So I am sure that at first glance, some of you (like me), feel like you have this article all figured out. It’s about telling the truth right? This is the one aspect of the armor of God that most of us don’t need an introduction to. So I am going to just jump right in.
Now I have two younger brothers, and they are really into computer games. And I am often (reluctantly) dragged into one of their conversations about their characters, especially the newest armor that have been upgraded to. Now I have learnt some pretty interesting stuff, but I’ve noticed that while belts are useful, they aren’t as important as the other parts of the armor, like the shield or the weapons or the helmet. So it’s not like Christians are going to go around shouting: We are warriors! We have the armor of God! We have the BELT!
A belt isn’t really a “cool” piece of armor. How is it even a piece of armor at all? While belts are the unsung heroes from saving us from looking like gangster wannabes, what purpose do they have as part of armor, specifically the armor of God? It seems to be taken for granted. I asked an expert (namely my brother) about whether a belt actually offers any protection to the characters in his games. He looked at me like he thought I was crazy (Just note, he always looks at me that way) and replied: “Well that depends, if it’s just a normal belt it is useful because it adds to how much stuff a character can carry. But if it’s an enchanted belt it can add to your speed or resistance to a certain element like fire. But there is one game where you can get a magical belt that creates a force field around you and that makes you pretty invincible.”
So is the belt of truth just useful tool given to us, one to remind us to tell the truth? Or is there something more to it? Like the belt, I think that the truth is also taken for granted all too often. We know that we should tell the truth. I think we all value it to some degree, but do we actually take it seriously as part of the armor of God? Telling the truth is often made out to be easy. Wait let me rephrase that, our perception of the telling the truth is often that it is easy. The truth about the truth is that no one really wants to hear it. Don’t believe me? Well, for fun I looked up truth in the urban dictionary and found this as its definition: “Something which would probably upset a great many of people if it were known and made public.” At first it was kind of funny (At least to my sense of humor). Then I realized that it is actually spot on. People don’t want to hear the truth, and not just unbelievers, Christians too.
As Christians we often don’t want to accept the truth about ourselves. We would much rather live in an illusion or a lie when in fact we are not less susceptible to sin than everyone else. We are not immune to the attractions of the world. We are sinners. We are broken. We have the armor of God though don’t we? Surely that must count for something. How is this belt supposed to protect us? This sounds a little odd doesn’t it? I just said that telling the truth isn’t easy. Wouldn’t it put us in even more danger since it is bound to upset people? Okay, that is a good point, but we shouldn’t be worrying about people and what upsets them. Paul makes this very clear when he introduces the armor of God:
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” – Ephesians 6:12
I’m sure that you are all still wondering, well how does a belt protect us from things even scarier and more powerful than people. And why a belt of all things? Well a belt does have an important purpose, namely keeping the armor (in this case) together, and in terms of the armor of God the belt of truth ties everything together. How is this possible? Right so, most of us are familiar with the well-known Bible verse:
“The truth will set you free.” John 8:32
Now I don’t know about everyone else, but when I was little, this verse was used a lot to remind me that I shouldn’t lie. Who else has lied before and then felt really guilty about it? If you say that this hasn’t happened to you, I would say LIAR. I am sure that there have been occasions where you have lied and then started worrying that someone would find out the truth. It slowly ate you up from the inside. The worry would grow and grow, especially in those moments where you think Oh no, they’ve found out. I am going to get into so much trouble. You may worry so much that you make yourself sick. Then it might happen that you can’t take it anymore, you summon the courage and just come clean. Or your lie is found out. Either way, it is usually a huge relief. You were set free from the burden of your lie. In the same way, the TRUTH sets us free from the power that Satan had over us.
“Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” James 4:7
How can we resist the devil? By knowing the TRUTH. What is this Truth that I am highlighting so boldly you may ask? Well when Paul talks about putting on the belt of truth, he’s talking about THE TRUTH, namely the gospel. God sent his only son to die for our sins, so that we may become acceptable to Him. We didn’t deserve this, it was given to us out of mercy. And the amazing thing is that all we have to do is to accept this gift! Once we do that, nothing and no one can separate us from God. Satan has no hold on us, even if we still mess up. Even if we are still tempted and sometimes fall. We are FORGIVEN, for everything.
Like the magical belt I quoted my brother mentioning, the TRUTH forms a force field around us, and it keeps everything else together in terms of our armor. It allows us to stand up against the attacks of the enemy. When he comes to you telling you how useless you are and starts making you feel guilty about all the sins that you have committed, trying to get you back under his power. All you have to do is to activate your force field. This TRUTH is more powerful than Satan is. This TRUTH that we have been given will help us to stop being scared of telling the truth. To speak out when something is wrong. The TRUTH will set us free, from all the bondages of sin and of this world. I find that so amazing! Now you can proudly say: We are warriors! We have the armor of God! We have the BELT! So put on your awesome belt and use your TRUTH force field!
~ Elri Voigt