It’s not hard to see that we are living in some very challenging time today. The COVID virus has spread rampantly, causing fear, sickness and sadly, death. The past Presidential election saw us as a nation more divided than ever. Our nation as a whole is also greatly divided over issues as abortion, marriage and race. We seem to be overwhelmed with seemingly no end in sight for the infighting and a barrage of opinions that are released through Social Media, where it seems like everyone has an opinion on something and are more than willing to voice it. So what are we to do as Christian people in the midst of all the craziness that seems to be happening? Do we just hang on by a “thread”? Do we get discouraged? Do we just allow ourselves to get mad and angry at the way things seem to be going, or do we just give up, quit and succumb to the spirit of this age?
The timeless Word of God gives us instructions on what we are to do as Christians when the going gets tough and when society seems to be headed in a direction that is diametrically opposed to God and His Word.
The book of Ephesians has six pointers that I believe helps us as Christians to stand strong in the face of opposition.
Ephesians 6:13-19 – English Standard Version – 13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.
We are told to arm ourselves with every piece of God’s armor. And here is a list of the armor that we are told to put on:
1 – The Belt of Truth
2 – Body Armor of God’s Righteousness
3 – Shoes for the Good News
4 – The Shield of Faith
5 – The Helmet of Salvation
6 – The Sword of the Spirit
In addition, we are told to pray in the Spirit and stay alert at all times (verse 19). So how do we go about this “arming ourselves” with God’s armor? We will start with the first one, which is the belt of truth and for the next few issues, cover them all so that we can be encouraged and strengthened to stand firm as the Scriptures tell us to do. So what is the belt of truth?
Well, we can understand the metaphor that the Apostle Paul was trying to use. Back in ancient times, a Roman soldiers belt was wrapped and tied around his waist rather than buckled. This belt was also very thick and sturdy, kind of what we would see with a modern day weightlifters belt. As it was, the rest of the soldier’s armor was connected to this belt, so it was important that this belt was girded on him well.
Paul’s analogy was that as Christian people, we need to be strongly attached, or connected to the truth. Truth must be “fastened” to us. But as the age old question that was asked by Pontius Pilate when deciding the fate of Jesus Christ (John 18:38), what is truth?
Today, we live in a world that says there are no absolutes (which is a universal standard of right and wrong) and that we must define our own truth. But Jesus made it very clear when He stated this:
John 14:6 – NIV – Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
He also stated this while praying to the Father:
John 17:17 – NLT – Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth.
As Christians, our worldview is the Bible. We believe that Jesus made it very clear that He is the Son of God, that He is the only way to the Father and that the Holy Scriptures contain all we need to know on the answers to life and the truth as established by God Himself. In other words, we see truth and what is true according to the Word of God, believing that the Bible is divinely inspired (2 Peter 1:20-21). Not everyone believes this, but as Christian people we do or at least we should.
There is a reason why God has preserved His timeless Word over the centuries and that is because societies and civilizations have a tendency to “lose their way”, but as described in John chapter 17, His Word is “truth”. The Bible gives us clear guidelines on what is right and what is wrong and the difference between what is truth and what is error and can help steer us back in the right path if applied properly. And in seasons where there is immense darkness trying to grip a nation or a people, it takes a very strong individual to take a stand for the truth. Not truth in a particular movement or an idea. But truth as stated in the principles of God’s Word. Jesus said the following:
Matthew 24:35 – NKJV – Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.
God’s Word is eternal and reliable. So my encouragement to all during these troubling times that we are living in is to dig deeper into God’s Word. Let it take root in your heart. Arm yourself with the belt of truth so that you will have the capacity to discern better what is right and what is wrong as well as what is truth and what is error.
Psalms 51:6 – NKJV – Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts,And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.
Next issue, we’ll cover the armor of God’s Righteousness.