Analysing the weapons of a Christian warrior, Apostle Paul states that truth is the belt a believer has to wear always. Eph. 6:14. A Roman soldier used a belt for various purposes, like protecting the lower parts of his body and using it as a sheath for the sword. But the main function was to tuck in the loose ends of his garments. Without a belt the flying garments would hinder his movements and he will not be able to fight a good warfare, even he may fall in between.
Paul finds that a belt makes a solder well prepared for a battle, so a Christian believer also needs such a belt that can protect him from hindrances and make him ready for a good fight. Christ also referred to the need of a belt for a Christian: “Let your waist be girded”. Luke 12:35. Peter writes, “Therefore gird up the loins of your mind...” 1Peter 1:13. Not only to succeed in our spiritual warfare but also to be ready for spiritual service and even the imminent rapture, believer needs to wear a belt. Cf. 2Timothy 2:4; Hebrews 12:1.
What is that belt a Christian has to wear? Definitely they did not refer to the normal girdle, for they speak metaphorically. Paul wants to say it is the truth that works as a belt. Now, what is this truth? Different ideas emerge.
The Lord Jesus said He is the truth. John 14:6. Yes, He is the embodiment of all the truth. A believer who stays close to the Lord and allow Him to control life will be strong, well-prepared and successful. Cf. Romans 13:14.
The word of God
The word of God also is the truth. John 17:17. “Your word is truth”. As we hold on to the word of God and permit that word of truth to hold us too, we shall be strengthened and equipped to face the assault of the enemy. This happens as we discover the truth of God’ word personally through regular meditation and study. That newly discovered truth tightens our spiritual life and then no one can distract us from His path. Cf. Eph. 4:14, 15.
Both the above ideas are meaningful and appropriate. But there is one more thought, which is our truthfulness. No doubt the Lord and His word are holding us nevertheless our being true to Him and His word, also affect our spiritual life and service. In fact, with out being true in the innermost part of our being even the Lord Himself hates our outward piety. How often the Lord Jesus Christ renounced the hypocrisy of Pharisees, for their religious activities were just a show. Cf. Matthew 23:25 – 28.
Through out the Bible we see how much God values our truthfulness and hates our deceitfulness. Cf. Gen 3: 9, 10; 4:10; 17:1; Deut. 13:3; Psa. 51:6; 2Chro. 29:17; Isaiah 1:13ff; 59:14, 15; Zech. 8:16etc. God does watch our heart and intentions and even reveals it before our own eyes. He can not associate with us or bless us as longs we live in insincerity. At the same time He will be very pleased in our sincerity and commends it too. Cf. John 1: 47. “Behold an Israelite, in whom is no deceit.”
Not only we must be true to God, we ought to be true to one another in our words and deeds. Cf. Isaiah 33:15; Psa. 15:2; Eph. 4:25; 1John 3:18; Tit. 2:7. There should not be any ulterior motive or hidden agenda in our life. Phili. 1:16.
One of the matters Paul prayed for Philippians was that they may be sincere till the day of Christ. Phil. 1:10. Bible scholars say that the word ‘sincere’ comes from the Greek words ‘sine cera’ meaning ‘no wax’. The shop keeper who sells quality furniture would hang such a board to say that it has no hidden hole or crack that has been filled with a wax. He wants to say, ‘what you see outside is true inside too’. Such should be our life too, inside and outside the same.
Remember, sooner or later others come to know of our reality. If others find us as not trustworthy and genuine, they lose their trust in us and that will affect our relationships. On the contrary, a sincere, truthful life gives credibility to a Christian and that gives him a good standing before God and man. Even we will feel a kind of boldness and strength other wise we would never have experienced. 1John 3:21. That means we wear the belt of truth, we are gripped and guarded by truthfulness that in turn makes us equipped to face the spiritual warfare.
Example of Paul
Listen to Paul, “Our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity.” 2Cori. 1:12. Notice the joy and confidence of Paul, knowing well that he leads life of truthfulness. Further Paul declares, he never changed his words or adulterated the word of God. Cf. 2Cori 2:17, 18. He had no hidden objective in ministry, used no cunning craftiness, no tricks etc. 2Cori 4:2. Such a conviction produced inexplicable strength and satisfaction to Him. No wonder he compares truthfulness to a belt that can strengthen just like a soldier who is strong and ready to fight.
By Grace alone
How can we be honest in such a manner? Can a sinful man boast to be truthful by his own strength? We can not forget this fact that there is none righteous and even the born - again child of God can not be pure in his on strength because of the indwelling sin nature. That’s why Paul adds in this context, “not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God…” 2Cori 1: 12c. We need the grace - the undeserved favour - and help of the Lord to lead such a life. That means we have to acknowledge our true state and yield to Him moment by moment to be empowered by the Lord to lead a true life.
Beloved, how is your belt? Are you girded by truthfulness? Double life, insincerity, hypocrisy, inconsistency etc make us weak and vulnerable. Our Lord Jesus Christ is consistent in His words and deeds. 2Cori 1:19. Let us follow Him. There is power in integrity and good conscience. Let us gird up our loins with truthfulness and be well-equipped to fight a successful spiritual warfare.