This article continues our examination of the belt of truth. It is but one in our series that explore the armor of God.
Ephesians 6: 12 -18 NKJV
12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;
18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.
When we govern our life by truth we will have God’s full protection. No lies of the enemy will touch us. Failure to walk in truth can have devastating consequences. King David was but one of the people that found this out the hard way. He loved God with his whole heart but hidden lies destroyed his happy home. During a time of war he chose to stay home. While he was walking on the roof he saw Bathsheba bathing. She was the wife of Uriah a Hittite. One of his generals. When David saw her he instantly fell in love with her. He wanted her. So he used his power to seduce her. After he slept with her she got pregnant. Now this really complicated things. What was he to do now? David did not repent and accept the consequences of his betraying his generals’ loyalty. Instead he chose to cover up the deed by arranging for Uriah to be given leave from the war to come home and sleep with his wife. That plot blew up in his face. The man was fiercely loyal to the others and would not sleep with his wife, while they were at war. So David resolved to be rid of him. All arrangement was made for him to be murdered in battle. After the murder, David allowed his wife to mourn for him then he sent for her and she became his wife. He was so far gone in his web of lies that he forgot that God sees everything. God’s justice would not allow a murder to go unavenged. So God sent the Prophet Nathan to expose the lie. David repented and was forgiven. But please pay very careful attention. God’s justice demanded that when there is murder there must be compensation. Even for us that law still exists. Thankfully we have the blood of Jesus. When there is murder it invokes a curse. David’s household came under this curse (2 Samuel 12:7-15) . The consequences were devastating. The child from his adulterous affair died. God allowed the death so David would not face opposition from his soldiers or his own people. One of his son raped his half sister. Her brother took revenge and murdered his own brother. Two of his sons attempted to take his throne by force and were killed. Eventually Solomon his son that succeeded him as King begun to worship idols. He then did abominable things such as sacrifice babies to these idols. Eventually the kingdom was lost to their bloodline.
We are blessed to live in a time of grace purchased by the blood of Jesus but it does not exempt us from the consequences of all sins. When we harden our heart and lie to the Holy Spirit it just may not work out well for us. Ananias and his wife Sapphira found this out the hard way. They made a pledge to God to donate the proceed from their property sale to the church. When then saw how much money it came to they changed their mind and kept part of the money. When they told they lied to cover up their sin they were killed instantly by the Holy Spirit. They died both physically and spiritually (Acts 5:1-10). God was not having it. Had they repented and told the truth they would have received forgiveness. Covering up the truth removed them from God’s protection. He could no longer shield them from the consequences of their action.
Not all lies are rooted in our actions. Some are formed from historical and cultural practises, group associations and lack of belief. We are living a lie when we do these.
- Believe that God uses the dead to speak to us. What does the Bible tell us? God uses the Apostle, Prophets, Pastors, Evangelists, Teachers and other ministers to communicate the message of the good news (the gospel). This message helps to empower us in our daily life and to draw us closer to the Lord. We also have the Holy Spirit to guide us. He will speak to you about your past, present and future. No area of your life is hidden from Him. He will counsel you about it. “He will guide you into all truth”. The Lord also uses angels to aid us. We may not see them but they are sent to assist us. (please see Luke 16:19-31, Ephesians 4:8-12, John 16:13; Psalm 34:7-9).
- Use horoscope, fortune cookies or consult psychics to predict our day. This is called divination. Foretelling the future by using a familiar spirit. It is expressly forbidden. God utterly detests us consulting any other medium to know our future other than those He has provided. (Deuteronomy 13:1-9; 4:19-20; 17:3) Even when we use what He has given we are expected to know walk by faith. We do not need to know everything that will happen. We must trust that He is with us and all things will work for our good.
- Pray to dead saints. This is the same as talking to the dead (familiar spirit). Israel was warned not to associate with persons who engaged in these practises. The same applies to us. In the Old testament the saints had to hear from God through a Prophet or a Priest. The Priest had to go behind the veil to hear from God. Now we all have access. Jesus made the way for us to boldly enter before the throne to speak through His shed blood. Only He stands as our High Priest before the Father (1 Timothy 2:5-6).
