Have you ever played dodge ball? You know the game: you take a ball and throw it at your opponents. If you hit them, they’re out; if they catch the ball, you’re out.
Some people love the game. They grab as many balls as they can, throw them as hard as they can, and beg to get back into the game whenever they’re tagged out. Others hate the game. They never pick up a ball and spend all their time trying to avoid being hit. Or worse, they get hit right at the beginning of the game and then sit at the sidelines ignoring the battle raging in front of them and doing nothing to help their team.
The spiritual war we fight against Satan is like dodge ball, only it’s a lot more serious.
Once we have joined the army of God, we are on his team for good. Satan can’t pull us onto his side, but he can attack us. He can tag us out for a while. He can even discourage us enough that we take ourselves out of the game and sit on the sidelines ignoring the war around us. When we’re fighting in our own strength, without training and without the right defenses, we can spend a lot of time being “out” instead of in the battle putting up a good fight. But there is no reason why you can’t be a topnotch soldier in God’s army. God is ready and willing to help you every step of the way.
The apostle Paul gave a great description of Christian life as a battleground between God and Satan:
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 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 6:10–12)
If you read the words carefully, it sounds pretty scary. But in the sentences that follow, Paul tells us how to be ready to stand firm against the enemy’s attacks:
“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. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” (Ephesians 6:13–18)
When Paul wrote this letter, he was writing to people in the same boat we are in. What they needed was armor that would allow them to stand up under Satan’s continuing attacks and let them be both safe and victorious in their spiritual battles. Paul told his fellow Christians about seven things that would provide all the protection they would ever need. The first item is the Belt of Truth.
When Jesus was on the earth, teaching and preaching, people didn’t always understand him. He spoke in parables and said things which didn’t make sense to his Jewish audience. A lot of people questioned him, some out of a sincere desire to understand and others out of a malicious desire to trap him into saying something wrong.
In the Gospel of John, we see an amazing pronouncement: “To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, ‘if you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’” (John 8:31–32).
Not long after this, Jesus stood before a Roman governor accused by the Jewish leaders of claiming to be the Son of God and King of the Jews. Jesus admitted to Pilate that he was a king, although not a king of this world.
“You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”
“What is truth?” Pilate asked. (John 18:37–39)
What is Truth?
It’s a tough question, especially in today’s world. We are constantly challenged to keep an open mind. We are told to not be judgmental. I’m sure you’ve heard this one: “There are so many different beliefs about God and salvation. It’s very closed-minded to believe that only one is right and all the others are wrong.”
When you hear these kinds of statements, ask yourself this: is this Jesus talking or the enemy?
About himself, Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). But about Satan, Jesus said, “He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44).
Satan is a liar!
Remembering that is the first piece of armor you need to defend yourself from Satan’s attacks. Jesus, on the other hand, never lied!
Throughout the New Testament, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth.” It’s in all four gospels again and again. “I tell you the truth.” He wanted to impress it on our hearts and minds.
What Jesus has to say is TRUE!
We can believe it, and we can stand firm in that belief.