“Stand firm, therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness.” (Eph. 6:14)
The armor of God is as real as the forces it is designed to defend against. This verse addresses the first two pieces of that armor, the girdle, and breastplate. The girdle or belt was one of the first things a soldier would put on. In Paul’s day, this would have been about six or eight inches wide and composed of leather. Sometimes the leather would extend down the front to protect the lower abdomen. Other pieces of armor could be attached to the belt.
The foundational piece of armor for the Christian is the word of God, the truth as revealed by the Holy Spirit. Since the enemy is composed of lies and half-truths, a soldier of God must have the truth in order to recognize the false message of the evil one. Every other part of the armor is built on the truth. The truth is not to be carried around in a black book or even in a modern smart-phone. The truth girds the Christian by being implanted in his mind and heart.
The second item of armor is the breastplate, so necessary to withstand a frontal attack by arrows or swords. These were often made of leather, bronze or even a kind of chain-mail. All the vital areas of the soldier were protected by his breastplate, and he would never venture into combat without it being on. Today, technology has provided flak vests to protect soldiers and first responders. The Christian warrior uses righteousness as his frontal protection. Since he has none of his own, this righteousness comes from God which explains how it is able to turn back advances of evil.
These two pieces, like the rest of the armor, come from God. Faithful saints are protected by God as long as they put on his set of armor. Without it, they are helpless against the enemy. A quick survey of Old Testament encounters will show how in physical battles the people of God were protected by his presence and intervention. When they failed to honor him, that protection was withdrawn and they were powerless against their enemies.
This is true of the Christians’ encounters with Satan. When we honor God by using his truth to guide our steps and taking his righteousness instead of our own he fights our battles for us. Evil is based on lies and unrighteousness, and that is the reason it cannot stand up against God’s truth and holiness.
Task for Today: You can’t have enough truth. Soak it in. Devour it. Immerse yourself in God’s word. Discard your own goodness and take on the goodness of God. Denounce self, acknowledge God as Lord. Use the armor he provides.