We have a battle raging around us in our world today that seems to be sucking the faith out of Christians and pulling them away from God. I see it in the workplace, in crowds, in churches, and in schools. More and more people are becoming more involved in fleshly desires and worldly needs and ignoring the eternal gifts that await them. In Ephesians 6:10-18, the first piece of armor Paul tells us to put on is the belt of truth. The truth is that our enemy wants us to fail. He wants to see broken marriages, addictions, idolatry, abusive behavior, and he wants us to be isolated so he can plan his attack. Our enemy wants us to fail at being who God wants us to be. 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.
Where in your life do you see the enemy pulling you away from your faith? I see the enemy attack more and more as I grow more in my faith and my relationship with God. Last month, one of my best friends denied God in front of me and questioned His existence and His creationary role. He argued that God was not good because of the terrible situations in the world and the evil. I stood my ground and quoted scripture but found that it was not going to have an effect, this time. Yesterday, I had another man threaten my values with his worldly views. He thought my mission to help others was a waste of time.
I love how John reminds us that we don’t have to fight for our eternal life once we acknowledge Jesus as our Savior. John 3:16 says for God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that everyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. Again, in John 14:6 Jesus answered, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. Even though we have announced our faith, we still face the battle with the enemy and we still have to serve our purpose for God.
Society has become more and more attached to earthly treasures and forgotten eternal rewards. We may make it to heaven to serve God but we will also be judged on our works and our performance here on earth. I want to honor God in everything that I do. I want to have a scroll with a long list of works that pleases the Lord. Maybe I’m an over achiever but I think about the pain and persecution that Jesus went through for me and my sins and for my salvation and I am forever in debt to Him.
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.
For a moment, look at some of the battles going on in our world today. We have people obsessed with material things and idolizing people or objects that serve no real purpose. We struggle with distractions all day, every day, that pull us away from our purpose. This is part of the truth of the battle! These distractions include sports, financial success, tech devices, politics, etc. As we enjoy our spiritual journey with God, we learn about the purpose of being a Christian and how God expects us to live. The truth of life is demonstrated in scripture throughout Hebrews, Romans, and Ephesians. Look at Ephesus when Paul wrote his letter to the city. The people were full of sin and entangled in fleshly desires. They were not studying scripture, they were worshipping idols, and they had fallen away from faith. Hebrews 12 tells us how to be disciples for Christ. Don’t let the enemy distract you. Hebrews 12:2 says therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
This passage alone makes me want to be a better person. I don’t look back on my old ways as a mistake but as a learning experience and a strengthening exercise. I now have a new attitude and purpose to serve God and the energy is unbelievable. I remember the time when I relied on other people to make me happy and I was self-centered in my goals. I have made mistakes and I have learned from them. I have prayed to God thanking Him for the grace he has bestowed upon me and having the blessings He has provided. I continue to throw off everything that hinders me and holds me back. I fix my eyes on Jesus every morning for direction for my day. “Show me what to do for you today, Lord.” He always provides.