“Stand firm, therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH…” Ephesians 6:14 (NASB)
In the first article we gave a general introduction to the subject of spiritual warfare and noted especially that it was not about gimmicks but rather it was about the finished and completed work of our Lord Jesus Christ.
In further articles, over the next few months, we will look at each piece of the armour and see what it tells us about our warfare. As we have already said, wearing the armour is not for special occasions – it is for every day. What we also want to underline is that this is not literal armour that you put on each morning – in any case, when did you take it off? – but the spiritual reality of the finished and completed work of Christ.
This is the way that we will overcome Satan, knowing that Christ has already overcome him.
The first part of the armour to be mentioned is the foundation that is so vital: truth. There is no question that this is the most basic of all the armour and is necessary for the rest of the armour to be of value.
In dealing with the enemy, on many occasions we will deal with lies, and truth is the only answer to the lie. If we do not know truth in our lives then we will not get very far.
The word here also means reality and this is a vital lesson for us to learn. If we try to pretend that we are something we are not, and if we try to ‘fake it’, we will find ourselves in trouble. Just as the sons of Sceva in Acts 19, we will discover that Satan will see through our disguise and will be able to retaliate. Reality of Who Christ is, and what He has done for us, is a position we need to have at the beginning and not something we grow into. Be real to what we know of Christ. Matthew Henry says in his commentary regarding this being the foundational piece:
“God desires truth, that is, sincerity, in the inward parts. This is the strength of our loins; and it girds on all other pieces of our armour, and therefore is first mentioned. I know no religion without sincerity. Some understand it of the doctrine of the truths of the gospel: they should cleave to us as the girdle does to the loins … This will restrain from libertinism and licentiousness, as a girdle restrains and keeps in the body. This is the Christian soldier’s belt: ungirded with this, he is unblessed.”
Not only is it such a vital foundation, but truth will always show up deception for what it is. Satan will seek to come as an angel of light, someone who is not walking in reality. Only the truth of Christ can reveal him for being what he is. Logic does not work and human powers of reason will only go so far, but the truth and reality of Christ will show up the deception straightaway.
As we said earlier, this issue of truth is a clear manifestation of one of Christ’s attributes: if we walk with Christ then we walk on truth.
Isaiah prophesies concerning Christ and says:
“Also righteousness will be the belt about His loins, And faithfulness the belt about His waist.” – Isaiah 11:5
Jesus makes a tremendous declaration about Himself in John’s Gospel:
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” – John 14:6
Please note that Jesus did not say that He would speak truth or even act in truth, He said I am truth. This is an integral part of His character and it is not that He decides to tell the truth but that whenever He acts, He acts in truth as that is His character. No wonder we can trust Him and no wonder this is such a vital part of the armour because no one can stand against the truth of our Lord Jesus Christ. No wonder Jesus said in John 8, “…the truth will set you free.”
Indeed if you read John’s Gospel you see just how interwoven are the work of Christ, Holy Spirit, the word of Christ and truth. Truth does not just come out of some fanciful idea of man but it comes out of the revelation that the Holy Spirit gives of God’s Word. Without the work of the Holy Spirit to reveal the Word, there is no truth. We must never try to detach ourselves from the ongoing work of the revelation of the Spirit through the Word.
Spiritual understanding and spiritual truth do not come from natural man; indeed, natural man cannot understand it. Spiritual truth that is needed for spiritual warfare does not come from gimmicks or, indeed, from an intellectual understanding of the Word of God; but from the revelation of the Holy Spirit that gives us spiritual understanding and an ability to move in the spiritual realm, not the natural realm.
There are many books written on spiritual warfare but any that produce ideas or strategies that are clearly denied by the Word of God have failed even to lay the foundation of truth that is vital for the fulfilment of spiritual warfare.