“Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth…” (Ephesians 6:14a). Paul’s words are a direct quote from Isaiah 11:5, “Also righteousness will be the belt about His loins, and faithfulness the belt about His waist.” Christ always wore the belt of faithfulness. The Greek word “truth” is a translation of the Hebrew word for “faithfulness.” This was not simply a strip of cloth around the waist or even a narrow belt. Instead it was generally a leather apron that helped to protect the lower parts of the body. This girdle or belt was also used as a sheath for the soldiers sword. So what does the girdle of truth illustrate in the life of the believing follower of Christ? In the Bible, the girdle had the function of pulling things together. In that day, both men and women, including soldiers, wore robes. When they wanted to move rapidly, they would gather up their robes and tuck them in, so this enabled them to be unencumbered.
We must mentally be prepared for battle, eliminating any thoughts or habits that would hinder our walk with the Lord…“Therefore, gird your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1Peter 4:13). The girdle of truth represents a life and mind pulled together, ready to serve the Lord. Truth pulls our thoughts together and tucks them into one all encompassing belt of truth. So having your loins girded with truth, means that you are pulling your thoughts together and ‘de-cluttering’ your mind. It means to be level headed, balanced, and think through things. It also speaks of integrity or truth in our inner being. The truth of God must permeate every facet of our lives, so that our actions and motives are governed by integrity and truth. Truth provides freedom from hindrances that would otherwise entangle us.
Suppose you were given false information every time you asked for directions, made an appointment, or watched the news – you simply could not live effectively! Listen to the words of John: “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies” (John 8:44). The reason Jesus called Satan a murderer was because he did not stand in truth.
Truth prepares you for action…“Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning” (Luke 12:35). We should never be caught in a situation in which we are not ready for action. When God prepared Israel to leave Egypt – ‘they had their loins girded’ (Exodus 12:11). It is a mark of readiness –“Be careful! Watch out for attacks from the Devil, your great enemy. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for some victim to devour. Take a firm stand against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are” (1Peter 5:8-9).
So the first thing that makes us ready for battle is our willingness to be true, faithful people. If we insist on going into battle half-heartedly, we’ll get blown away. It’s impossible to fight the deceiver if we are holding onto deceit. Whenever Israel had to go into battle, many didn’t have to look hard for an excuse to stay home. Anyone who had built a new house, or had just planted a vineyard, a recently engaged man, or anyone who was fainthearted was excused from the battle (see Deuteronomy 20:5-7). The issue is clear: God’s battles are won by faith. Anyone entering the fray with a divided heart, or lacking integrity, is doomed.
Truth is Foundational – It is the first essential in dressing for success: “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success” (Joshua 1:8). Truth meditated upon (wealth) + careful to do (walk) = success (warfare). All of the usefulness and effectiveness of the armour of God depends on it. The belt of truth is referring to truth as a whole. A mind that is filled with ideas, theories, religious notions, or confusion will not enable you to stand against the schemes of the devil. You would be crippled before you even came in contact with the enemy if your mind was not secured by truth.
Truth is Fundamental – This is why Satan spends so much time and energy attacking it, because the truth of God is the sole basis of our faith and practise. It is a basic essential. The word ‘having’ – means that it is permanent, we are never to be without it! The Word of God is being questioned on many fronts today, as the spirit of the age is one of tolerance and unity, at the expense of truth. The Scriptures tell us that truth is something that we can take up and put on, making it clear that it is our responsibility! So remember, truth and faith are synonymous. You can only resist by being steadfast in faith, and to be steadfast you must put on the belt of truth – and that’s the truth!