What is truth? The definition of truth is fact that has been confirmed. God’s truth is His living Word that has been confirmed throughout time. It is everything from Genesis to Revelation and nothing more. As Christians, you don’t just believe in it, you walk in it. In Ephesians 6:14 Paul begins describing the armor of God with the belt of truth because the truth is where everything starts as a believer in Christ. If you don’t have the full truth or if you become misled with something additional that could twist the truth, then you are not walking in God’s full truth. So what is the meaning behind the belt? Back in Paul’s day a belt was used by Roman soldiers to protect their midsection, it would keep the soldier upright in posture as they walk with heavy armor. The belt would also keep other pieces of armor aligned and fastened to their body. If you look at truth in the same way a soldier is wearing a belt, you can see how important the integrity of God’s truth is. By walking in God’s truth, you will remain upright with integrity and your righteousness will remain aligned with it.
When you understand the Word of God and have faith in His salvation, it begins to change who you are as an individual. This transformation takes place in the heart. Paul mentions the breastplate of righteousness as a part of God’s armor. The actual breastplate of a Roman soldier would protect the chest and the upper torso in battle. It protects the internal organs, the ribs, and of course the most vital organ, the heart. The heart that Paul is referring to though, is not the physical heart but the heart that ascertains who you are as a person. Your heart is what makes you a one of a kind individual. The heart of a person is where everything comes from such as personalities, emotions, character, and other elements that can make up a person’s nature. God wants you to change your nature. He wants you to change the person you are now to one of righteousness. He wants you to change your mindset, your morals and the standards you live by. He wants you to put on the breastplate of righteousness by living with a righteous heart that thrives under righteous values.
With all the distractions the world puts in front of you, you have to keep your spiritual heart pumping. If your spiritual heart stops pumping, the Holy Spirit within you stops flowing. A righteous heart keeps the Holy Spirit alive inside of you. Your body becomes a temple for the Holy Spirit. So when God’s Spirit thrives through you, you begin to notice changes in your actions. So when Paul tells you to put on the breastplate of righteousness, he is saying to uphold the righteous values that you need to live by, no matter what the circumstances are. So how do we have a righteous heart? It is done through faith and by living under the values that bring glory to the Lord in everything you do. Living for the Lord means you have left the old you by being born again. We are all born in the flesh but the new you, is born in the Spirit!
Bible Challenge: What is the difference between your heart, soul, and spirit?
Look up these three Greek terms (Psyche, Pneuma, Kardia) in any concordance and answer the question above. This challenge can help you get an understanding of how these terms correlate with each other.
As a believer in Christ, your first introduction to salvation was through the Word of God and understanding that He sent His only Son to rescue the world from sin. As you absorb the knowledge of God’s truth you realize that salvation is through the blood of Jesus Christ, and by this sins are forgiven by His grace. The term salvation means to be delivered, to be saved, or to be rescued from harm. As your faith grows stronger in the Lord’s promise, you grow closer to Him. Because of this relationship evil will test your faith, which is why you will need a helmet as a part of your armor. Why does Paul describe salvation as a helmet, something you wear on your head? Salvation is made known through the understanding of God’s Word so where else is the knowledge retained other than your head? The enemy likes to attack our faith and the battle usually begins in the mind. The enemy will attempt to stir up fear, doubt, discouragement or anything else that can help him diminish your faith in Christ. Through God’s salvation, the enemy is already beat! The enemy knows this and will not go down without a fight, often trying to twist your thoughts while trying to separate you from the Lord Jesus Christ. This separation is the ultimate goal the enemy has toward the people of God’s kingdom. Protecting your mind as a believer in Christ will be a lifelong spiritual battle on this earth. Your mind can be manipulated and can become a gateway for evil so protect your head with the helmet of salvation. Keep your mind filled with God’s Word consistently so righteousness can overtake the earthly distractions that surround you.
