Are We Prepared for Battle?
Our spiritual enemy is powerful and relentless, so scripture tells us that we need to gird our loins with truth. Jesus having done battle with the Adversary, knew we needed to stay alert and be prepared. In his final prayer before his crucifixion, Jesus asked the Father to protect the disciples from the evil one. They had to live in a world under the sway of this enemy, but they would not belong to his world. They were a part of the Father’s Kingdom and could rely on his help to do spiritual battle. Jesus in his example prayer reminded us to pray that the Father would rescue us from the evil one, the Father would not fail to do his part. So are we preparing and doing our part?
We Need Spiritual Armour
Paul and Peter, both admonished the believers that times would come when people would be caught up in the false doctrines of demons and deceived by spiritual wickedness. There would be strong adversaries who would attempt to undermine God’s people. So Paul gave us the warning to protect ourselves, when he commands, “Put on the full armour of God!” Paul realized that he did not have the strength to combat spiritual wickedness. He knew he needed power from God. And God provides that power in the form of spiritual armour that we must ‘put on’ so it will be effective. God wants us to steadfastly resist the evil and stand our ground, so we will be victorious.
When we gird our loins with truth, this piece of armour, helps us stand tall and face the enemy with confidence. It is the truth, the reality, that sanctifies us, or makes us ready for God’s service. If we are girded with truth, we will not embrace the lies, fantasies, or delusions of the Devil. We will understand that the Adversary is the source, the Father of lies. We will have discernment to determine fact from fiction. We will not be fooled!
The Truth Gives Freedom and Strength
The truth liberates and strengthens us. When we walk in the truth we are free from the penalties of living deceitfully. And we are strengthened by Christ’s spirit – the spirit of truth. We are strong because we are living without hypocrisy and there is no disconnect between our belief and our practice. If we are rightly dividing God’s word of truth we will not be deceived by human traditions. Nor will we be tripped up by false assumptions. The truth frees us, but it also requires us to be truthful. We must not only understand the truth, but we must live it! So that what we do and say reflects the truth.
“Gird our loins with truth” is a call to action. In Paul’s time, the band around the hips was used to hold the other weapons and tuck in the loose ends of a garment to allow for swift and agile movement. This freedom of movement was part of the spiritual preparation for battle. Peter wrote of “girding the loins of your mind” so it was as much a matter of mental preparedness and readiness to do the work that needed to be done. It was also the part of the armour that kept the other essential pieces in place. And importantly, it protected the reproductive area of the body, in a powerful metaphor of truth keeping our creative and generative capacity intact.
The Truth Transforms
The truth transforms our mind, so we are conformed to God and not to the world around us. Truth gives us direction and clarity of purpose. It is truth that helps us to discern light from darkness, friend from foe. Truth helps us to know what we are fighting for, and how we are to fight. For in fighting our intentions must be clear, our motivations transparent, and our actions sincere and truthful. It is the truth that will give us consistent character and the strength to stand against spiritual enemies.
Pursuing Reality or Embracing Illusion?