Updated: Jul 4, 2022
Welcome back to The War Series, Dressed To Kill which is our 2nd Golden Series on the website, and our first series of this year. So glad that you can join me today for another blog post about this unseen war that we are facing. We have been actively talking about what spiritual warfare is and its components, like Target Practice, Sharpening Our Aim, and a few tips on Basic Training Details. Be sure to go back and catch up on previous War Series posts if you missed any. Like always we must put God first, let’s hop into this prayer!
Spiritual Warfare Prayer: Heavenly Father, once again I just want to thank and praise you. We thank you, and we are so grateful that you are with us in the fight of our lives and that you have the victory in the end. Father, we thank you for the preparation and the protection that you provide us with to fight every day. Forgive us of our sins and provide a way of escape from temptation and evil. We thank you for the protection of the seen and unseen, and in this, we give you the praise and all the glory. We worship you for who you are and all that you are and have done. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Now, Let’s Get Into It!!
I mentioned earlier that in basic training, recruits are officially issued their uniforms and equipment. Their uniforms will consist of everything they need for their 10 weeks of being there. Once issued, the drill sergeants will sometimes have recruits hold their items over their heads to test their stamina and core strength. They are to hold on to their equipment until they reach their barracks.
Everything Starts At the Core
Think about when babies are just beginning to roll over onto their stomachs. Without knowing what they are doing, infants and toddlers are strengthening their core. From tummy time, rolling over, crawling, standing, and even walking, babies are in the beginning stages of building up their core muscles. As we grow up we continue building all throughout grade school in recess and P.E classes. Everything starts at the core. We can hardly do anything without our core.
The core is the center muscle that stabilizes the body and moves it in various motions and directions. The core also helps us have proper balance and helps prevent falls and other serious injuries. Having a strong core is vital for proper functions.
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.
1 Corinthians 16:13
Do you have core strength?
Having weak core muscles or core strength will result in you becoming physically fatigued much faster. Your endurance and stamina decreases exponentially and will soon cause a higher risk of injury.
Do you have a weak or strong core?
Usually, your body will give you some apparent indications that you have a weak core. Some signs of a weak core muscle are lower back pains. Your core is made up of 29 various abdominal muscles that include your low back, pelvic floor, butt, and hips. Using these muscles simultaneously are the key elements of your body’s core functions.
Another way to tell if you have a weak core is poor posture. If we always slouch around while we are walking or sitting around all day every day, then it can cause severe muscle tension on our lower/upper backs as well as our necks. Over time this will lead to poor posture. Putting extreme tension on one or more muscles can also lead to stiffness and fatigue.
It's safe to say that practicing core exercises daily will help in the long run by strengthening our core and improving our posture. As we are getting ready to put on our spiritual equipment it is only befitting that our bodies are in great shape too, spiritually and figuratively.
Remember, recruits are demanded to leave all prohibited habits, and objects behind. So it's only right that God asks the same for his believers too.
Uniform Details: Our Tactical Belt a.k.a Belt of Truth is our 1st piece of equipment armor that we will be issued. We will wear this armor correctly according to the Word of God.
Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist,
Ephesians 6: 14
What I love about Ephesians Chapter 6 is that the Apostle Paul says a lot of impactful things in just a few short sentences and phrases. If we go back to verse 10 in chapter 6, Apostle Paul gives the why and the what when it references the Armor of God.
Verse 10: Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Ephesians 6: 10
Why would the Apostle Paul tell us to be strong in the Lord? In my opinion, I think Paul started out with this infamous line because he already knew that life was going to require hardships, but it's nothing compared to having those hardships without God. The bible says in John 14:6, I am the way and the truth and the light. Hardships will come but God is always there to help us. Take it from David, he was distressed after knowing he would be stoned to death by the people. The scripture says he strengthened himself in the Lord. 1 Samuel 30:6. Finding comfort and leaning on God is the only way. The world is so uncertain and filled with so much evil but knowing that you are able to be strong in the Lord makes things feel all the better.
Verse 11: Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. Ephesians 6: 11
Paul has now asked us to do two specific things already. He has asked us to first find our source, which is in the Lord. Second, to actively put on the whole Armor of God. The definition of “put” is to move to or place in a particular position. So, when Apostle Paul said to put on the Full Armor of God, we have to physically and actively do it.
In some cases, we can literally forget about the first step and continue to proceed with doing the second command. This is counterproductive and I’m going to tell you why. To be strong in the Lord is the equivalent of having strong core strength. If you do not have a strong core then how would we effectively be able to stand and put on our Tactical Belt (Belt of Truth). I told you that everything we do starts at the core.
The Full Armor of God is explained in later verses but the emphasis that Paul commands here is beyond great.
Verse 11 is another verse that tells us to do something and then explains the why. Put on the full armor of God, Why? so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. We have to fully understand that once we make the conscious decision to walk and talk with God and put on his Armor, we then should also be acutely aware that we have the Devil’s attention. Always remember even though the Devil is after us, rest assured that he cannot win when you're supported by a strong core that's backed up by God's might and His power. We will later get into the Devil’s schemes.
