Summary: Paul tells us to put on the full armor of God, starting with the belt of truth and the breastplate of righteousness.
Last time, we noticed six things Paul says about spiritual warfare. We are involved in a war with the devil and his demons; and our battlefield is the prayer closet, where we claim the victory that is already ours in Christ. We wage this war from a position of victory, defending the ground already taken by virtue of the death, resurrection, and exaltation of our Savior. Therefore, we draw on His strength when the day of evil comes, so that when it has passed, we will not have fallen, but remain standing. Paul orders us to “put on the full armor of God” (v. 13). He then describes the armor of the Christian warrior (Read verses 14-17).
In verse 13, Paul says if we will daily put on the “full armor of God” we will be ready when the
“day of evil comes.” What exactly is Paul referring to when he mentions the “day of evil?” He is not referring to some end times event; but to what can be an any day event. Any day we live, we can encounter the forces Satan, who tempt us to make choices inconsistent with our position of victory in Christ.
You see, as we learn to walk daily in the victory that is ours in Christ, our daily condition will match our eternal position, and others will be drawn to our Savior!
Satan doesn’t like that, so he seeks to hinder God’s redemptive work through His people by trying to draw us into a life of inconsistency and perpetual defeat so that our lives might turn people away from Christ, rather than draw them to Him.
“This is war, and there is no neutral ground. If you’re not on my side, you're the enemy; if you're not helping, you’re making things worse.” - Matthew 12:30 (The Message)
The evil day refers to Satan tempting us to make choices inconsistent with who we are in Christ. Satan’s objective is to ruin our witness by leading us to live in a way that our daily condition does not match our eternal position. Satan does not want Christians living victorious lives!
Using the imagery of the armor of the Roman soldier, Paul instructs us on the characteristics of a Christian warrior and on how we can make sure our daily condition matches our eternal position in Christ. Where do we begin? With . . .
1. The Belt Of Truth - v. 14a
The Christian warrior desires to walk in the truth!
A Roman soldier’s belt (“baldric”) was the most essential part of his armor. It consisted of a broad leather belt around the waist and a leather strap that went across the chest and over the shoulder. From it, thick leather strips hung down to protect the lower body and to it was
attached the breastplate. Without this belt, a soldier could not wear his breastplate. It was the first thing he put on when preparing for combat.
Likewise, in seeking to be a warrior for Christ - one who can be used to set the captives free - I must give priority attention to walking in the truth. And why is that? Because our enemy, the devil, specializes in lies! In fact, Jesus referred to him as “the father of lies.”
“When the Liar speaks, he makes it up out of his lying nature and fills the world with lies.” - John 8:44 (The Message)
Satan’s demons have filled this world with lies. Through these lies, he keeps unbelievers from coming to Christ. Through his lies, he keeps believers from presenting a testimony that draws others to Christ. The only way to stand against a liar or a deceiver is with the truth.
A liar will keep coming at you with his lies as long as they work. Suppose you come home one night and see a man standing at your front door. You park, get out of the car, and walk up to your front door. The stranger puts out his hand and demands 5 dollars before he will allow you into your own home. If you give him the money each time he demands it, guess what? He'll be back again waiting for you the next night and the next. The man will keep coming back as long as his lie works. But if you know the truth - that this is your home and he has no right to be there, you can say to him, “Get out of here, or I’ll call a higher authority.”
That’s how Satan works - and he’ll keep coming back as long as his lie works. But if you know the truth, you can say to him, “Get out of here, or I’ll call a higher authority.”
Remember, victory is experienced only as our daily condition matches our eternal position! Satan will lie to you about your daily condition - telling you you’re OK when you are not.