A soldier's belt, or cinculum militaire
, was not just an adornment, it was also an essential piece of military equipment. The belt was crafted of tough leather strips and small brass plates for extra protection. Wrapping about the loins, this leather belt clung closely to the soldier and shielded some of the most vulnerable areas of the body.
When preparing for battle, a soldier would put on his belt first. The belt was designed to keep other pieces of the soldier's armor in place, including his sword. The soldier would also wear a tunic, which was a cloak worn over a short kilt or skirt. Prior to engaging in combat, the soldier would tuck his tunic under his belt, providing maximum freedom of movement for his legs.
The call to have your "loins girt about" is a call to be prepared
. As good soldiers of Jesus Christ, we are to maintain a good conscience and be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks the reason for our hope (see I Peter 3:15-16). Likewise, we are to be sober and spiritually vigilant so we are aware of our adversary when he prowls around (see I Peter 5:8).
There are several biblical references to having your "loins girt." Jesus said, "Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning"
(Luke 12:35), implying that His servants are always to be ready and watching for Him. Peter echoed that thought in I Peter 1:13 when he said, "Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end
for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ."
Paul related the belt, girt upon the loins, to truth
. There are two aspects to this picture. First, to be girded with truth is to be firmly established in the truth of God's Word.
God's word is truth (John 17:17) and is therefore foundational to all the other pieces of spiritual armor. Jesus said, "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye
shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free"
(John 8:31-32). Just as the soldier's belt provided freedom of movement, you are kept free from the enemy's lies by abiding in God's truth.
Second, to be girded with truth is to be truthful, genuine, and sincere before God and others.
This involves not allowing deceit and unconfessed sin to separate you from fellowship with God. It also involves being a person of integrity — not a hypocrite (see I Peter 2:12). By abiding in the truth, walking in truth, and speaking the truth, you will be spiritually ready
in every circumstance.
Satan attacks truth with lies, for he is the father of all lies (John 8:44). He especially focuses on attacking God's promises
, casting doubt upon them like he did in the Garden of Eden: "Did God really say ... ?"
If the enemy can get you to doubt God's integrity and goodness, it's a slippery slope downhill from there. One lie leads to another, and then another — until you are utterly discouraged, confused, defeated, and indifferent to life.
When you fail to resist this type of attack, you may act upon the enemy's temptations because you are weakened to resist him. The temptations
will most likely involve leaving God's path to take a "shortcut." Thankfully, our Lord Jesus did not give in to Satan's temptations, for He knew there was no shortcut to perfect obedience
. He responded to the enemy's lies and partial-truths with the pure truth of Scripture (see Matthew 4:1-11).
One of the enemy's common tactics in telling us lies is to put the lies in the first person. For example, the thought may come: "My life isn't worth living."
Or, "God doesn't care about me."
The devil knows we are far more likely to believe his lies if we acknowledge the thoughts as our own and start speaking them out of our own mouths. But don't fall for it! Start speaking forth the promises of God's Word. "God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it"
(I Corinthians 10:13).
If and when you stumble into unbelief
, open your heart to the searchlight of God's Word and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you into all truth (see John 16:13). Don't let guilt or the devil's accusations keep you away from God. Instead, repent
, get back on track, and "tighten" your belt with the unchanging truths of Scripture. The Bible tells us that it is "impossible for God to lie"
and that the hope He offers is "an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast"
In summary, the opposite of truth is lies and error, which lead to bondage. Build your house on the solid rock of God's truth. "Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned [without hypocrisy]"
(I Timothy 1:5).