- Participate in Halloween and other pagan events, such as the Day of the Dead. Events that worship the dead or invite them into our homes are not to be participated in by children of God. They arouse His anger. Saul lost his throne because he was rebellious but he lost his life when he consulted with a witch that consulted with a familiar spirit. God caused Samuel to come an speak to him. On the surface Halloween looks very harmless. Kids dress up in colorful costumes. They walk from door to door collecting sweets and just having a wonderful time. What could be wrong about that! Yet it masks evil. Do not be deceived. There are a number of diabolical practises associated with this day. The very origin or the practise comes from a day designated to the dead and witchcraft.
- Believe that He does not heal today. This heretical teaching is often done in many christian denominations. It often causes us to make doctors our first option. Jesus Christ is only considered when all hope is lost. Often times, we measure His ability to heal based on the sickness in our body and the length of time we have battled the illness. ‘Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever’ (Hebrews 13:8). Healing and miracles are easy for Him. ‘All things are possible to Him who believes‘ (Mark 9:23). Just believe He is able to do it. Our faith is increased when we meditate on the scriptures regarding healing. It opens our heart to receive the benefit of His sacrifice. “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17). Sickness and disease are not a part of the Kingdom of God. It did not exist in the garden of Eden. He desires to do this for you. Please open your heart to receive and walk in your divine health. (Isaiah 53:4-5; Exodus 23:25-26)
- When you waver, doubt or fail to believe He is faithful to fulfill His promises. Our God never lies. He ALWAYS fulfills every promise. Don’t believe me? Just read about the promise He made to Abraham. That man was obedient to God and walked in fellowship with God. The reward was land given to his generations 600 years later. God also promised him that all nations of the earth would blessed through him. Two thousand years later God fulfilled that promised through Jesus. You and I are still reaping the benefit of that promise right now. Make no mistake God is always faithful. Every word from His mouth is a pearls of truth. ‘God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?’ (Numbers 23:19). He is full of grace and truth (John 1:14). Even when we are faithless He is faithful (2 Timothy 2:13). You may not have seen some of God promises in your life materialize. To receive from God obedience is key. It is important that we come into agreement with God by quickly doing our part while you patiently wait on Him. While you wait remind yourself of the promise. Meditate on it. When the door is open move quickly. (Genesis 28:15; Hebrews 6:18)
- Participate in social or cultural practises that are against the word of God. We have one very common trend now – tattooing. The scripture tells us not to place tattoos on our body. In the Old Testament, it was part of the cultural and ritualistic practises of some heathen nations. Marks were placed on their skin in obeisance to their god. Baal was one such god. Tattoos are still used ritualistically. For example, it is used by New Zealand tribes, other nations and in witchcraft for healing, protection, charms and invoking demonic powers. Some Christians today tattoo to express their love for God. While this seem great our greatest expression of love is to do His will. Jesus said, ‘If ye love me, keep my commandments’ (John 14:15). Prayer, meditating on scripture and fasting are our primary tools for walking living a life of abandon to his commandments. We must also share His love with others. We are his hands and feet. Every saint is called to share the good news of the gospel, to healing the sick, cleansing the leper, raising the dead, feed the poor and take care of other members of society that need our love and compassion. ().
This is by no means an exhaustive list. There are many other areas that we must examine to ensure we are walking in truth.
There are times when we will ‘shade the truth’ to cover up a situation. Sometimes we assess it as something that must be done for the greater good. No one will be harmed. So why not. Unfortunately, this is not acceptable in the eyes of God. Truth must be practised at all times.
But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.
Lifestyle of Truth
We must endeavor to walk in truth at all times. God wants us to be doers of the word. Not merely readers. The Word must be activated in our life. There may be consequences for telling the truth but it will set you free.
Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
Truth never changes. It remains steadfast. Truth is not subjected or relative to our experiences or circumstances. There is one firm basis for truth-the Word of God. Not your truth or my truth. The only truth that matters is what God says.
