I am reading a book called “The Armor of God” By the actress Priscilla Shirer – who is also the lead actress in the Number 1 movie in the country “War Room”.
The book breaks down the passage in Ephesians about the Armor of God. It spends time explaining why each piece is important in the spiritual warfare unseen to the human eye, that we face everyday in our lives. It also states that there are not only six pieces of armor, but seven – Prayer. Prayer is the seventh weapon needed to overcome the attacks of the enemy on our lives and our families. She talks about each piece of armor, going into detail on how to engage each one in your daily life.
The first piece of armor, is the “belt of truth”. Let’s read the passage before I go any further and share what amazing insight I have gotten so far from this book study…
12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— 19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
Every time I read this, I feel like a soldier, ready to fight the battle that many choose not to. It’s so empowering to know that we have been given clear instruction on how to defend ourselves when it comes to the spiritual battle that lets face it, we all deal with.
Priscilla wrote something in her book that really has been sitting in the back of my mind since I read it about a week ago. She says this:
“Remember, the enemy’s overarching device is deception. He shades reality with enticing and alluring colors, seducing us away from black-and-white principles. He propagates fantasies, causing temporal and insignificant things somehow appear immensely valuable and favorable. He hides consequences in the fine print while highlighting only the parts that appeal to our shortsighted, self-gratifying flesh. His packaging is so clever that unless we know whats true – I mean really know it, know it at our core – we easily prey into his ploys.” – Armor Of God by Priscilla Shirer.
When I read that, I thought, MMMH – that is why the say that then enemy does not come with a pitch fork and horns, like movies and books have made it out to be described. He comes as a plot SO CLOSE to God’s will for your life, that if you don’t live in the truth of God’s Word, you will not even see the difference!
That is why, it is the first piece of armor listed. That is why she says, it is described as the BELT OF TRUTH, because it is meant to protect your core. It is meant to give you standard to base your entire life around. It is meant to allow you to define your way of thinking and living on something that is unable to be changed. And Truth – is the light of God’s Word. Truth is something that is constant, never changes, and never will. That is why it is so important for us to Gird ourselves in the truth, or else we will not know when the enemy is attacking our lives, our minds, or our families.
So the first piece of armor to fight with is truth. Easy enough. I mean, some of us know what God’s Word says about specific things in our lives, but does that mean we live our lives based off of those things? I know I don’t always do that.
God’s Word tells me to pray about everything and worry about nothing. (Philippians 4:6) Even Jesus said do not worry about anything for God will provide (Matthew 6:25) That is truth. Yet I find myself worrying about many things daily.
God’s Word tells me that the tongue is a fire and has the power to defile so it must be controlled. (James 3:6) That is truth. Yet I don’t always think about the things I say before they come out of my mouth.
God’s Word tells me that tribulations produce perseverance, and perseverance – character, and character – hope. (Romans 5:3) That is truth. Yet I doubt many times when I am troubled.
God’s Word says that I am justified by grace through redemption that is in Christ (Romans 3:24) That is truth. Yet sometimes I put my works before my faith, trying to perform for the Kingdom instead of growing in my faith instead.
Truth is found in all of these scriptures, and countless more. But the enemy will try to tell you that worrying is Ok, that you must perform in order to be accepted by others and by God, and that the trials you face today are because God has no interest in giving you an opportunity to live a life full of joy.
See, it is so easy for us, ESPECIALLY in this culture, to bend the truth to fit in. We want others to accept us, or not alienate us, so we accept the lie as the truth, picking the parts of scripture that justify why we act the way we act, or do the things we do. We allow Satan to twist the truth so that we feel better about ourselves and our decisions. Instead of letting ourselves be convicted and diving into the Truth of what Scripture really says.
I have a vague example with out too much detail. I have friends that I have been close with for a very long time. Since I chose to live a different lifestyle, there has been distance put between us, physically and emotionally. But, when I am around them, or talking to them – I will conform to that atmosphere. I allow gossip to be engaged in the conversation, I opt to talk about worldly things, not sharing what is really on my heart because I feel as though they are not interested in talking about those things. Instead of being who I want to be, I show up as who I think THEY want me to be. And it has burdened me for a long time. Recently, I chose to stand on my convictions, and the Truth that I believe, and I was shut down. I was turned away and my friends chose their desires over letting me live my truth. And there was nothing I could do about it except stand firm on what I believe. Whatever the case may be, it opened my eyes to the fact that I compromise what I believe because I chose to entertain the lies of the enemy. It was never necessarily about my friends, but more about the battle that goes on inside of me, of whether or not I am ok with being isolated from people because of the standard of truth I am supposed to be living out, or if I am so comfortable to conform because that is what others want or even expect from me.
Priscilla Shirer states that in these moments, in the moments that our desires contradict what God’s Word says about our lives, that is when we are supposed to Gird ourselves with the belt of Truth. And that leads into another very important point…
If we are going to be honest with ourselves (hense the word “truth”), we need to REALLY be honest with ourselves. We need to be honest with ourselves about where we are at. Not where we want to be, where we should be, or where we will be. But, where we are at this moment. That allows us to really examine our lives, and our actions we take because of our outlook on our relationship with God and our position when it comes to spiritual warfare. It’s not enough to just know the truth of God, we need to know who we are in the midst of all of it.
For example, with the situation I mentioned about my friends – I KNOW that my weakness is allowing myself to conform in those types of situations. I know that I like to please others and that I care about what others think about me a little to much sometimes. Now what can I do with this truth? Well, I choose to not go visit very often because I know that if I was put in a situation where I was uncomfortable, instead of walking away or standing up and saying that I am uncomfortable, I would bite my tongue and camouflage my way through it, just to appease the majority. I mean, I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, and I sure as hell don’t want to be the odd man out! But where does that get me? It gets me, days later, wallowing in self pity and regret.
The enemy is going to attack our weakness’s, because that is where we are our weakest. He is also going to attack our strengths, because that is where we are most useful to God. It is our responsibility to KNOW which is which, so that we cater to our prayer life, and also so that we can battle the lies with discernment of the truth.
If you think that you can just walk through life winging it, and not knowing who you truly are (Which buy the way includes knowing and accepting your strengths and weakness’s) then you are a prime target for Satan to infiltrate your battle ground’s, including your mind. Knowing who you are in Christ IS FOUND in God’s Word, it is found in the TRUTH of God’s Word.
So, when Paul says to “Gird your waist with truth” it opts us into seeking truth from God first. Knowing what His promises are, for you and for your life. It means understanding yourself as well, and being honest about your weaknesses and strengths, and allowing God to move in those places of your life. It means, at your CORE (i.e. YOUR WAIST) to stand firm with the light of the scripture, even if it means having to make changes to your social life, or your way of thinking. It means, allowing the truth to transform you so that you can engage in battle with confidence.
This is just one part of the FULL ARMOR OF GOD. But it is the first part, and the part that starts from a spiritual level. Living in truth is not meant to be a piece of cake, it’s meant to be a piece of protection for your life and for the spiritual battle that you are facing on a daily basis. It is what will support your salvation because you will know that even if Satan whispers lies to you through whatever means he can, you will combat him with the knowledge of the truth of God. And that my friends, is imperative to a victory in the eyes of Christ.