In Ephesians 6:10-17, the Apostle Paul talks about the need for Christians to put on their spiritual armour.
He starts off this passage by stating we need to be strong in the “strength of His might.” Our strength doesn’t rest in our own natural ability, but in how connected we are with God’s strength. The reason for this is because our true enemy is not “flesh and blood” but spiritual: “world forces of this darkness” and “spiritual forces of wickedness.”
This connection with God’s strength to resist the satanic realm lies in our spiritual armour.
Intriguingly, Paul lists the loin armour as the believer’s first piece of equipment, which he likens to ‘truth:’
14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth (Ephesians 6:14 NASV)
The loin armour or girdle was constructed of plating, metal or leather, and fit around the hips protecting the soldier on every side.
Because it was designed to keep the upper body armour in place, it was considered the foundational piece in the Roman armour.
What kind of truth would function as the girdle?
Perhaps the clearest example of what Paul was talking about is seen in Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness, where our Lord engaged in hand to hand combat with satan himself.
At the tale-end of a forty-day fast, the Holy Spirit drove Jesus into the wilderness (Matthew 4:1). Satan, recognizing that the Lord was weak and tired, moved in for what he believed would be an easy kill.
Satan aggressively challenged Jesus saying (Matthew 4:3), “If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”
At this point, the devil questioned the very identity of the Lord. If you are the Son of God, the devil screamed, prove it, show me your power.
Then again in v 6, satan challenged Jesus to prove His Sonship by throwing Himself off the temple to see if the angels would catch Him. Obviously, Jesus was being bombarded with these accusations about His Sonship. It was a subtle and strategic move on satan’s part, as he cunningly tried to define the battlefield.
It was a trick that Christians have fallen for throughout the centuries. If you are a Christian, do something, show the world. Satan wants us to define our Christianity by what we do.
But look at Christ’s answer to that challenge. He said (Mathew 4:4), “It is written, man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”
What was Christ talking about here?
The answer to that question is simple. When was the last time the Father had spoken to His son and what did God say?
In the Mathew account, the answer is found just four verses earlier. Incredibly it is located in the previous chapter and I have awarded this passage the bronze medal for the third worst chapter-break in the Bible. Because clearly in Mathew’s mind this encounter with satan is directly linked to Jesus’ baptism, which records the last time the Heavenly Father had spoken to His Son.
The chapter break, however, seems to rip apart any possible connection between these two incidents.
As Jesus came out of the water, the Holy Spirit descended on Him and the Father said:
“This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17 NASV)
Jesus’ answer was profound. Because at this point, the Lord was saying who I am is not based on what I do, but rather on who God says I am. Satan said prove you are the Son of God by what you do. Jesus answered him, I am the Son of God, because Jehovah said I am.
Satan was desperately trying to get Jesus on the merry-go-round of having to prove who you are by what you do. Once you get on that ride, you never get off. No matter what you do, it’s never good enough.
Even in the Garden of Eden, satan was able to start Eve onto her spiral into sin by having her question God’s word. “Indeed,” satan whispered in her ear, “has God said, you shall not eat from any tree in the garden?” (Genesis 3:1 NASV).
To fight satan, we must choose to believe who God says we are?
You are a child of God (Romans 8:14), a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9), a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) and co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17). This is what the word of God says you are and this is is the foundational piece of the armour of God – and it is firmly in place as we choose to believe the truth of God’s Word.
Doubt this and the loin armour, the foundational piece comes undone, and your amor simply falls away.