Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth . . .Ephesians 6:14
A very interesting few words. Putting on the belt of truth or as the more literal translations express it “girding your loins with the truth”. Interesting indeed.
The “girdle, or sash,” was always worn by the Romans as an important part of their dress, in war and in peace. They wore loose, flowing robes. It was necessary to encircle or belt them up when they traveled, or ran, or worked. The girdle or belt was often highly decorated, and the place where they carried their money, their sword, their pipe, their writing instruments etc. In war time the “girdle” was a circular piece of iron designed to anchor every part of the armor in place, and to protect the soldier’s vital organs on every side. In Roman times and in old English “the loins” referred to that part of the body below the rib cage to the hips and groin area. It was the area of the body which contained many vital organs. In fact in some language the loins was regarded as the seat of being and essence of life. It was important to protect this region of the body.
There is much debate as to why Paul links the belt with truth. There is much conjecture as to why he begins with the belt. It would seem more appropriate to put the belt on last to keep it all together much we use belts nowadays. But that is not the order in which the Roman armour was put on. The belt was put on first, securely to cover the vitals lower organs and then other pieces of armour were fitted into the belt. The breastplate for example slotted into the belt to ensure there was continuous protection down the full frontal length of the torso. The breast plate was anchored to the belt to ensure it didn’t move and more importantly didn’t part from the breast plate thereby exposing a gap at which a sword or lance thrust could be aimed. Yet there was flexibility of movement between the two. The belt was the first piece applied to which others were joined.
Paul’s use of this analogy is important as also is the fact that he begins with the belt and links it to truth. Truth is required in the inner parts. All we do must be based on truth. It is no accidental thought that truth is necessary when combating spiritual evil. Spiritual evil is based on lies and half truths. Just in the same way the belt or girdle was to provide an anchor for the rest of the armour; so too, truth is foundational to all other aspects of spiritual discipline and especially so when confronting “the father of lies”. The devil’s tactics are always based on untruths, or lies. He started that way in the Garden of Eden and so continues in the same way now. It is essential for us to realize how basic being true to our principles really is. We are nothing and have nothing if we are not true to our beliefs and principles. What we are within must also be what we are on the outside.
All that is “of the devil” is based on lies and untruth. For us to win in the battle for our souls we must remain true to the Truth of God. We must keep God’s Truth (as expressed in His Word) close to us at all times. We must wrap our lives in truth. Our inner being, the essence of our nature (just like our vital organs) must be encompassed all around with His Truth. Satan will endeavour to get you to accept a lie. Even just one little “white” one. He knows if you open your life up to one lie then the potential and temptation is there to open to more. Guard your heart and your stance on the issue of truth. Satan’s classic ploy is always “Did God really say . . . ?” Everything to do with spiritual warfare is always truth versus untruth. Remember that. That is the nature of both sides of the spiritual battle. Light vs Dark / / Truth vs Lies. The only way you will protect yourself is but walking in the truth. Guarding your heart in the truth. Doing all in your power to walk in truth. Having truth wrapped around your being. Naturally speaking, a belt is used to hold things in place; spiritually the belt of truth does the same thing. Truth keeps us secure in Christ and makes effective all the other pieces of armour.
Take note of how closely related the breastplate of righteousness, the shield of faith and the helmet of salvation are. All are connected with our orientation to the Truth. Our ability to live in the Truth. No wonder Paul alludes to the belt of truth wrapped around our inner being: our vital organs. So often Satan will lie to you on matters related to your righteousness in Him. Lie to you on matters related to faith and lie to you on matters related to your salvation. These are all critical aspects of truth that you have to have squared away. Furthermore, classically satan will lie to you concerning these areas. You can’t expect otherwise. That is the reason you return time and again to issue of the basics of your salvation, your position in Christ and the basis of your righteousness and faith. Satan will continue over and over to try to make you doubt at this foundational level. He knows if he can make you doubt at this level he has you. As Jesus said “Satan has asked to sift you like wheat”. If he asked that of Peter do you think you will be exempt? Hardly.
It’s human nature to lie to ourselves. What are you pretending isn’t a problem in you? The truth sets you free but it takes courage.Rick Warren
It’s not enough to rage against the lie. You’ve got to replace it with the truth.Bono
To decide to tolerate one deceit is to violate the whole truth.Plato
I don’t have to know all truth; I have to be true, inside and out.Ian Vail