Anchoring Your Armor
"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. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God."
Usually, we read this well-loved passage starting at verse 10, but today I want to look into the word picture Paul is building. Back in his day, the Roman armor was well-known, its function and effectiveness renowned in battles. But today, not so much. So let's explore this word picture.
The belt mentioned was a wide, heavy belt that was the first part of the armor to go on. Once safely buckled into place, the sword and the breastplate fastened to it. If the belt was too loose, the breastplate would move around, hindering the soldier's ability to use his sword and opening a gap for the enemy's sword to slip past. Drawing the sword would be very difficult, as the sheath would swing to awkward positions making a quick, smooth draw impossible.
So what was that crucial belt? The belt of Truth. And what is Truth? God's eternal Word. Everything in life is anchored to God's Word. Today's world seems hell-bent on demanding that this Word be forced out of all public functions and discourse, but wanting it to be so doesn't mean that it is so. Truth isn't subjective. It either is or is not. It can't be manipulated to say one thing one day and suddenly change to something else the next. Truth is an anchor, not a kite string swaying whichever way the wind blows. You can't build a life on a kite string. But that is what so many people try to do. They selectively choose from God's Word what is and isn't part of their agenda and declare the rest irrelevant. Some choose to throw it out in its entirety. That doesn't change the Truth one bit, but it does change their lives, and never for the good.
Entire church denominations have decided to set out a Truth buffet, never accepting their charge of Matthew 28:20--- “...teaching them to observe (obey) all that I have commanded you...” (emphasis mine).
Pastors face a double judgment, first for their own lives and again for how they led their assigned flock. We, however, are commanded to know and follow the Word for ourselves, so no one has an excuse for not knowing the Truth as written. The Word is eternal.
Hosea 4:6 "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you as My priests. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your children."
Rejecting knowledge of the Truth removes the belt that anchors both the protection for the heart and the sword of the Spirit, which is our only offensive weapon. We can't protect ourselves from the assault of the enemy if we don't know the Word. He isn't afraid of us, but he is powerless against the Word of God. The more Word we know, the sharper our sword.
We can go into battle naked or ill-prepared. Or we can tighten our belts, sharpen our swords, and enter battle prepared for the victory Christ won for us. The choice is ours.