Why is it that truth can sometimes be awkward? What did Apostle Paul mean when he mentioned the belt of truth? In his letter to Ephesus, Paul writes to the Ephesians instructing them to put on the full armor of God, starting with the belt of truth buckled around your waist (Ephesians 6:14). To understand the armor, first imagine the actual purpose of the belt and its importance to a Roman soldier. The belt carried the weight of the breastplate and the sheathe for the sword, both of which were very heavy. Truth can be a heavy burden for Christians. It sometimes comes with consequences that we don’t want to deal with. Truth can hurt. Whether it is telling someone what you think of them, or bringing attention to someone’s mistake or fault, it can cause pain – just as a belt can be uncomfortable. In our modern society, we twist words and justify actions in an awkward situation so we can float by on an altered truth or reality. But we shouldn’t be afraid to speak the truth, right? For Christians, Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit is with us to give us courage to speak the truth and with that we can shine as Christians. So why is it sometimes so difficult?
In another sense, truth can hurt when we have to deal with the consequences of our sin. As Paul describes in his letter, we are in a battle with an enemy who wants us to fail in our faith and our walk with God. Since the battle is against the father of lies then our defense should be the truth. John 8:32 says the truth will set you free. Our various addictions, the mistakes we’ve made, and people we have hurt result in tremendous pain and regret. Accepting the mistakes and sharing the truth of our actions can relieve the burden we carry. Satin wants us to carry that burden and feel the pain forever. He wants to terrorize our soul and leave us weak as believers. However, by putting on the belt of truth, we can carry the truth of Jesus Christ and how he died for our sins and forgave us. C.S. Lewis wrote “if you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth…and in the end, despair.” We should always seek and speak the truth, not only for ourselves, but to fight Satan and his schemes. His goal is to destroy God’s people.
So how can we have this belt of truth? The first step is to read and know God’s word. The word of God is the truth and reading the Bible and knowing scripture will help fight the enemy. Reading the Bible only on Sundays at church does not prepare you for the battle. You should work to know and memorize scripture. Preparing for this battle is like preparing to be a doctor. You don’t want to be helping a patient and not know what medicine to prescribe or surgery to perform. You certainly want to read your books and know the material to pass the test and do your job well. As believers, we want to learn everything we can about our jobs as Christians and what the battlefield can look like or even how we can help others. The Bible teaches us lessons for life and how to live for truth. Philippians 4:8 says whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
The second step is to understand God’s word. Don’t just read the bible from cover to cover and expect a certificate of completion. Understand the verses and the meanings and the relationship between God and His people and the stories throughout the Bible. The more you have God in your mind, the more ammunition you have to fight the battle. Know the truth behind Adam and Eve, Abraham, Jacob, the disciples, Revelation, etc. Consider listening to Verse by Verse Ministries who dissects the verses of the Bible in a true and accurate way and connects the dots from one story to the next. Understanding why God wanted Abraham to sacrifice his son or why Joseph suffered at the hands of his brothers is important to knowing the truth of God. The truth in our walk with God is having a relationship with God and understanding Him. John 14:6 tells us I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. We want to make this battle with the enemy less painful and the only way to do that is through strengthening our faith in God and knowing the truth.
Lastly, we should use God’s word to prepare us for an attack. We can’t be prepared to fight the enemy if we don’t even know there is a war going on or who it is against. Ephesians 6:12 describes our struggle, not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers…the authorities…the powers of this dark world and …the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Imagine waking up one morning and being faced with 100 soldiers prepared to fight you and all you have on is pajamas. We can’t possibly win a war if we don’t even know we are being attacked. 1 Peter 5:8 says to be of sober spirit, be on alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. There have been numerous stories throughout history, and also mentioned in the Bible, about an evil force that attacks believers. Some recall a darkness in the room and not being able to speak. Others have been forced down to the ground in pain or a feeling of suffocation. Many times, these instances were ended as the believers started to pray or recite verses from the Bible, if they were able, and the demons left. Since we never know when he will attack, we have to wear our armor at all times.
Most importantly, understand that the rest of the armor is useless without the belt of truth. Truth is the foundation for righteousness, salvation, and faith. Picture this warrior putting on his armor and not having his belt on to hold up his breastplate or hold his sword. His belt should be first, as should our honesty and truth. If you look to define “truth” in the dictionary, one meaning found is “authentic and real”. Be yourself and not what society wants you to be. Be true to yourself, those you love, and to God. 1 John 1:6 tells us that if we claim to have fellowship with Him yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. Share your true testimony with others and let the truth be known. Walk in the light and keep your defenses up against the enemy in the darkness.