14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace (NASB)
As previously mentioned in this series, we don’t rush into battle; we stand firm. We’re reminded of that again in verse 14. Because standing firm is mentioned more than once, it must be important; so it’s wise to follow through with it. When we are standing firm, remember that we are standing strong – strong in the Lord and in His might.
Let’s look at the first two pieces of our armour:
Belt of Truth
The version I have quoted from above (New American Standard Bible) says “girding our loins.” But what does that mean? It’s good to check out other versions of the Bible as well, because things can be worded a little differently. Some use more modern language that is easier for us to understand. Some of these versions talk about buckling the belt of truth around our waists. So, girding our loins and putting on the belt of truth is the same thing.
Belts are important – they help keep our pants up! In Bible times, the belt would have been used to tuck in the hem of the outer garments to aid in moving quickly. What I learned, was that a man would grab the back hem of his garment and draw it up between his legs, tucking it into the front of his belt. It would have looked similar to Hammer Pants from the 80s…well, somewhat. By tucking his garment into the belt, he could run or move quickly without fear of tripping or having his feet get caught in the hem of his garment.
For the Christian, the belt of truth is important. We need to speak the truth, but we must do it in love. Truth is important, but we needn’t be harsh or sarcastic with it. Speaking in truth, I believe, takes the other person’s feelings into account. Be gentle, be kind. Don’t try to hurt someone else; but at the same time, we do need to be honest and truthful. And, don’t forget that love is listed first in the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
Breastplate of Righteousness
The next piece of armour to put on is the breastplate of righteousness. This article wasn’t just covering a soldier’s chest; it went all around his upper body, where the heart and lungs are located, to protect him.
Our organs are vital for living – for breathing and pumping blood to the rest of our body, to keep us alive, so obviously we would want to make sure that part of our body protected!
Praying on the Armour
When I learned about praying on the armour of God, I was taught that when Roman soldiers would have put on their armour, someone else would do it for him, helping him get dressed for battle.
Likewise, we should pray on the armour of God for our brothers and sisters in Christ in order to help them be protected. I don’t think it means that we shouldn’t pray it on for ourselves, though. We still need to be dressed, and someone else might not know (or remember) to pray it on us.
When I Pray
When praying on these two items, I tend to say something like: “Father, I put on the belt of truth to help me speak the truth in love to others. I put on the breastplate of righteousness to help protect my heart and my feelings.” You don’t have to pray it exactly that way; I say it this way to help me remember what the pieces represent.
My friends, I pray that if you are going through troubling times that you will remember that God is on your side. Turn to Him and trust Him to help get you through to the other side.
Please visit the following links to the first two parts of this series if you haven’t read them yet:
The Armour of God – Part 1
The Armour of God – Part 2