How is the Helmet of Salvation important to the framework of your life? If you are living a life for the Lord as you strive to reach your goals, don’t be misled by earthly distractions. Keep your helmet on because there will be times where the enemy will try and separate you from your purpose, so have faith in the Lord’s promise of salvation. When you are living for an eternal purpose, you should go to God for strength and courage because that’s a part of the relationship. If you have faith in Him to get you through those rough patches in life, you will be encouraged to have faith in your own abilities to physically get you through it. As you have faith in God’s promise of salvation you know your purpose is timeless and has no boundary. It’s timeless because you are living a life that is headed into eternity!
- The Whole Armor of God
Sword of the Spirit
Everything starts with the Word of God. You need to understand that God’s Word is truth about salvation. Understanding and living with this in your heart and mind brings out the righteousness from within you. As you invite the Holy Spirit into your life, it encourages you to be faithful, to be strong, and to deploy wisdom of His Word. Multiplying this knowledge can turn into wisdom that helps you make upright decisions toward any situation that comes your way. The Sword of the Spirit is God’s Word, the only combined offensive and defensive weapon that He provides. In Hebrews 4:12, Paul describes God’s Word as sharper than any two-edged sword. Imagine handling the sharpest sword in the universe! To handle a sword of this quality in battle, you have to be wisely trained on how to use and maintain it. This particular sword needs to remain at its sharpest at all times and carefully handled when used. The more you read God’s Word the sharper your mind and spirit become. God’s Word is living truth that lives inside you so you want to handle His Spirit with great care and attention. It needs to be handled in a way where that truth maintains its integrity by not letting it become distorted through disregard. Once you misuse or neglect your only sword, the truth that you learned when you first received it can be forgotten or misleading to others as you try and use it without continuous training. Always stay up to speed in God’s Word and keep your sword sharpened daily.
How is this incorporated into the Framework to Life? As you read God’s Word and welcome His truth into your heart, you develop a relationship with the Father. Having a relationship with Him inspires you to keep building it up through His word. As you are encouraged to soak in His word daily, your whole outlook toward success in life becomes more clear. Your decisions and the choices you make in planning and executing toward your dreams become driven by a spirit that is inspired by the Lord Jesus Christ.
As a believer in Christ and with a dream of fulfilling a purpose, you will encounter physical and spiritual battles. There will be forces that will try and stop you such as fear, regret, discouragement, opinions, and many more. A clear representation of someone that endures life through spiritual and physical battles is seen in the book of Job. As you read through Job you will gain the understanding that God is with you but He wants you to pull through using your own heart and grit. As you become successful and live for the Lord do not be discouraged! God wants you to succeed in life! God wants you to push the limits! He wants to see you shine as you live without fear, and win your battles.
New series starting! I will discuss the Whole Armor of God and how we need to apply it within the framework of our lives. Each week I will go over one piece of armor at a time. To get started I recommend reading Ephesians chapter 6:10-20. It’s short so go ahead and study the whole chapter! 🙂
Fear is a slow torturing death that lays dormant in the back of your mind and comes out when you start thinking of the possibilities of fulfilling your dream and purpose in life. Thinking of the happiness and joy of accomplishing goals that can be difficult, is the first step to progress toward your dreams. When you start thinking about the difficulties more than the joys of accomplishing your goals, fear slays those thoughts and sends them to the far back of your mind. This can happen over and over again and is the reason why it can be a slow tortuous death throughout your life. Understand this: the reason why you are being held back is because there is a force that doesn’t want you to fulfill your purpose because your purpose is God’s destiny for you. As you go back and forth in your mind with fear and think of all the little evils that come with it such as doubts and uncertainties, there is a battle going on in your heart. Your heart wants to move forward but the iniquities of fear that lurk in your mind are keeping your heart docked into a position where it cannot reach the freedom of joy.
But if you can hold on to those thoughts of having happiness in accomplishing those goals, your life can change. Hold on in faith! Understand that God has a purpose for you. He gave you those talents. He gave you a heart for those talents so you can grow them into something He needs you to be for His kingdom. Look to the Lord Jesus Christ for strength and courage!
