Dwight Fletcher | Gear up against the devil’s schemes
TO STAND against the enemy and the onslaught of stress he tries to bring, we need the armour of God. It’s not something we put on every day like a pair of jeans. Some persons pray like that, and sometimes we can pray it to build faith, but each piece of the armour is a characteristic and quality that is reflected in one’s daily life. They’re lifestyle characteristics of a sincere faith. They are convictions and beliefs that are to be lived and maintained as a regular pattern of our lives. It’s important that we understand each piece of the gear individually.
“Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth …” (Ephesians 6:14a, NKJV). Roman soldiers wore wide, thick leather belts that held their swords and equipment. It was used to secure his tunic (outer garment) and allowed freedom of movement. When he girded up his belt, he was able to fight. Similarly, truth is the essential centrepiece of the Christian life. It is on truth that all our beliefs and conviction rest. We must build our lives on God’s truth to defeat the enemy and his schemes.
God’s Word is truth. In John 17:17 Jesus said, “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.” We must appropriate God’s truth in our lives as an antidote for Satan’s lies. Every good thing rests on the truth, though we live in an era that suggests there is no absolute truth, but that is a lie. God’s Word is absolute truth.
The truth is an imperative that we can count on. We’re reminded that “The people who love your instruction enjoy peace — and lots of it. There’s no stumbling for them!” (Psalm 119:165, CEB.) God’s truth provides peace, and if we learn and live it, it brings protection and godly success. Joshua reminds us, “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful” (Joshua 1:8, NIV).
As we start to grow, our effectiveness in the Word will become part of our defence. Psalm 91:4b says “…His (God’s) truth shall be your shield and buckler”. This refers to a defensive weapon used to ward off the attacks and blows of an enemy. Truth offers protection. Satan is a liar who is constantly attacking the truth to manipulate us to have us walk and live in stress.
We then need to “… put on the breastplate of righteousness…” (Ephesians 6:14b, NKJV). Each Roman soldier wore a breastplate, which was a piece of armour made from metal plates or thick leather that protected the vital organs, from the neck to the waist, and particularly guarded the heart. The breastplate was designed to stop arrows, spears, and blows from a sword. The Bible uses the breastplate as a metaphor for the protection afforded the Christian by righteousness. Righteousness is personal protective wear in the spirit.
Nothing can hinder us in our work for the Lord more than sin and a troubled conscience. The idea is that in our struggle with Satan, he is determined to try to pierce our hearts with his flaming arrows of accusations, condemnation, temptation, and trickery. Righteousness comes from applying truth. The Christian already has imputed righteousness, as stated in 2 Corinthians 5:21. When we combine it with walking in obedience, it cancels the accusations, temptations, and attacks of the enemy. As we store the truth in our hearts and apply it, it creates a shield of protection from Satan’s schemes.