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12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.
Ephesians 6: 12 -18 (NKJV)
This article continues our examination of the belt of truth. The first part was covered in part 1a. These articles are part of a series that explore the armor of God.
There are some actions we may undertake to conceal the truth that have grave consequences. Repentance will not shield us. God will forgive us but we and/or our family may pay the price. For instance, look at what happened to King David. He had Uriah killed after getting his wife pregnant. These actions were undertaken to hide the truth of his adulterous affair with Bathsheba and the resulting pregnancy. God forgave him but his house came under a curse because of it (2 Samuel 12:7-15). One of his son raped his sister. Another attempted to take his throne and was killed in the process. Those and many other things happened. We also see the severe consequence of hardening your heart to maintain a lie with Ananias and Sapphira, in the New Testament. It resulted in death – both physical and spiritual (Acts 5:1-10). God punished them for their blatant lie to the Holy Spirit. In both examples ground was lost. All parties were no longer under the protection of God from the consequences of their actions.
We must understand that not all lies are rooted in our actions. There are some lies that are formed from historical and cultural practises, group associations and lack of belief. We are living a lie when we do these.
- Believe that God uses the dead to speak to us. What does the Bible tell us? God uses the Apostle, Prophets, Pastors, Evangelists, Teachers and other ministers to communicate the message of the good news (the gospel). This message helps to empower us in our daily life and to draw us closer to the Lord. We also have the Holy Spirit to guide us. He will speak to you about your past, present and future. No area of your life is hidden from Him. He will counsel you about it. “He will guide you into all truth”. The Lord also uses angels to aid us. We may not see them but they are sent to assist us. (please see Luke 16:19-31, Ephesians 4:8-12, John 16:13; Psalm 34:7-9).
- Use horoscope, fortune cookies or consult psychics to predict our day. When we do these we practising divination. This is expressly forbidden. These practices are an abomination to God. (Deuteronomy 13:1-9; 4:19-20; 17:3)
- Pray to dead saints. This is the same as talking to the dead (familiar spirit). Israel was warned not to associate with persons who engaged in these practises. The same applies to us.
- Participate in Halloween. It is a day set aside to honor the dead. Although, kids dress up and go from door to door collecting sweets, do not be deceived by its simple fun. There are far more diabolical things associated with this day.
- Believe that He does not heal today. This heretical teaching is often done in many christian denominations. It often causes us to make doctors our first option. Jesus Christ is only considered when all hope is lost. Often times, we measure His ability to heal based on the sickness in our body and the length of time we have battled the illness. ‘Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever’ (Hebrews 13:8). Healing and miracles are easy for Him. All things are possible to Him who believes (Mark 9:23). Just believe He is able to do it. Our faith is increased when we meditate on the scriptures regarding healing. It opens our heart to receive the benefit of His sacrifice. “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17). Sickness and disease are not a part of the Kingdom of God. It did not exist in the garden of Eden. He desires to do this for you. Please open your heart to receive and walk in your divine health. (Isaiah 53:4-5; Exodus 23:25-26)
- When you waver, doubt or fail to believe He is faithful to fulfill His promises. He never lies. He fulfills every promise. Don’t believe me? Just read about the promise He made to Abraham. You and I are sons of Abraham. We are the result of God’s everlasting promise to him. We must understand that when God makes a promise there are some things that we must do. Obedience is key to receiving from God. It is important that we quickly do our part while we patiently wait on Him. While waiting remind yourself of the promise. Meditate on it. God will fulfill His promise. (Numbers 23:19;Genesis 28:15; 2 Timothy 2:13; Hebrews 6:18)
- Participate in social or cultural practises that are against the word of God. We have one very common trend now – tattooing. The scripture tells us not to place tattoos on our body. In the Old Testament, it was part of the cultural and ritualistic practises of some heathen nations. Marks were placed on their skin in obeisance to their god. Baal was one such god. Tattoos are still used ritualistically. For example, it is used by New Zealand tribes, other nations and in witchcraft for healing, protection, charms and invoking demonic powers. Some Christians today tattoo to express their love for God. The greatest expression of our love is to perform His will. Prayer, meditating on the scriptures, fasting and time in His presence are important to ensure that we are acting in accordance with His will. Jesus said, ‘If ye love me, keep my commandments’ (John 14:15)
This is by no means an exhaustive list. There are many other areas that we must examine.
There are times when we will ‘shade the truth’ to cover up a situation. Sometimes we assess it as something that must be done for the greater good. No one will be harmed. So why not. Unfortunately, this is not acceptable. We must practise truth at all times.
But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.
Lifestyle of Truth
We must endeavor to walk in truth at all times. There may be consequences for telling the truth but it will set you free.
Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
We must use the scriptures as our guide. Truth is not subjected or relative to our experiences or circumstances. It is subjected to the Word of God – His truth. Not your truth or my truth. The only truth that matters is what God says.
The truth of His word must so permeate our mind that we do not allow what our eyes see to affect our thoughts and emotions. The bleakness of our situation must not allow us to become depressed or anxious. These are some truths that must govern how we thoughts and emotions. ‘All things work together for the good of them who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose’ (Romans 8:28). Change will come! ‘He who goes back and forth weeping, carrying his bag of seed [for planting],Will indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him. (Psalm 126:6, Amplified Bible). Complaining and worrying must be abandoned.
Become disciplined in the art of meditating on the Word of God. Joshua’s victories over his enemies were guaranteed because he was obedient to the instructions of the Lord, to meditate on the scriptures daily (Joshua 1:6-8).
Let’s be practical, let’s look at contemporary society. Let us see if there is anyone alive that achieved tremendous success by understanding and applying the scriptures to their life. Dr. Ben Carson in his book ‘Gifted Hands’ stated that he begun to control his temper and developed deeper focus after he started meditating on the psalms and proverbs every day. As he committed himself to the process, God released the gifts that were in him. It catapulted him from poverty to the helm of the pediatrics surgery unit at the prestigious Johns Hopkins Hospital. His success there enabled him to run for the Presidential nomination.
Am I being too religious? Let us look at another person. Serial entrepreneur Steven K. Scott, author of the ‘Richest Man Who Ever Lived’ attributes his success to his adherence to the advise the Lord gave him through a friend. He was failing at every job and had lost hope. When he asked a millionaire friend for advise about how to be successful his friend took time to consult God. The next day He told him the Lord said he must meditate on Proverbs for two years. At the end of the process he will become a millionaire. He started doing it immediately and within six months he became a millionaire. God downloaded ideas into him and opened doors of opportunities that generated millions from multiple businesses. The book of Proverbs is not the only book of the Bible that he’s studied since then. It has lead him to a deeper hunger for Jesus Christ.
Living in the truth of God’s word leads us to a closer walk with Christ Jesus. It will bring us into an intimate encounter with Him that will radically transform our lives. Truth will become our vanguard. God is looking for people He can say “here is a person in whom there is no deceit”, just as he said of Nathan (John 1:47).
Allow the scriptures to be your guide. Make a commitment to meditate on it daily. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you understanding.
“You will be glad you did!”