Happy March, everyone! I am aware that I posted nothing in February, but I assure you it was for a good cause! During the last month, I have been delving into Ephesians 6, studying more in depth the individual parts to the Armor of God. Lately, I feel like the spiritual battle has been evident in my life, and reading about the Armor of God really spoke to me in that sense. This begins a series of posts all about The Armor of God, so stay tuned for the rest to follow!
As a little preface before I dive right in, I feel it is necessary to keep in mind the verses that lead up to the Armor of God. I’ve noticed that many commentaries just look at the belt, the shield, the helmet, etc. and forget to address the context of the situation at hand. Paul says to stand against the devil’s schemes, but it is not in our own strength.
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
Ephesians 6:10 makes it clear that we are able to be strong because of the Lord and his might. He chooses to relent some of his power to us, in the form of truth, righteousness, readiness, faith, salvation, and the Spirit/God’s Word. By equipping us with these gifts, God makes us ready to “fight the good fight” (1 Tim. 6:12), and furthermore, stand against the Devil and his schemes. Another thing I would like to point out is that the day of evil is coming. According to Ephesians 6:13, we are preparing for a definite battle, not the probability of one.
13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground…
The Armor of God is made to deflect, protect, and combat the dark forces of this world, but it does not guarantee that evil will never bombard us. In fact, the Bible directly confirms that Satan will strike at some point in our life. The Armor is made to defend and fight back, so that we may stand our ground when the enemy attacks.
The Belt of Truth
Paul begins the list of the armor with the Belt of Truth. When I first read this, I was a bit underwhelmed. Come on, God, a belt? Really? That’ll intimidate Satan… but there is so much more to it than the surface definition! The Greek translation of this verse is, “Stand therefore having girded the loins of you with truth.” What the heck does gird mean? Why in the world are loins mentioned?
“Gird” in the English definition is to encircle with a belt, secure, surround the body. This is probably why we all know the first part of the Armor of God to be the belt. However, “gird” in the biblical times had other implications. The saying “gird up your loins” back in that time often referred to preparation and being ready for a service or endeavor. In fact, “gird up your loins” had a very similar meaning to our modern day phrase, “roll up your sleeves.” In both common sayings, there is an underlying meaning that implies action is about to happen, your hands are about to get dirty.
To really understand the depth that “gird” has, we have to understand how soldiers specifically girded their loins to prepare for battle. In biblical days, men and women both wore long tunics, therefore making it difficult to maneuver their legs with a full range of motion. The tunic hindered them from being prepared and left them susceptible to dangers of tripping and falling. So, in order to avoid falling flat on their faces, soldiers would gather the tunic, as shown below, so their legs would be free for hard labor or battle.
We are called, however, to gird our loins with truth, not our tunics. By (I’m going to say it again) girding our loins with the truth, God prepares us for spiritual warfare. The truth deflects the lies and deceit that the enemy hurls at us.
Truth itself is far more than the Word of God.
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” -John 14:6
Jesus is the Word. Jesus is the Truth. Girding our loins and fastening the belt all goes back to following Him and His teachings, not our own version of truth. The belt that we take up is Jesus’, not ours. We cannot “lean on our own understanding” (Prov. 3:5); then we are vulnerable to attack.
Truth is the abstract concept of accordance with fact and reality, it is the foundation of The Bible itself. In fact, this correlates directly with the idea of truth as a belt. Without the belt, there is nothing to hold the sword, the Word of God. The Belt of Truth upholds the Sword of the Spirit. What would happen if a soldier did not secure their belt and it fell to their ankles? They would not have their weapon of offense. They would be left without a tool to fight back with. They would trip and fall over the belt that was supposed to be tightened to their waist. The soldier would be rendered helpless.
We must fit ourselves with the One Truth. The battle is real. The enemy is coming, but the armor is present. Gird up your loins and prepare for battle, soldier.