We read about the “armor of God” in Ephesians 6:10-18 (passage below) with the belt of truth mentioned in verse 14:
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. – Ephesians 6:10-18
When we think of essential battle equipment, belts don’t necessarily come first to mind. But then again, we may think of belts in terms of a modern-day belt, a device used to hold up pants. A belt Paul refers to in the armor of God passage (Ephesians 6:10-18) looks very different than its modern counterpart.
The Roman cingulum or balteus held the scabbard for the sword, which is referred to in the biblical armor of God as the sword of the Spirit. We discussed the sword of the Spirit more in depth in this article. This thick belt did a lot more than just hold up pants. It held all the most important weapons at a soldier’s disposal, as well as equipment, ropes, and food rations.
A Roman’s belt also had strips of armor hanging from it to protect the lower portions of the body. If a soldier did not have this thick belt secured correctly, if it went crooked, he wagered his own life on the battlefield. If a Roman's belt isn’t properly secured, he may have limited use of weapons. Or by the time he gets to them, the enemy may deliver a fatal blow.
In this article, we’ll discuss how the Belt of Truth keeps us efficient in battle. With our belt secured correctly, we can avoid deadly blows from the enemy.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/svm243
What Is the Belt of Truth in the Bible?
The belt of truth, buckled around our waists, comes from the Lord, as do other pieces of the armor. We cannot muster our own truth, righteousness, or salvation.
To secure the belt around our waist, we must come to the source of truth: Jesus. After all, God describes himself as the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). We must ask God to equip us and regularly spend time with him in Scripture and in prayer.
This piece of the armor protects us against the lies and deceptions of the enemy. Scripture does call Satan the father of lies (John 8:44). As we see in Scripture, the devil likes to operate in half-truths (Genesis 3). He twists the truth ever so slightly to cause people to stumble away from God’s truth.
The belt of truth prevents us from falling prey to the devil’s lies. If we don’t have an understanding of the truth, the rest of the armor is useless. If we have the belt on crooked, we’ll have difficulty gripping the Sword of the Spirit (God’s word) in time, and risk having our more vital organs exposed.
How Do We Use the Belt of Truth?
So how do we use this belt of truth to combat Satan’s lies?
We can use the truth of Scripture and of God in a number of ways:
1. We Can Learn Who God Is
Satan really likes to attack the idea of God and how God operates in our world. Sprinkle just a little falsity in there, and the devil will try to convince us God is not all-good, all-powerful, or all-knowing.
The belt of truth reminds us about the nature of our Creator and about his plan for our lives.
2. We Can Secure Other Pieces of Our Armor
As mentioned in the video below, and throughout this article, the belt in a Roman’s armor, when properly fitted, held up the other pieces of the armor and made the soldier most battle-ready.
In the same way, the belt of truth secures the other elements of the armor of God. How do we have peace? Because we know the truth about the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). How do we have assurance of salvation, that we don’t fight and believe in vain? Because we know Scripture assures us of salvation (John 5:24).
Satan loves to employ half-truths because he knows if our belts go crooked, the rest of the armor will either be useless or less effective.
3. We Can Remind Other Christians of the Truth in Love
Soldiers should warn other soldiers if their armor is not on correctly. Before we head to the battle, we should help other soldiers adjust their armor if it’s gone awry. In the same way, we should expect other Christians to correct us if our belts go crooked as well.
Whenever we do so, we have to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). In other words, we should direct each other to the correct way of thinking, but do so in a kind way. We are all prone to making errors of judgment and truth from time to time.
What Does Jesus Say about Truth?
Being Truth himself, Jesus has some things to say about this subject. In addition to declaring that he’s “the truth” he also says:
- Truth will set us free (John 8:32) from Satan’s lies and Satan’s tyranny over our lives
- God is full of truth and grace (John 1:14)
- God’s word is truth (John 17:17)
- Everyone who is of the truth listens to God’s voice (John 18:37-38)
Apart from Jesus’ teachings, we find the subject of truth scattered throughout the Bible. Depending on the version, truth appears more than 200 times in Scripture.
Scripture tells us that lying (the opposite of truth) is an abomination to the Lord (Proverbs 12:22), that God leads us in his truth (Psalm 25:5), and that God delights in truth (Psalm 51:6), among other verses. There is no lie found in God. He is always on the side of truth, and the truth will set us free.
Where Else Is Belt/Truth Imagery Used in the Bible?
Aside from the Ephesians passage, we don’t find many symbolic images of belts in the Bible. We do see people carrying belts that hold swords (2 Samuel 20:8, 1 Samuel 18:4), and belts being used to carry other items like money (Mark 6:8).
As for truth, besides belts, Scripture doesn’t attribute anything in particular to symbolize it. Nevertheless, that doesn’t underscore its importance. The Bible admonishes us to speak the truth (Psalm 5:9), guard the truth (2 Timothy 2:15), and follow the truth (2 John 4).
A Prayer for Wearing Your Belt of Truth
Heavenly Father, the truth will set us free. I pray that you remind me of your truth, when the devil prowls every day, seeking to devour believers and unbelievers with half-truths and deceptions. I pray that you remind me of who you are and the truth of you and of your plan for our lives and world, when the world tries to convince me otherwise. Help me to redirect other believers back to the truth, in love, and to accept their direction when they try to help me when I stumble away from the truth. Please help keep the belt of truth fastened around my waist today, so I may be prepared for whatever attacks the devil has for me on the battlefield. Amen.
Although at first glance this piece of armor may seem insignificant, Scripture commands us to put on the full armor of God. The belt of truth holds together the other pieces of the armor and allows a soldier to operate efficiently and effectively on the battlefield.
Without it, they have no way of reaching the sword (Scripture), and the other pieces of the armor are not secured without it. Truth can remind us about the true nature of God, especially when Satan attempts to thwart his image, and it can help us guide each other, other fellow believers, back on the right path when our belts go crooked on our waists.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/NickR
Hope Bolinger is a literary agent at C.Y.L.E. and a graduate of Taylor University's professional writing program. More than 600 of her works have been featured in various publications ranging from Writer's Digest to Keys for Kids. She has worked for various publishing companies, magazines, newspapers, and literary agencies and has edited the work of authors such as Jerry B. Jenkins and Michelle Medlock Adams. Her column "Hope's Hacks," tips and tricks to avoid writer's block, reaches 6,000+ readers weekly and is featured monthly on Cyle Young's blog. Her modern-day Daniel, Blaze, (Illuminate YA) Den (releasing July 2020), Dear Hero (releasing September 2020), and Dear Henchman (releasing 2021) Find out more about her here.
This article is part of our series on the Armor of God. To learn more about the meaning, context, and purpose of each piece of armor in the spiritual life of the believer, visit the articles below.