Verse 12: For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6: 12
Paul is expressing a fact here. He’s telling us what we are up against. He’s preparing us before even reaching to put on the first equipment piece. Paul has stressed the importance of using different terms to convey and expose our spiritual enemy. We wrestle against rulers, authorities, and powers of this dark and evil world. An overwhelming abundance of evil is coming against us but remember God is our strength. Just in verse 11, Paul just stated matter of factly, that we have to stand up against the wiles of the devil. This verse is telling you what some of those wiles are.
This verse reminds me of a scripture in 1 Corinthians, For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 1 Corinthians 10:3-4
Verse 13: Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Ephesians 6: 13
I feel like, Paul was saying, in my mind, “ I said all of that to say this! With everything I said, once again take up the armor.” Like, “ if that doesn't get you ready for combat I don't know what will so take up the Armor!”
I love how Paul says, when the days come, right there it tells us, “oh the enemy is coming! So let me get ready.” To stand is to use your core muscles. Standing requires strength, and our strength is in the Lord.
Why is the Belt of Truth the 1st Piece of Armor?:
Out of all the pieces of armor that is in the Full Armor of God, Paul chooses to start with the belt of truth. If we go back to the Roman Empire, we will find that Roman soldiers wore and used them for multiple purposes. One being, to store their sword, another being for civilians to distinguish them as being soldiers and of their rank and status.
If God is Truth, and Satan is lies,
then can people distinguish the God or Satan in me?
The belts worn by Roman soldiers were placed there as a means of purpose and recognition. You would know them by their armor, by their belt. Does God know you by your truth? Does he know you by your Tactical Belt?
When fighting this war, we need a strong and steady foundation to stand on other than making the decision to be a follower of Christ. We need the truth. Holding fast to the truth will set you free. Relying on God’s Holy Word is key to activating this piece of armor. The belt of truth acts as the central foundation for all the additional pieces that are needed to put on the Full Armor of God. If we are not already actively acting in truth then we now need to begin to do so. If not, then we are vulnerable and exposed to the enemy. Furthermore, God is truth, if we are not acting and fighting in truth then we are on the wrong side of this war.
Truth is always wrapped around a strong core because the core can is the only thing that can withstand the weight of God’s truth. When we are not standing on the Truth of anything we will fall for everything. So Paul was correct to put the Belt of Truth on first.
In the book of Matthew 7: 15-16 scripture says, Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. People should be able to know you by the truth you speak. Do you speak in truth, in encouragement, in peace, and in love, or do you speak of harm, violence, fear, and sorrow? Leaning on the Word of God that is truthful and of good medicine is vital.
Significant Purposes of the Belt:
1. Held up the tunic that was underneath the belt and the breastplate
2. The belt was also called a cingulum or balteus. This played a critical role in Roman military soldiers' equipment because the belt held the scabbard. Without the scabbard, the soldier wouldn’t have a place for the sword. So in today's society, military soldiers wouldn’t be able to put their guns in their gun holders without their belts.
3. Supported the core
Strategically God uses specific armor to protect us from the evil one. I just told you that Satan is full of lies. He is the Prince of the Air of this world, he loves causing confusion, chaos and disruption. Satan's ulterior motive is deception, so what better thing to wrap ourselves up in other than God’s truth.
Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
1 John 4:6
Satan is the father of lies so the Belt of Truth defends those lies. It helps us not to fall into his traps and devices.
Call To Action:
How do we use the Belt of Truth properly and in everyday use? This is a question that I asked myself when I first read Ephesians 6 regarding the Belt. How do we actively use this piece of armor?
1. Putting on the Belt of Truth requires you to believe in the Word with your whole being. With your heart, mind, body, and soul.
2. The Belt reminds us of the true nature of God. Who He is, His plans for us, and for our lives. God is the way, the truth, and the light, so understanding God’s characteristics and His nature only allows us to live in truth.
3. Truth is your beginning point in anything you do. Speaking truth and living in truth are essential.
4. Continuously align your life, emotions, and attitude with what the scripture says.
5. Be sure not to bear false witness to others and remember to act with honesty and truthfulness in all your ways.
Golden Words of Wisdom:
To secure the Tactical Belt around our waist we must come to the source of it and that’s through Jesus Christ, who is our savior. We have to tie, buckle, snap, or clip the belt of honesty, trustworthiness, integrity, sincerity, truthfulness, kindness, meekness, and patience around us because all of these things revert back to Christ who is the Living Word of Truth.
With the belt wrapped around our waist, we must hold fast to God’s truth and allow his truth in our lives, minds, and spirit.
Remaining in alignment with truth through the Word of God will allow you to walk in safe pathways.
Always remember to read your bible consistently, the more you read the less likely you will be tempted or fall for the devil's scheme.
Questions To Consider: Ask yourself these questions and try to answer them to the best of your ability.
1. Do I have a weak or strong core?
2. How is my posture in Christ?
3. Am I living in truth according to God’s Word and His Belt?
4. What would be my call to action in living in truth?
5. How can I apply the Belt of Truth to my life?
I can do all this through him who strengthens me.
Stay tuned for the next blog post!!!
WEEK 3:[THE WAR SERIES, DRESSED TO KILL]: Issued Uniform [Part 2]