Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth...(Ephesians 6:14a NKJV)
What does it mean to gird your waist with truth? In Ephesians 6:10-20, Paul is relating our "spiritual armor" to a Roman soldier's uniform. Today, we found out that the order in which Paul tells us to put on our armor is actually the order a soldier would have put on his own armor! I put a picture of a tool belt at the beginning of the post, but the belt that Paul was talking about was actually a belt that went underneath all of the other armor. In fact, the other armor was all attached to this belt, so it was a pretty important piece of equipment, even though it was technically an undergarment and something that no-one could see from the outside! So why is Paul worried about this specific piece of our Christian uniform?
Sometimes we think of truth as the word of God. However, in this passage the word of God, or the Bible, is actually the sword, not the belt. The truth here is something a little more personal. No one can really see it from the outside, but without it, the rest of our armor would slide around and be in the wrong place when we needed it. Are you getting anxious to find out what this all-important item is?
It is integrity. To be successful in Spiritual Warfare, we need to be people of integrity. To have integrity really means that your inside matches your outside. You know that you can fake it for a while. People act like Christians all the time. They go to church and know all the songs. They say the right things. They wear the right clothes. But what happens when one of those "Pillars of the Church" falls? Unfortunately, they can take a whole lot of innocent people down with them. Just acting like a Christian is not enough.
God knows who we are, inside and out. Sometimes he knows us better than we know ourselves! Psalm 51:6 reads: Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom. God is ready to help you! But first you have to acknowledge to Him that you need help. And to do that, you have to acknowledge to yourself that you lack this very important piece of armor!
What does integrity look like? One definition is to be "whole and undivided." It is uncompromising. Honest. Faithful. The world wants us to compromise. It rewards guile. It expects dishonesty. It will do anything it can to pull us down and muddy our testimony. But the world does not know the our God! Daniel 6 relates the story of "Daniel in the Lion's Den." This is a favorite children's Bible story. We know that God shut the mouths of the lions and Daniel wasn't hurt. But the point for today is that God will protect us when we have integrity! Daniel was the same inside and out. That was how his enemies were able to trap him. They enticed the king to make a decree that no one could pray to anyone but him for 30 days. Daniel, as they suspected, disobeyed the decree and knelt down to pray to God as he always did. Because he broke the law, he had to face the consequences. But God protected Daniel! Because of Daniel's integrity, people in this pagan nation turned toward the true God!
Daniel's victory can be ours. We are in a spiritual battle. I am so grateful that Rev. Singleton is taking the time to explain our armor to us! Do you want to be free to fight? You have freedom in integrity. It allows you to be free from guilt, free from lies, and free from worrying about what people say about you. It frees you to be strong in Jesus. If you are having trouble in your spiritual battles, make sure that your belt of truth is in place. And remember to check back here next week for the next piece of spiritual armor!