Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armour of God’s righteousness. Ephesians 6:14
The greatest challenge in my Christian life are the three words, ‘Stand your ground’. Both in keeping my faith among my peers and acting with integrity, I confess to having lost ground to the devil more times than I like to admit. Often it’s simply a nudge in the wrong direction.
Suddenly I’m sliding down a bank of my own confusion ending up in a heap of humiliation. Of course I can climb back. But it takes time, commitment and effort. Often I’ve just wallowed in self-pity.
Temptation wants to undermine us the moment it interrupts our thoughts. Once we agree to entertain it, there’s that nudge and now we’re on the slippery slope. God’s armour is what we need to face the enemy and hold our ground. Note, there’s no armour for our backs.
So, we begin with the belt of truth. Increasing numbers of studies describe ‘truth decay’. In our public life, in marketing and across our media, fact checking has become essential. We’ve lost confidence in what we’re told. As disciples, Truth first won our hearts and laid the solid foundation for our Christian life. Without truth we lose trust. Once trust is lost, life’s GPS system crashes. Everyone does what’s right in their own eyes.
Next put on the breastplate of righteousness. God demands that we walk in the light. That means no secrets! I commend the daily practice of Examen: closing out my day by reflecting on what I did well and where I let myself and God down.
Repentance and forgiveness are the keys to living in God’s light. We do well to guard our heart. When we’ve felt betrayed, our confidence collapses and we are subject to feelings of rage and bitterness. When we are economical with the truth, we damage our own conscience. God can equip us to live life well and enjoy peace within. That’s why we need to put on God’s armour.
This article was earlier published as an EDWJ Devotional. The content has not been edited by BT staff.
Photo by Linnaea Mallette on publicdomainpictures