Our pastor preached a classic sermon yesterday evening from Ephesians 6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth… (click here to listen).
There were two aspects of the message that stood out to me, especially. First of all, the Ephesians 6 passage cross-references to 1 Peter 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober… as well as Luke 12:34-35 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning.
So the two areas in which we must gird our loins with truth (God’s word; John 17:17) are (1) our thoughts and (2) our desires. We often talk about allowing God’s word to govern our thoughts; allowing to rule over our lives; to light our path; to dictate our decisions; and so forth. But what does that mean? How does that work?
Think of it this way. If we are to allow the Bible to govern our thoughts and desires, then the truth of God’s word must act as a filter for what we think and what we feel. The problem with so many is that they assume whatever enters their minds to be true and right and good. No, the Bible is true and right and good. So we must arrest every thought (2 Corinthians 10:3-5) and make sure it lines up with the word of God, or else throw it out.
Many people mistakenly think that everything they feel; everything they want; everything they desire – it must be right, and it must be good. After all, I’m me… The world chimes in, That’s right dear, just follow your heart… No, the Bible says to guide your heart (Proverbs 23:19) in the way – that’s God’s way! So all our feelings and emotions and desires must be passed through the filter of God’s truth as revealed in the holy scriptures, and anything that doesn’t line up simply must be rejected and ignored.
That’s how we allow our minds and our hearts to be governed by the truth. We take every thought and every desire and every decision and compare it to what the Bible says, and we make sure the two are in agreement.
That’s why we must gird our loins with truth. Because how are we going to compare what we think and what we feel to what the Bible says, if we don’t know what the Bible says?!
Secondly, Brother James pointed out the order in which the armor of Ephesians 6 is listed. It is both peculiar and instructive. First, you gird your loins about with truth; second, you put on the breastplate of righteousness; third, you shod your feet with the gospel of peace; fourth, you take the shield of faith; and so on.
What our pastor pointed out was the fact that you can’t take any of the other pieces of armor without first girding your loins with truth. The loins of truth come before the breastplate of righteousness because without the truth, every one is left to his own definition of what’s right and what’s wrong. And that won’t protect you from anything. In order to do what is right, I have to know what is right, and in order to know what is right, I need the truth of God’s word to tell me what is right (Psalm 33:4).
The loins of truth come before the feet of peace because you can have all the peace you want about whatever it is you feel the Lord has led you to do, but if it doesn’t line up with the truth of God’s word, you’re left unprotected.
The loins of truth come before the shield of faith because Christians do all kinds of crazy things “by faith,” but if that faith is not derived from and built upon the clear statements of God’s will, as revealed in God’s word (Romans 10:17), then they’re carrying a piece of cardboard around for a shield.
This is why we make such a big deal about the Bible. This is why we make such a big deal about reading God’s word and studying God’s word and memorizing God’s word and hearing God’s word preached. We cannot overemphasize how important, how fundamental, how necessary it is for the Christian to gird his loins with truth if he expects to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Hope you’ll listen to the message (click here). And hope you’ll give the word of God the place it deserves in your life (Psalm 138:2), today and every day.