I have chosen the way of truth; I have set Your ordinances before me.—Psalm 119:30
We cannot do battle with the Devil until we have girded our waists with truth. Girding the waist was always a symbol of readiness to fight. That is why this comes first. The officers in the Roman army wore short skirts, very much like a Scottish kilt. Over this they had a cloak or tunic which was secured at the waist with a girdle. When they were about to enter battle, they would tuck the tunic up under the girdle so as to leave their legs unencumbered for the fight.
What does Paul’s phrase, “with truth like a belt around your waist,” really mean? What significance does it have for us today? The word “truth” can be looked at in two ways: one, objective truth, as it is to be found in Jesus Christ, and two, subjective truth as it is to be found in the qualities of honesty and sincerity. The Puritan, William Gurnall, points out that whether the word implies truth of doctrine or truth of heart, one kind of truth will not do without the other.
I believe that in Ephesians 6, Paul is emphasizing subjective truth—truth that resides in the inner being. When we are deceitful or hypocritical, or when we resort to intrigue and scheming, we are playing the Devil’s game. And we will never be able to beat the Devil at his own game!
What Satan despises is transparent truth. He flees from it as quickly as darkness runs from the dawn. Having our waists girded with truth, then, means being possessed with truth, guided by truth, and controlled by truth. Where truth is absent, we have no power over Satan. It is as simple as that.
O Father, I see that You have set standards by which I rise or fall. When I fulfill them, I rise—when I break them, I fall. Give me the strength I need to fulfill all Your laws, especially the law of truth. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Jn 8:34-45; Col 3:9; Ps 51:6; Pr 12:22
What can protect us from the Devil?
Where should we desire truth?