armor and really sets in place the rest of the armor that we need to carry or wear in the battle, spiritually the belt of Truth must then be the truth that brings together our faith. As Christians, the central component to our faith and ultimately our faith alone rests on a relationship AND acceptance AND understanding of Jesus Christ. So then, the Belt of Truth that Paul asked us to buckle or tighten around our waist, is our relationship with and the truth of Jesus Christ. Without this knowledge (relationship, truth) we can never properly secure any other part of the armor of God. It just doesn't work.
So ultimately this verse, as Paul is so elegantly asking us to tighten the Belt of Truth, is asking us to keep firm or hold tight to our relationship and understanding of the Cross. That's beautiful isn't it? That before we begin to even go into battle, we have to have a true, complete, and personal relationship with Jesus Christ. This is Illustrated really beautifully by the image of the belt because the belt is a very personal item of clothing or gear. You can't hold tight or fasten to someone else's belt. A belt only fits around one person and in the case of a seatbelt, it would only protect one person properly. So our Belt of Truth, our relationship with Christ, cannot be solely based on the relationship our mother/father/grandparents have with Him. It must be complete on its own and we must hold tightly to it when things get tough. When our spiritual pants are falling down we must tighten that belt by speaking out and leaning into the truth of the Cross and what Jesus did for us at Calvary.
Next time, we will be continuing in our study with a discussion of the Breastplate of Righteousness and what it means to put it on for battle. I hope you will join me.
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