This week we studied the “Belt of Truth” from Ephesians 6. This week for me is probably one of the most powerful and impactful because I think it has been one of my greatest struggles. Over-analyzing situations and questioning people’s intentions by habit has often created a blurry vision of what truth is. But what I have learned over the past year and especially through this study is that I have to stand firm in what God’s truth is, not what I perceive or what the enemy tries to convince me is truth.
Just because I have learned it though doesn’t mean I have become a pro at applying it. It’s really difficult to change patterns of thinking and responding that have been developed over a lifetime of bad habits. But it’s a work in progress and God knows that. I am so grateful to serve a God that is patient with my process and continues to love me through the mistakes I continuously make.
Again, there were so many highlights from this week of study that it was hard to narrow it down, but here are some of my favorites:
1. Satan does not take a generalized approach when he targets you for an attack.
His attack is personalized, specific, and designed to hit you in your area of greatest struggle or weakness. He has studied you. He knows what your tendency’s are. He knows where you are most prone to falling down. He has learned how to push your buttons. He has learned what is most likely to cause fear, anxiety, or strife in your life. And he uses those very specific areas to target you.
2. The mark in every one of Satan’s attacks is deception.
“…he has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44) Let me say it again, He is a liar. He wants us to believe something is reality that is not. He seeks to create such a great delusion that we don’t even realize we are being deceived. In my case, I often see he tries to tell me that God doesn’t love me because He won’t give us a child or that God doesn’t think I am worthy enough to be a mother. He tries to convince me that my prayers for a person are pointless or a waste of time because I don’t see the progress or change yet. He tries to tell me that small insignificant issues are major problems so that I will consume my mind with being upset over them. He tries to make me believe that my angry reaction is justified because that person was insensitive or rude. But those are lies!
3. You cannot trust your 5 senses, your experience, or your feelings.
Feelings or emotions are unstable. Have you ever noticed how easily swayed you are by the type of music you are listening to? I mean put the right kind of music on in a movie and I will most certainly start crying or become afraid for what is about to happen. Our emotions can also change according to the people we are around and the way they are treating us.
Just because something has happened one way in your past experience does not mean it will happen that way this time. Just because that one friend betrayed your trust and shared your most personal secrets does not mean this new friend can’t be trusted. Just because that risk you took failed before does not mean it will fail this time.
This is not to say that we can’t use emotions or gut instincts to help us but just that they can’t be trusted 100%.”We need an unchangeable objective standard that is outside of ourselves that gives us a clear perspective on what’s happening in our lives.” (Priscilla Shirer) This is where God’s truth comes in. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
4. Our Victory starts with a strong core. The strength in our core comes from the truth. Our truth comes from God’s Word (the Bible).
We will never live in victory over circumstances in our lives if we don’t submit to His truth. In order to do this we have to KNOW what truth is. As women of truth we want to affirm God’s truth as the ultimate standard for our lives, but we can’t do this if we don’t know what His Word says is true. Back when I first went through this study, I got a firm grasp on how important this was. I couldn’t battle the lies the enemy was throwing at me if I didn’t know the truth that exposed those lies. So I made a list. I made a list of all the promises in God’s Word that contradicted what the enemy was trying to feed me as truth. And when I felt him start throwing those lies at me, I threw my promises from God right back. For example:
- When the enemy says I’m unworthy, my God says I am a precious heiress to His kingdom and His beloved daughter (Romans 8:17, Galatians 4:7)
- When the enemy brings up who I was in the past, my God says I am a new creation, old things have passed away! (2 Corinthians 5:17, Romans 6:4)
- When the enemy says I’m not special or destined for great work in God’s kingdom, my God says I am a highly valued member of His family, worthy of His time and affection for me, His workmanship created for good works! (Ephesians 2:10, Matthew 10:30-31, Ephesians 2:19, Psalm 139: 13-18)
A strong core, knowledge and commitment to living out God’s truth, give us the foundation, stability, stamina, endurance, and resistance to pressure we will need to live that victory out in our daily lives.
4. Girding your loins with truth means to bind yourself or restrain yourself with the Word of God.
The picture Priscilla gives here is quite an amazing revelation to me. These belts the Roman soldiers or even the regular citizens used not only provided core support but a place to tuck their long tunics into when they needed to move with agility and not trip over them. So when Paul talks about girding our loins with the “belt” of truth he is also referring to this action of tucking in a tunic to give more freedom of movement. The way this looks in our real life is so incredible! When we want to make a decision or say something or react to a situation we take that “thing” and we “gird it” (bind it, restrict it) according to God’s Word.
Let’s say for example, that you have a coworker who quite often just rubs you the wrong way. He/She makes comments that are offensive, rude, or just ignorant to acceptable social standards. You just can’t take the comments anymore. You have a perfectly orchestrated jab that you have prepared for them to show them just what you think. But as you run that comment by the truth of God’s word you are reminded of Ephesians 4:29 “Let no unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building up the one in need and bringing grace to those who listen.” And as badly as you would like to say those things to this person you choose instead to restrict your speech saying only those things which can be said with grace and love.
This can apply in any situation or decision: how I treat my husband when I’m frustrated, what you say to your kids when they have screwed up for the 100th time, how I react or respond to that dig I know my family member just made at my cooking, the intimate relationship with that person you’re not yet married to. It’s not easy, restriction is hard. But it’s also freeing. God’s word provides these truths and instruction not to keep us from enjoying life and having fun but to give us a life that is abundant and full not lacking His best for us.
Joshua and Caleb were great examples for us in this. In Numbers 13, we read the story of the 12 spies that were sent by Moses to spy out the promised land. God had already promised them the land, but when the 12 spies came back to report what they had seen, instead of girding up their feelings and walking in the truth of God’s promises, they chose to voice their fears, concerns, and doubts that they could take the land. Only Joshua and Caleb said it was possible. They chose to dismiss their feelings and what their eyes had seen and instead trusted in what God had said would take place. Because of this Joshua and Caleb were the only 2 of the entire group of Israelites that left Egypt to enter the promised land.
Don’t miss the promised land that God has for You because you are unwilling to gird up your feelings and desires in the light of His truth!
If you have not done this study, I can’t recommend it enough to you! Like I have said before, it has been life changing for me! I have learned and am continuing to learn just how strong I can be when I use the tools I’ve been given the way they were intended to be used. And I am getting to see in such an incredible way, that my God intentionally gave us these promises so that we could walk in the freedom and walk in the victory Jesus achieved for us through his death on the cross. How thankful I am for that sacrifice. What a great gift we have been given! Let’s live victoriously!