Ephesians 6:10-20 – “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 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; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, 19 and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” NASU
I have heard many sermons, read many books, and heard many theories on the Armor of God and most of the time the omit the last few verses about Prayer and Perseverance. I have heard sermons and theories that suggest that this is a formula to be done in a ritualistic fashion daily. I usually resist spiritual formulas for I have found that frequently they result in trusting the formula rather than focusing on, seeking, and trusting God. That is tragic and troubling but human nature desires a simple 1-2-3 formula to make things both easy and convenient. Christianity is neither and both depending on WHO we are trusting.
I believe that God’s Word, the Bible, is His infallible rule of faith and practice and it is GOD’S WORD, making it Truth of the highest order. I also believe that God engineered every recorded passage in the order they were recorded for a reason. I do not ascribe to random chance but that God had a plan and purpose and placed every passage in the place and order we find them for a reason. Likewise, when I study things like the “Full or Whole Armor of God” I am convinced they are at the conclusion of Paul’s words to the Ephesians for a reason and to indicate their importance. I also believe that the order they are listed is of importance and it would behoove us to consider them in the order listed and seek to discover why they are listed and the purpose or significance of their order. That is an impossible task in a short devotional and every time I examine this I discover something I had not seen before, so this is an ever, expanding journey for me, as is much of the Bible.
Let’s take my premise and theory that these pieces of armor are where they are for a purpose and in the order in which they are listed for a reason. I also understand from a practical consideration of how a Roman Soldier would put on his armor the order listed is not necessarily the order he would follow. Is that a discrepancy? Not in my mind, but let’s consider what the armor is and what its function is as we consider the order and importance of each item.
The first piece of armor listed is the GIRDLE or BELT OF TRUTH. The purpose of the belt for the Roman Soldier was to hold all the other pieces together and allow him to move freely as well as fight, without encumbrance. I believe that this piece of Spiritual Armor is first because it is described as a covering for the loins rather than just being listed as a belt around the waist. The latter could be exactly what is being described but it is my conviction that the loins were mentioned because of them being the source of reproduction and the BELT or GIRDLE OF TRUTH covers our sexual purity as well as is the source of Life that comes forth from us. Therefore, ensuring that we are pure in our interpersonal relationships is critical to being a good Soldier of the Cross. The Loins indicate the importance of reproduction and connecting it to the spiritual reminds us that all that is reproduced in us is to be filtered through TRUTH. It also indicates the need to be READY and PREPARED for battle at all times! The Bible makes it clear that Jesus is The TRUTH and Jesus made it clear that TRUTH is the Word of the Father. We also know that Jesus is the Word of God and that Word was made flesh and dwelt among men. It was through the Word that the worlds were framed and everything that was made was made or created. TRUTH is the first piece of armor listed because of its importance. When we put on the GIRDLE or BELT of Truth we are putting on the Lord Jesus Christ and He is holding everything together in our lives so that the rest of the armor can function and we can fight the good fight of faith.
We are told to SEEK FIRST the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness and if we get first things first in our armament we will be able to more effectively receive and utilize the rest of the armor. God is always about First Things First and if we allow that to become fixed in our minds we will become seekers of truth and truth is Jesus!
I have much more to say on this subject but will pause here and pray that the Holy Spirit will burn this in your heart and cause you to become a seeker of truth more than you have ever been. God, bless you richly as you enjoy this wonderful day in Him!