Gird Your Loins
“Stand firm therefore, Having girded your loins with truth.”
- Ephesians 6:14 NASB95
Recently God laid it on my heart to study the Armor of God, which seemed quite redundant. I’ve studied this section of scripture more than once already. This is like Bible 101. Haven’t I graduated to something more theologically challenging yet? (Remember that spiritual pride I was talking about last week? Yeah, looks like I found another bit that needs to be hacked out…)
So, being well versed in the art of procrastination, I sat on His direction for a few days until I finally gave in, surrendered my plans for my Bible time, and flipped to Ephesians 6. With my favorite pen in hand and my hilariously large binder lying on my bed because it's too cumbersome to fit on my desk (yes I did learn a lesson, thank you for asking, the fanciest choice isn’t always the most practical one) I started the same way I had many moons ago: 1. Belt of Truth
Now I have a confession to make, while I’ve always been gifted with language and writing and such, I’ve been consistently pretty awful at explaining what words mean. In my humble opinion, people who write dictionaries are at the top of the intellectual food chain. So my first task was to define truth, which according to the Strong’s Concordance is defined as “truth:—true”. Very helpful, thank you. So I settled for the next best thing: Google Dictionary. According to the geniuses there it means “the quality or state of being true”. Maybe it’s time to reconfigure my understanding of this intellectual food chain after all.
I think that sometimes the things we are the most familiar with are the hardest to define but I will try. The Amanda definition of truth: Truth is in accordance with reality, it is the absence of lies, falsehood, and deceit. Truth is trustworthy. It is a gift in a world saturated with half-truths and whole lies.
The more I thought about truth, the more I understood why God was imploring me to study it. The enemy that we fight is the father of lies according to John 8:44, “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.” So it makes sense why truth is not just part of the Armor of God but the first piece that we are to put on.
If we aren’t holding firm to the truth then everything else is up for grabs as well. Our righteousness and salvation are in question, our faith is flimsy on and our peace is circumstantial at best. But more than all of that, without truth, we have no sword.
We are defenseless if we don’t have the truth, which is precisely why the enemy hasn’t changed his tactic since the beginning. He started with “Did God really say?” and he’s still milking the crap out of it to this day. If it ain’t broke…
Story time: Yesterday, after I spend a decent chunk of my morning studying truth I went to the house we are renovating to work on painting the ceiling in our living room. Everything started out well until I was about two-thirds of the way through and I noticed a puddle of water laying on the plastic that was covering the floor. After realizing that I had, in fact, not spilled my coffee, I looked up and saw the culprit. Sometime during the massive rain storm that we had the night before the roof had leaked.
In a moment my heart sank and my mind was overrun with the list of expenses that keeps getting longer and longer. I didn’t know what to do, so after frantically trying to call my husband who was away from his phone at work, I sat down on a bucket of joint compound and cried. I didn’t just cry though, I also began to question: “Did God really want us to get this house? Maybe we heard Him wrong, maybe this is all a big waste, maybe we are outside of His will and this is what we deserve, maybe, maybe, maybe…” The enemy got me good. I was caught with my pants down and fell for the lies—the deception—instead of standing belted in the truth.
Luckily though, I had just studied truth that morning (how great is our God?) and was able to catch the slip before I ended up too far down the rabbit hole. I dried my eyes and girded my loins in truth by reminding myself that God did indeed lead us to renovate this house and He is in fact completely capable of signing the check on whatever He has commissioned. He doesn’t lead us into the wilderness to abandon us there. So I put my trust in the fact that He was not caught unaware and kept painting the ceiling.
I love that phrase “gird your loins”. Every time I read it, I am reminded of the famous scene from The Devil Wears Prada where Stanley Tucci’s character yells that warning to the staff when their horrible boss was on the way. Everyone flies into a frenzy in preparation for her arrival. Maybe it’s not the most Christian mental picture, but it is packed away in my mind to be discovered anew every time I read Ephesians 6.
The biblical definition of girding your loins is a bit different but the anticipation is the same. Roman soldiers would gather up the fabric of their tunic and tuck it into their belts so that their movement would be unhindered in preparation for the battle to come. Without girding their loins they would have been easy targets, slow-moving and encumbered by their garments.
We are in a battle, my friends, and it’s high time that we stop getting caught with our pants down. Our enemy is cunning and manipulative but he is also predictable. His tactics haven’t changed from the beginning and he’s not about to start switching it up now. That’s exactly why Paul gave us these instructions, so we don’t get caught in the midst of his traps.
Prepare yourself and stand firm in the truth because the battle will come, beloved, but let’s not forget that we fight an enemy that has already been defeated. We are on the winning side! Praise God! That’s the truth that we should wear around our waist—He has already won the victory!
Written by Amanda Strauser