Stand firm, therefore, having girded your loins with truth.
Why is it important for us to take inventory of the spiritual resources God has given us? In Ephesians 6:12, Paul wrote, “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.” That word “struggle” in Greek referred to a wrestling match. In Paul’s day, wrestling was not the fake kind of wrestling you see on TV sometimes, where they pretend to fight and then go out and have a drink afterward. No, these wrestling matches were fights to the death. Paul said that is the kind of struggle you and I are involved in, but it is not a struggle against flesh and blood. You and I tend to think that our biggest problems in life are other people–that mate who does not appreciate us, or that boss who mistreats us, or that friend who betrays us. Understand this: the real-world problems you are facing right now have other-world sources behind them. Our adversary is Satan himself. In verse 11, Paul wrote, “Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.” That word “schemes” in Greek could be translated “blueprint.” Satan has a methodical plan custom-made just for you. A plan to destroy your marriage. A plan to cause your children to rebel against God. A plan to cause you to lose your witness for Jesus Christ. If you think that is hyperbole, look at the words of the late pastor Martyn Lloyd-Jones: “Anyone who is not aware of a fight and a conflict in a spiritual sense is in a drugged and hazardous condition.” If you are not aware of your enemy and the plan he has for you, you are sleep-walking through life.
We need to be aware not only of our enemy, but of the resources that God has given us to defeat him. First of all, Paul said, gird up your loins with the belt of truth. Look at verse 14: “Stand firm, therefore, having girded your loins with truth.” What does that mean? The Roman soldier would wear a free-flowing tunic that was very comfortable. But it was also very dangerous in times of battle–the soldier could trip over his tunic, or an enemy could grab hold of it and use it to gain an advantage. That is why before going into battle, every soldier would tuck his tunic into his belt. Paul said in the same way, we need to gird our loins, literally “gird our minds,” with truth. We cannot afford the luxury of dwelling on the loose thoughts that just pop into our mind. Those thoughts can be very dangerous if the enemy uses them against us. Paul said we need to confront those thoughts with the truth of God’s Word. For example, I think that is what Paul had in mind in 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 when he said, “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” Whenever those wrong thoughts come into mind, we need to tuck them in, confront them with the truth of God’s Word.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Survival Tip #3: Take Inventory” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2019.
James A. Lovell, “Houston, We’ve Had A Problem,” https://history.nasa.gov/SP-350/ch-13-1.html.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.