Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist...
We are continuing to study the armor of God in Ephesians 6:10-18. We have discovered that we take our stand against the lies of the devil and his powerful evil forces by standing in grace, or by believing the truths of all that God has freely done for us through Jesus in Ephesians 1,2, and 3. Let's now look take a closer look at standing firm with the belt of truth buckled around your waist.
The purpose of a physical belt is to hold all of our clothes together so they do not come apart. In the same way, the purpose of our spiritual belt is to hold our lives together when the devil and his powerful evil forces are fighting to tear our lives apart.
As we have examined, the devil and his forces seek to destroy our lives through lies. There are four areas they lie to us about. The first area we examined that they lie to us about is the character of God, seeking to get us to believe that the work of God's grace through Jesus isn't complete or enough. They also try to persuade us to believe that God is withholding good from us and is the author of all that is bad in our lives.
Not only does the devil and his evil forces lie to us about the character of God, they also lie to us about ourselves. This is the second area of their lies.
AREA#2: The Devil And His Evil Forces Lie To Us About Ourselves.
The devil and his forces seek to convince us that we are not loved, forgiven, or accepted by God. They will seek to persuade us that we have done too much, gone to far, and broken too many promises to God that we would do better. They attempt to get us to believe that God is tired of us and has rejected us. If we believe their lies, then we will beat ourselves up with shame, guilt, regret, and condemnation, resulting in further destructive behavior in our lives.
It is at this moment we must stand in grace with the belt of truth buckled around our waist.
The truth is, because of God's grace, we can never do too much or go too far. If we could, then grace would not be grace. The truth is that God knows we cannot keep our promises to him. Furthermore, the truth is that he doesn't even expect us to make him promises to him. If we could make and keep our promises to God, then we don't need his grace. God is the one who has made a promise to us in the new covenant of grace. He promised he would bring in the new covenant of grace through Jesus and would remember our sins no more! (Hebrews 2:9, 7:22, 8:6-12, 10:15-18).
The devil and his evil forces don't want us to put on the spiritual truths of God's promise of grace freely, fully, and forever given to us in Jesus. Instead, they want to destroy of lives by getting us to believe that God expects us to make promises to him, keep them, or he will punish and reject us. That is so far from the truth of the new covenant of grace.
That is what the Prodigal son did. He thought he had done too much and gone too far, so he created a plan to earn a place back into his father's heart and home by promising his father he would work hard on the farm as a hired slave. Yet, when he was overwhelmed with his father's grace, meaning his father's unconditional love, unearned blessings, unmerited kindness, and unlimited forgiveness, he dropped his plan of promising to be a hard-working hired slave and began to be healed by grace as a dearly loved, forgiven, and accepted son.
In the same way, the devil tries to convince us that we have done too much, gone too far, and have broken too many promises. We then create our own moral and religious plan. This plan is filled with even more promises designed to earn our way back into God's heart and his family. Yet, when the Spirit of God convinces us of the grace God, we, like the prodigal, drop our plans and receive the grace of God, realizing we are his dearly loved, forgiven, and accepted children. Once receiving the unconditional love, unmerited kindness, unearned blessings, and unlimited forgiveness of God, hope awakens in our hearts and healing begins in our lives.
The truths of the grace of God freely, fully, and forever given to us in Jesus is what the belt of truth is. We must put on this belt so the devil and his forces will not tear our lives apart.
The third area the devil and his evil forces lie to us about is about life itself.
AREA # 3: The Devil And His Evil Forces Lie To Us About Life.
The devil and his evil forces lie to us by telling us that true joy, peace, happiness, and satisfaction are found in the pleasures, pursuits, and possessions of the world. They know if we believe this, then they can bring much pain into our lives.
However, the spiritual truth we must wear like like a belt to keep the devil and his forces from tearing our lives apart is that life is about experiencing a love-relationship with God where God initiates a loving relationship with us through the grace he has freely, fully, and forever extended to us in Jesus.
Just like a fish was created to find life in the water, we were created to find life in God. Separating a fish from the water is like separating a person from God. Both have been separated from their purpose in life. Once separated, their great need is to be reconciled with their true purpose...the fish reconciled to the water and a person reconciled to God.
A person seeking purpose to life outside of a relationship with God is like a fish seeking purpose outside of the water. Until each realize what their true purpose is, for the fish...the water, for a person...a love-relationship with God, they will always be searching. For the fish, the search ends when he discovers the water is his purpose. For a person, the search ends when he discovers that God loves him, and through the grace of Jesus, is able to begin a love-relationship with God.
AREA # 4: The Devil And His Evil Forces Lie By Telling Us That Life And People Should Be Perfect.
One of the great lies of the devil and his evil forces is that people and life should be perfect, and when they are not, we have the right to get angry. We believe their lie. As a result, we believe our spouse should be perfect, along with our children. We believe our parents should be perfect. We believe our neighbors should be perfect. We believe our jobs should be perfect. We believe our co-workers should be perfect. We believe people should drive perfectly. We believe everything throughout the day should go perfectly. Because we have believed the lie that life and people should be perfect, then when we encounter imperfections in life and people, we get impatient, frustrated, and angry which leads to great problems in our relationships.
The reason the devil and his evil forces seek to get us to believe their lie that we should live in a perfect world with perfect people is so they can minimize the grace of God being shared with others. Remember, from the other blogs, grace is the power that renders the devil and his forces powerless. You see, grace is only needed because imperfection exists. If we were perfect, we would not need God's grace. It is because we are imperfect, falling short of God's perfection, that we need God's grace. Then God, the Perfect One, lavishes his grace upon each of us, the imperfect ones.
The spiritual belt of truth we need to put on daily is the truth that people and life are both imperfect and that we live in a world where imperfect people exists, ourselves included, who are in need of grace. Therefore, rather than people becoming the object of our anger, frustration, and impatience, they now become the object of our grace, our patience, our kindness, and our forgiveness.
As we experience God's grace and express his grace to others, then problems in our world and relationships will decrease, and joy will increase.
If you would like to read more of my blogs, look to the left of this blog, and you will see a list of the different categories of blogs I have written. I pray you find these blogs encouraging to your soul and enriching for your life.
To read more blogs on this current series of blogs, click on Ephesians and The Armor of God in the categories list.