Dear Truth Seeker,
In these last days, the Body of Christ is clearly in an all-out spiritual war with the enemies of righteousness. This war is not with people but with the demonic forces which deceive millions and promote ungodliness and evil. I can make this claim with great confidence because it has been this way from the start.
Ephesians 6:10-17 (REV)
“Finally, be empowered in the Lord, that is, in the might of his strength. Put on the whole armor of God so that you will be able to stand against the schemes of the Devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world-rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Because of this, take up the whole armor of God so that you will be able to stand your ground in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand. Stand therefore, having fastened the belt of truth around your waist, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the good news of peace, and in addition to all this, taking up the shield of trust, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the Wicked One, and take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
For most, war is not a choice. It is the “natural” condition of this world until Christ returns. We can no more chose to be unaffected by this war than natural citizens can chose not to participate when their homeland is invaded by foreign aggressors. So, as Christians, we are in it – now how do we win it?
The armor of God listed in these verses begins with “the belt of truth”. I would like to offer an alternative understanding of this phrase than what I once believed. Initially, one might read this and immediately think it refers to the truth of God’s Word. However, the Word of God is specifically named as “the sword” in verse 17. So, perhaps the belt of truth is referring to something different?
The word “truth” is in the Greek the word aletheia which comes from alethes (that which is true to fact). In Ancient Greek culture, aletheia was used synonymously for “reality” as the opposite of illusion. With this understanding in mind, these verses have taken on a greater significance in my life. If I ignore “reality” I cannot begin to “put on” the various pieces of spiritual armor listed here. The belt, is that to which many of the armor pieces are affixed. So, my first requirement for battle in the spiritual battle is to “get real.” What does that look like?
Being real is first an act of humility toward the Lord, his word and his people. When I fail to live humbly, I become self-deceived; and self-deception is the worst kind of deception because both the deceiver and the victim are the same person. A self-deceived person thinks he is right in his error. He denies the reality of his lack of godliness and instead relies on other conditions for his self-assessment. One of the best ways we can avoid self-deception is to allow others into the most intimate areas of our lives. When we have trustworthy people evaluate our walk, we may discover an illusion residing in our heart.
This intimate sharing of lives is precisely what the word “fellowship” means. We need fellowship with trustworthy believers who aren’t fearful of speaking the truth to us in love so that we can live “real”. My prayer is that each of us has someone with whom we can be completely vulnerable. Someone who loves us enough to help us escape the illusions of the self-life and put on the belt of reality.
All my love,