I've never done a series on Friday, but I think the armor of God will be encouraging after several weeks of writing about the enemy. We have an enemy ... we know he loses ... and we even have weapons against him: defensive and offensive.
In an effort to be original, I've avoided looking up what other authors have to say about the armor of God (though I intend to afterwards). I realize there are much better analogies and theology out there. But if you'll allow me I'd like to just let God speak through one life's context and His Word.
"Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.
Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace, in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
With all prayer and petition, pray at all times in the Spirit, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints ..."
- Ephesians 6:11-18
Some call it the belt of truth ... lets face it, girding your loins sounds like a crazy lifting move.
The thing about belts is ... they surround you. They go all the way around. And while I realize there are belts that are just for looks ... the main purpose of my belt is to protect me from shame.
In the past year I've lost close to 40 pounds ... my wardrobe hasn't exactly kept up with me. Some of my jeans are 2-4 sizes too big. If I didn't wear a belt ... I'd soon be quite embarrassed. My hands are often full when I'm in public ... if I'm not carrying something they are full of little hands. It is more important to me to protect those little girls in a parking lot than to pull my pants up. Without my belt ... there's a good chance I'd soon loose them as we shuffled along.
You can't do battle if you're tripping on your pants. And shame can be paralyzing.
"For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him."
- John 3:17Jesus didn't come to shame us. Shame has another source - remember the accuser? The old liar wants you to feel shame, and he induces it with lies. Of course the defense against lies is the truth!
"... you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free."
- John 8:32b
So gird your loins with truth ... lift it every day. Pick it up and put it on. Hide it in your heart (Psalm 119:11). Meditate on it day and night (Joshua 1:8). Cover the lies of shame with truth and bind it about your waist tightly. The only way I know to do this is to be in the Word every day. God's Word is the truth by which all other standards must be measured.
"The sum of Your word is truth,And every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting."
- Psalm 119:160
"Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth."
- John 17:17