Tucked away in the back corner of my closet hides a hangar and hanging from this forgotten hangar there are belts! There are wide belts and narrow belts, black belts, brown belts and belts that are both black and brown! There are metallic belts and multi colored belts, stretchy belts and not so stretchy belts. There are belts that looked good in the 90’s, belts that are in style now, and everything in between!
Each belt was useful at one time. Through the years, each belt was purchased for and matched a specific outfit. As time went on and outfits no longer fit or worked, the clothes were given away, but somehow the hidden belts always stayed behind! So I have found myself today with a supply of unused belts, useful in the past but no longer in style today.
Most of my belts were purchased because someone at the store told me they were ‘that one last piece’ that would tie the outfit all together, and I believed them. My belts were accessories, nonessentials pieces to add to the outfit. And they were put on last.
Paul tells us in Ephesians 6 that as warriors in the Kingdom of God, He has given us armor to wear, pieces of spiritual armor that will cause us to stand firm in the battles we face. And the first thing God gives us is a belt!
Ephesians 6:13-14 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist…
Paul wrote the book of Ephesians while under arrest in Rome. He was under the guard of a Roman soldier while he wrote. He saw what a soldier in the Kingdom of Rome wore. Roman soldiers wore belts, but their belts were not accessories. They were essential to the armor. Roman soldiers put their belts on first because the belt bore the weight of the rest of the armor. The belt kept everything lined up, it kept it all in place. Without it, the soldier would have to use his hands to keep everything else positioned correctly rather than having hands free to hold the sword and the shield.
God has given us a belt. He has given us the Belt of Truth and this belt is no accessory. It is essential to the armor. Truth defined in the Armor of God study book this week is ‘God’s opinion on any matter.’ Without the truth of God’s Word as our standard, we will find ourselves trying to reposition everything we are told to ‘put on’. We will find ourselves so busy trying to readjust our thoughts and convictions in a culture that is constantly changing around us that we will not be about the business of holding our shield and sword. Without our lives lined up to the standard of the truth of God’s Word, we will find ourselves unable to stand. We will live defeated, frustrated lives when we are called to live free lives celebrating the victory Christ died to give us.
So Paul said this belt goes on first. Line up your thinking, your living, your habits, your speech, your affections, the intents of your hearts with the Truth. Put it on first and watch how the rest of the armor falls into place.
The belts in my closet may be outdated, but not this belt! The truth of God’s Word never changes. What God spoke as truth in Genesis was still true in the New Testament, it is true today and will be true into eternity. It ‘goes with’ every situation we faced in the past, everything we face now and in 10,000 years, what God says is truth will still be truth. It is unchanging, always relevant and it will stand firm to the end!
John 14:6 Jesus answered, I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.