I know I too frequently come to the Word with my presuppositions, my own views held tight, and my heart closed. Help me today to be open to You speaking into my life. Help me to make a change after each line I read. I do not want to come away from this Word unchanged but instead more fully equipped to be used by You.
This is one of my favorite worship songs. It breaks me each time I listen and imagine myself like my little boys, able to lean back into my father’s arms even in the hardest times. I imagine Him holding me tight as I am afraid, sad, or confused. He is there to hold me close and keep me safe. As we start to read about the armor God has prepared for us remind yourself through this song that He loves you more than any other!
14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,
Paul starts with a BELT of truth. This was the first thing the Roman soldiers donned for their armor. Unlike our belts which are worn on the outside the Roman’s belt was worn on the inside for support (like a weightlifting belt) and all the rest of their armor was attached to it. In the same way the christian is called to base all of the rest of their armor on this item, truth. Logically, most attacks from Satan are against truth. Therefore if we know truth and we can stand on it there is less openings for Satan to attack. He states you’re not worthy, you respond with YOU’RE RIGHT but He who is worthy died to make me worthy and claims me worthy regardless of my worthlessness. Truth maintains the rest of our armor, it holds us together, otherwise we will be flailing against our enemy with no bearing of which way we should be turning.
Next Paul mentions “breastplate of righteousness.” This particular item was how the Romans would identify other soldiers. In like manner as christians we can identify other believers by their right actions. They are acting in line with their Father and shows us, from a distance, this is a friend not foe. That is not the only thing the breastplate does, it also protects vital organs for the soldier. It keeps them from sustaining injuries that may not be recoverable from or that may long term scar them. Obviously righteousness does the same for us. A believer can live unrighteously at times and it is in those times that they produce terrible habits that are a struggle to break. It’s during that time that they do things that mar their ministry long term. If we seek righteousness as our breastplate we will remain safe and secure. Though we will make mistakes they will be far less severe and will usually not cause such severe damage.
The practicality of the armor of God is so rich! It demonstrates the importance of each piece that God calls us to use. These are important for us to evaluate daily, am I equipping myself FIRST with truth, and second with righteousness. Many of us approach righteousness with a nonchalant attitude. Paul, and God, would say this is backwards. We must use righteousness as a defensive weapon which keeps us pure, safe, and identifiable. However, don’t forget that the more identifiable you are to your allies the more identifiable you are to your foes. Satan’s attacks will increase as your righteousness increases. Not because he feels he can penetrate your armor, but because he knows that when he attacks harder MOST christians will simply remove their armor and stand vulnerable. Don’t believe his lies, maintain your armor like a solider in war.
Oh Lord, you have so thoroughly equipped me. You have given me all good and sufficient things to overcome my foe. Guide me in Your truth. Keep me in Your love. remind me to put on truth daily, and strive earnestly towards righteousness. I need to know the importance of this armor, and only You can plant that deep in my heart. I pray that amidst all this craziness and misinformation that I, daily, put on Your Truth and strive towards righteousness
I cannot stress enough how many people don’t know these truths. We are called to share God’s Word and disciple others. Share the social pic at the top of this page and remind others during this time that it is vital to be wearing God’s truth daily!