I think it is important that we learn how to discern right from wrong, good from evil and truth from error. Our world constantly bombards us with error and half-truths. and the fact that we have to make decisions and choices every day makes it even more important.
One of the ways we do that is by allowing the “Word of Christ to dwell in us richly teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom.” This refers to the teaching about Christ as well as the words of Christ himself, which were part of the oral traditions passed on to believers. We are also to “put on the whole armor of God to be strong in the Lord and able to stand against the schemes of the devil.”
Unfortunately most of us want to wear the armor without the most important piece – the belt of truth. According to Salmond:
Strictly, the belt is not part of the armor, but before the armor can be put on, the garments underneath must be gathered together. “The soldier might be furnished with every other part of his equipment, and yet, wanting the belt, would neither be fully dressed nor securely armed. This belt . . . was no mere adornment of the soldier, but an essential part of his equipment . . . it was of especial use in keeping other parts in place, and in securing the proper soldierly attitude and freedom of movement.”
Truth keeps us close to the heart of the Father. Truth protects us from error. Truth brings wisdom in decision-making. Truth sets us free. It is amazing what truth can do when we allow it to affect the choices we make. Grotius says,
Great is the laxity of falsehood; truth binds the man. Truth preserves a man from those lax views of morals, of duty and of religion, which leave him exposed to every assault. It makes the soul sincere, firm, constant, and always on its guard. A man who has no consistent views of truth, is just the man for the adversary successfully to assail.
We are not only talking about purity or sincerity , but also the conviction that what you believe is God’s truth. This is the only thing that holds the other pieces of the armor tightly together; thereby giving the soldier the alertness and buoyancy in the battle, enabling him to discern and endure as a good soldier of Christ.
The word of God is the means by which God’s Spirit enables us to stand against the enemy and overcome. Apart from the word of God, we are lost. It is our compass. This generation needs to return to the word of God. Jesus said, “man shall not live by bread alone but on every word that comes out of the mouth of the Father.” In 2 Tim. 2:15, Paul urged Timothy to be a good soldier and not get entangled in civilian pursuits, he also urged him to “study” the word of God. I love the French translation to this verse: “Efforce-toi” – force yourself, make an effort to study. Don’t depend on other for your daily bread. Go fetch it yourself. Don’t depend on your pastoral leadership. Force yourself to dig, study to show yourself approved.
Put on the Belt of truth!