Summary: To overcome, we must live committed, consistent and confident lives
I read that it costs America $400,000 a year to keep one soldier there in Iraq. And this figure does not even include basic pay. That’s how much they spend per American soldier. But that’s nothing compared to what God has done, is doing and will continue to do just to make sure we live victorious lives here on earth. He really has spared no effort.
Let’s read Ephesians 6:13-17... 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, and 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.
Our battle is very intense. We are facing a very powerful enemy. Thus, we must fight with a full battle gear. Verse 13 says we must “put on the full armor of God” or “Use every piece of God’s armor”. Paul used the imagery of a Roman soldier’s armor to illustrate how we can wage a winning war for life.
Note the words “In addition to all this...” in verse 16. We can divide the armor into two parts: “The first three—girdle, breastplate, and shoes—were for long-range preparation and protection and were never taken off on the battlefield. The shield, helmet, and sword, on the other hand, were kept in readiness for use when actual fighting began”. Today we look into the first part that deals with preparation. Someone wrote that to be prepared before the battle is to win half of the battle already.
The first piece of the armor is “the belt of truth buckled around [the] waist” (v. 14a). A Roman soldier wore a six-inch wide leather belt. He tucks his tunic or shirt in the belt to keep it in place. Otherwise, during a fight, the tunic would hinder his moves. It also held in place the breastplate and the sword. We are to “Let the truth be like a belt around [our] waist”. In other words, it has to do with being committed to the truth, not only in our beliefs but also in our lives. So we are to live COMMITED lives.
Our enemy gains a foothold in our lives when we lie. For he is “a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44).
When we lie, we become his slaves.
There was a boy who threw stones at a flock of ducks just for the fun of scaring them. But he accidentally hits one on the head. It died on the spot. He was so afraid that his father would punish him for killing the duck. So, he immediately buried the duck to cover-up the crime. He thought nobody saw him. After dinner, his elder brother told him to wash the dishes. He protested. “It’s your turn tonight.” But his brother whispered to him, “I saw what you did to the duck. If you don’t follow me, I will tell Dad.” So, he had to wash the dishes. The next morning, his brother told him, “Go feed the pigs. Or else...” Throughout the day, he virtually became his brother’s slave. When evening came, he told his brother, “You wash the dishes.” His brother hissed at him, “What? You want me to tell Dad about the duck?” He replied, “I already told Dad. He already forgave me. Now, go wash the dishes.” Really, the truth sets us free.
Do you know what quality irritates the boss the most? Burke Marketing Research asked this question to executives in 100 out of the 1,000 largest companies in America. Lying or dishonesty topped the list. According to the study, “If a company believes that an employee lacks integrity, all positive qualities—ranging from skill and experience to productivity and intelligence—become meaningless.”
According to the Bible Knowledge Commentary, “As a soldier’s belt or sash gave ease and freedom of movement, so truth gives freedom with self, others and God.” Paul wrote, “So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.” Thus, we must live truthful lives.
The second piece of the armor is “the breastplate of righteousness” (v. 14b). To protect his vital organs, a Roman soldier wore a breastplate. It is usually made of leather or metal that covered his entire back and front side. It means living our lives in such a way that reflects the fact that God made us right with Him through the death of Jesus Christ. We are to live CONSISTENT lives.