Your character defines who you are as a person, but there is true character and there is acting. True character is what’s in your heart and the only one that can fully see it besides yourself is God. The question to ask yourself as a Christian is, do you consistently project your heart out to the world? Or do you have a spiritual valve in your heart that you open and close depending on your surroundings? Does your character change depending on who you are around? This can be confusing because it makes you wonder who you really are sometimes. I know this can be common with new believers but as they progress, they will eventually realize and reshape their character by re-aligning their values as they freshly read the Word. That’s because it’s that fresh fire inside as they learn about Jesus for the first time and feel the presence of the Holy Spirit. We all felt it in the very beginning, and it is an awesome feeling. But if you don’t maintain the knowledge and don’t live it consistently, that flame begins to diminish over time and world distractions begin to take over the time you use to spend with God, so that feeling goes away. You have to be diligent in the Word to transform your character and to live under righteous principles and values.
The point of all this is that the principles you set for yourself must be consistent daily. Keep that feeling going! You need to consistently feed your mind and heart. Take in the knowledge and live it. If you become wise in the Word, then you have established a strong foundation for your life.
Lets tie in your dream with your character. Lets say you have a dream and you have found your purpose in this world as you become consistent in God’s Word. By welcoming Christ into your life, you have become a temple for the Holy Spirit, and have developed this very special relationship with God. Your faith is strong, you have found your purpose, and the Lord is right there with you every step of the way. This doesn’t mean everything is going to be easy and perfect in your eyes. The Lord will test you. He wants to be sure your faith is strong, not just toward Him, but faith in yourself as well. Sometimes these tests and trials can be hard and devastating and cause us to suffer in many ways. The Lord will allow us to go through this to make us stronger and build us up spiritually. It is up to you to figure that out through knowledge and wisdom by being diligent in feeding yourself with His Word. By reading the Word, you will understand that there is hope because you’re confident in God’s promises. You will understand that God is strengthening your character as you persevere through whatever pain is in your life at that point of time. Paul describes it best to the Romans:
Romans 5:3-5 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character, and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
Any structure that is upright needs a strong foundation. Having a strong relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ is the foundation that everyone needs to be upright.
When you have a relationship with the Lord, He becomes a part of you and you a part of Him. If you think about relationships, what really makes up a relationship? To have a relationship with someone means you have some significant connection with them. You communicate with them, you think about them, and you can associate feelings for them and with them. This is how the Lord wants to have a relationship with you. If you feel guilty and have a sense of regret for the sin that you have done in God’s eyes, then that is repentance. Repenting is feeling regret, remorse, and sorry for what you have done, especially if someone else’s heart is involved. If this is how you feel when you sin in God’s eyes, then a relationship is there. If you are trying your hardest to turn away from sin, He can see that and He wants to help you just as anyone that you have a strong relationship with would. He wants the relationship to grow and wants you to ask Him for strength and to know that He is right there with you no matter what the conditions are.
A relationship with the Lord provides you with a foundation that will hold your framework upright and together. The more you allow the Lord into your life the deeper the relationship becomes. The deeper the relationship, the deeper the foundation. The first building block to a strong foundation with the Lord is obtaining knowledge of His Word.
There are two words to avoid in life and two words to look forward to. Two words to avoid are “only if”. Two simple words we use every day but when you put them together, there becomes a sense of regret. “Only if” I would have pushed myself a little harder, “only if” I would have taken that opportunity, “only if” I had the courage. Depending how your life is at the point of “only if”, with regret comes remorse, guilt, and maybe depression. Don’t get caught up in an “only if” life.
The two words to look forward to in life are “thank you”. With thank you there is a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment. You have received something that you need. God has provided you what you needed so you want to live the life of thanks. “Thank you” Lord for giving me the opportunities, “thank you” Jesus for providing me courage and salvation, “thank you” Father for giving me courage and being my stronghold!
Bottom line is to recognize the gifts God has given you to serve and glorify His name. Use them to fulfill your life’s purpose for Him and yourself.
A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God.