How Do We Begin to Stand?
By Dr. Tom Walker
Ephesians 6:14 states, “Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness.”
The Apostle Paul has already emphasized the importance of standing as a Christian. Too many today find it easier to go with the flow rather than stand for what is right. We are living in a compromising world. In a marriage relationship, there is room for compromise between a husband and a wife. There must be give and take in the connection between a husband and a wife. Because there is a difference of opinion in some matters, for a husband and wife to be in concord, at times there must be some negotiation and concession between both parties involved.
The question is this, how can we stand? Paul begins to deal with the armor we have available that will enable us to not retreat in the spiritual battle in which we find ourselves. Whether we succeed in our spiritual struggle will depend upon if we take the spiritual weapons that are available to us.
I believe the Apostle Paul is saying to resist every attack that comes upon us as we battle spiritually. We are to act as a soldier in the middle of a conflict. From what we see in this passage, he gives preference to the attire that a Roman soldier would adorn as he went into battle.
It takes tremendous courage to be a soldier and resist evil. This reminds me of several related Scriptures in God’s Word:
Joshua 1:7, “Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.”
Joshua 23:6, “Be ye therefore very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, that ye turn not aside therefrom to the right hand or to the left.”
2 Chronicles 32:7, “Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him: for there be more with us than with him.”
Psalms 31:24, “Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.”
Courage, as a soldier in God’s army, can be defined as: “the ability to do something you know is right or good, even though it is dangerous, frightening, or very difficult.” It could also be defined as, “the ability to be brave when you are in great pain.”
As we enter into the description of the Christian armor, we discover there are seven things mentioned and can be divided into three categories. There is the girdle of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, shoes of the Gospel, shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Spirit, and prayer. Lord willing, we will deal with these one at a time. In this study we will consider the girdle of truth.
The Description of the Warrior’s Girdle
How can the girdle referred to in this verse be understood? A belt or sash could well describe what it is. The girdle functioned for the soldier as a belt that held the other parts of the armor together, so it might not hinder the soldier as he fought his battles. If you are going to fight a battle, you do not want anything that will hinder you from being successful in the conflict.
The girdle also held the sword. If we do not practice God’s truth, we cannot use the Word of God properly and effectively.
The Importance of the Girdle of Truth
The only way to defeat Satan is by the truth. That is why truth is so vitally important. It helps us to see how significant the truth is when we examined how Christ handled Satan in the wilderness. If you recall Jesus was driven by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan for forty days (Mark 1:12-13). If you consider Matthew 4:1-11, it will give you a more detailed description of that forty-day temptation. Jesus was tempted in three main areas: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life. Christ drove back Satan and handled each temptation by quoting an Old Testament reference to disarm the Devil.
Satan is our main adversary or opponent in this spiritual battle we face each day. Since the twists and distorts the Bible, it is difficult for him to handle the Word of God rightly divided. The truth is an effective weapon against Satan and his strongholds.
The only way to maintain your character is by truth. Either the Bible will keep you out of sin, or sin will keep you out of the Bible. Psalms 119:11 says, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” If we lose a good reputation and a testimony of good character, then what will we attempt to do for Christ will fall on deaf ears. The way truth will be exhibited through our lives is to absorb our lives with it. Jesus said in Jn.17:17, “Sanctify them through thy truth, thy Word is truth.” When Christians lie it is obvious their lives are not being absorbed with the truth.
We cannot please God without having the right relationship to the truth. One of the ten commandments tells us that we are not to bear false witness against our neighbor. Here is the command found in Exodus 20:16, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.” When we follow the Word of God, the Lord is pleased with our obedience to His demands. Bearing false witness is a form of lying through misrepresentation. The only way your life can bring the proper glory to God and please Him is to be rightly related to truth.
The Effects of Wearing the Girdle of Truth
We can face the enemy with confidence. When you spend enough time in the truth, you will realize how great, powerful, and dominating God is. We know we cannot face the world, the flesh, and the devil in our own power, but if we are walking in the truth and its power, victory is on the horizon for God’s people. It is only through the working of God’s truth in us that we are fully effective in God’s work.
We can lie down at night and sleep well. A person who lives with integrity, thus having a clear conscience, can face the enemy fearlessly. All it takes to bring defeat into our lives is to live one lie in your life, and everything seems to come apart, thus defeat from the enemy will be our portion. Why live an overthrown life when you can live a spiritually, victorious life?
We can prove the truth is so. When we welcome God’s truth to work in and through us, we exemplify in our walk the dependability of the Word of the Lord. Our lives should be lived with the goal of putting God’s truth into shoe leather, in other words through our daily walk.
In 3rd John verse 4, John said, “I have no greater joy than to hear my children walk in truth.”
1 John 3:19 says, “And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.”
Always know the truth, live according to the truth, and cherish the truth. It is then you will be successful in your spiritual warfare.