Today we examine four parts of our spiritual armor.
The Belt of Truth
As you will see, all of the spiritual armor we are to put on has to do with internal, invisible things like faith. Therefore, these spiritual battles are won or lost at the threshold of the mind where thoughts constantly bombard us. This is where truth must prevail. Since the truth will set us free from the lies and deception, we must know God’s word well enough to recognize the lies when they come. Just as Jesus countered Satan with “It is written,” when He was being tempted in the wilderness, we must have the truth stored in our minds (and hearts) so we can immediately counter the deception aimed at us. Since Christ is the truth (John 14:6), the best way to arm yourself with truth is to allow Him to live His life of truth through you on a regular basis by walking in the Spirit while denying the flesh.
The Greek word for belt implies multi-wrapped or numerous belts that hold all the armament together. The message is that truth is what holds us together.
The Breastplate of Righteousness
Just as our minds must be filled with truth, our hearts must be pure, cleansed of the world’s pollution. Only if we allow Christ’s righteousness to reign in our hearts will our motives be pure. Apart from Christ, our hearts are deceitful and wicked beyond our comprehension (Jer. 17:9). This is why we are told to guard them carefully. They are the springs of life (Prov, 4:23), and water can be sweet or bitter. Since what’s down in the well comes up in the bucket, our words reflect the condition of our hearts.
But it’s more than this. It’s also about boldness. Righteousness allows God’s boldness to be manifested in and through us. Since we have no righteousness of our own, it’s God’s own righteousness manifested in us in the person of the resurrected Jesus (2 Cor. 5:21). We can be bold since our heart is not corrupted by unrighteousness. Our other vital organs are equally protected. Therefore, this breastplate allows us to fight with the boldness of God Himself because His righteousness protects us. The result of this is seen in Proverbs 28:1: The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.
The Shield of Faith
According to Habakkuk 2:4, the righteous man is one who lives by his faith, so faith and righteousness are connected. Of course, we will never walk in Christ’s victory if our faith is weak. We must believe in the efficacy of our armor, and since putting on the armor is to put on Christ, our confidence in Him must be solid. If our faith is weak, we will be susceptible to Satan’s lies. A strong faith in Christ enables us to embrace the truth.
This shield is something we reinforce as we let the transformational power of the Word of God build our faith. This faith comes from allowing God to take us through whatever circumstances will strengthen our faith if we trust God and His Word to bring us through our trials, emerging stronger than ever. The strength of our faith will determine our response to every trial that comes our way. The more we know and trust in the Word of God, the larger our shield becomes.
The Sandals of Peace
We must also remember that we are being armed so we can successfully carry out our mission—to bring the gospel to those God has placed in our lives. Paul devoted his life to the same mission that has been given to us. We must be prepared to carry out this mission of peace—peace with God and the peace of God which those in darkness desperately need. We can bring these because they are ours to give. Putting on your sandals implies that you are ready to get going—to share the gospel. Our armor is for this purpose.
According to some translations, this is shodding (wrapping) our feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace. These are not like ordinary sandals. They are actually a protective wrapping that covers whatever you may be wearing as shoes, whether sandals or boots. This wrapping covers the feet and lower leg. Because of the protection it provides, it allows your feet to carry the entirety of who you are.
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
Joe Biden’s version of old sayings:
A journey of a thousand miles begins with the squeaky wheel.
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