The truth of His word must so permeate your mind that you do not allow what your eyes see to affect your thoughts and emotions. For example, when you are filled with the Word and your situation is bleak, your faith will be unshaken. Why? You would have learnt to be contented in any situation (Philippians 4:11-13). Anxiety or depression will not have you. Your eyes and heart will be firmly fixed on Jesus. Your faith will be strengthened to rest in the assurance that He is able to turn things around for good. ‘All things work together for the good of them who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose’ (Romans 8:28). Change will come! ‘He who goes back and forth weeping, carrying his bag of seed [for planting],Will indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him. (Psalm 126:6, Amplified Bible).
Complaining or worrying will be abandoned. Your faith will be steadfast and unmovable by meditating on the Word of God. Truth will not only set you free it will keep you free.
Meditating the Word allows it to become your reality. When Joshua was about to war for the land God promised the nation of Israel, he faced impossible odds. The land was filled with giants. God did not tell him to make a lot of plans or send for help from any ally willing to join their fight. No sir! He was told to meditate on the few scriptures that he had from Moses (Joshua 1:6-8). Everything that God had said to Moses was to be rehearsed daily. In the morning he was to eat it in the morning, at mid day, at evening and before bed until it consumed him. The word must be burning so brightly in his heart that his eyes are opened to see the magnificence and unlimited power of God. With that revelation his heart would be filled with hope and courage. Seeing the glory of God would assure him that victory was guaranteed. All he needed to do was obey. We know that Joshua was very diligent in his meditation of the Word, as he waged war and never once did He falter. Never once did he doubt. He never relented until he received the promises of God for the people. (Please read the book of Joshua).
OKAY! You may be saying well that was Joshua. Those guys were exceptional. That was back in those days. Well let’s look around us for examples of people who achieved tremendous success by understanding and applying the scriptures to their life. One of these person is Dr. Ben Carson. In his autobiography, ‘Gifted Hands’ he stated that he gained control over his temper and developed deeper focus by meditating on the psalms and proverbs every day. As he committed himself to the process, God released the gifts that were in him. It catapulted him from poverty to the helm of the pediatrics neurosurgery unit at the prestigious Johns Hopkins Hospital. His success gave him national prominence. And was the vehicle for his 2016 Presidential bid.
Am I being too religious and not practical? Let us look at another person. Serial entrepreneur and author of the ‘Richest Man Who Ever Lived’ Steven K. Scott attributes his success to his adherence to the advise the Lord gave him through a friend as a young adult. He was failing at every job and had lost hope. When he asked a millionaire friend for advise about how to be successful his friend took time to consult God. The next day He told him the Lord said he must meditate on Proverbs for two years. At the end of the process he will become a millionaire. He started doing it immediately and within six months he became a millionaire. God downloaded ideas into him and opened doors of opportunities that generated millions from multiple businesses. The book of Proverbs is not the only book of the Bible that he’s studied since then. It has lead him to a deeper hunger for Jesus Christ. Many of his business practises are also modeled after the lifestyle of Jesus. He has written several other books about this.
Living in the truth of God’s word leads us to a closer walk with Christ Jesus. It will bring us into an intimate encounter with Him that will radically transform our lives. Truth will become our vanguard. God is looking for people He can say “here is a person in whom there is no deceit”, just as he said of Nathan (John 1:47).
Allow the scriptures to be your guide. Fill your heart with truth every day. Make a commitment to meditate on scripture verses daily. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you understanding as you do.
“You will be glad you did!”
Armour of God Series
Be Ready for War
Belt of Truth: Your Utility Belt, Part 1A
Belt of Truth: Your Utility Belt, Part 1B
Breastplate of Righteousness: Bullet-proof Vest
Feet Shod with the Preparation of the Gospel: Slamming Shoes
Shield of Faith: Impenetrable Shield, Part 1A
Shield of Faith: Impenetrable Shield, Part 1B
Helmet of Salvation: Wide-Brimmed Hat
Sword of the Spirit: Your Flaming Sword