This article continues an eight week series on the armor of God. A very important part of being prepared spiritually for the “End Times” is being dressed in and utilizing the whole armor of God for Satan will be extremely powerful and even more deceptive because he knows that his time is short. The belt of truth is the first piece of armor to put on as we prepare to stand firm against the wiles of the devil; it’s what holds everything in place. The belt of truth is the absolute truth that’s given to us in the Christian Bible. Jesus Christ said that He is the Truth and often times emphasized that he was telling the truth. He also said that the Holy Spirit would lead us into all truth. The belt of truth is absolutely essential for standing firm against the father of lies. The deceptive lies of the devil have sent many to counseling centers and their local pharmacy to seek a remedy for their problems. As we shall see, putting on the belt of truth, that is bringing God’s truth to bear, will bring complete psychological and emotional healing to the Christian soldier.
Many have not put on the belt of truth because they have little understanding of the Bible. They understand their traditions and quote them quite easily. They have a rather good understanding of their various doctrines. They can parrot what their Christian leaders have taught them but have not searched the scripture to see if these things are so. They may even quote Bible verses they’ve memorized but are unable to discern the truth of what’s needed to stand firm against the enemy. Often times Christians will quote a verse out of context thus missing its true interpretation, or they simply think that God’s Word does not address their problem. So let’s examine together this truth from God’s Word that will help us stand against the wiles of the devil.
Depression is a wile of the devil. However, the Christian soldier can fight depression by putting on the belt of truth. Depression is an exhaustive subject that needs our serious consideration, because of the great number of people now experiencing its devastating effect. Your depression could be caused by a multitude of things such as a proven biological illness, guilt, un-confessed sin, loneliness, experiencing a tough situation like losing your job, being arrested as a Christian, facing persecution, and many other problems we face in life. Depression has a spiraling effect. Every time you respond to a problem in an unbiblical way, you will go deeper into the pit of depression experiencing its horrible effect. I am so convinced that you do not need to run to the psychologist or the drug store to solve your problems.
So the next step is to go through each of your problems and ask yourself, “Have I responded to this problem in a biblical way?” For example, after much soul searching, you admit that it is guilt that’s causing your problems. The devil keeps whispering in your ear that you have not been really forgiven, so your guilt is still present. However, the Psalmist said, “Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord’—and you forgave the guilt of my sin’” (Psalm 32:5, italics are mine). So how bad was this guilt? It was bad enough to cause depression. Listen to the agony of the Psalmist, “When I kept silent my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer” (Psalm 32:3-4). Dear friend, if it’s guilt or un-confessed sin that’s causing your depression, then don’t let the devil send you scurrying off to a psychologist or a pharmacist, but bring God’s truth to bear on your problem thus allowing you to stand firm against the designs of the devil.
So let’s look at another problem that can cause depression, which so many suffer from today—loneliness. Why does loneliness run so rampant in our society? Could it be because there is little face to face fellowship with other people on a regular basis? Much of the world spends an enormous amount of time sitting in front of their TV sets, their computers, or on their Smartphone’s. Indeed there is plenty to keep us busy, but many have only a few friends, if any at all, and they too are busy sitting in front of their TV sets, their computers, or on their Smartphone’s. After a while, loneliness can turn into depression especially if there are other problems present that are not dealt with in a biblical way. So how do we deal with loneliness in a biblical way? For the Christian he must realize that he is not completely alone. “Jesus replied, ‘If anyone loves me, he will obey my teachings. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him’” (John 14:23) God the Father and Jesus Christ will make their home with us. Wow! That is an amazing statement. It is their home. The glory of God, the wisdom of God, the love of God, all that is God makes their home with you. When you embrace this truth and learn how to live in His presence, you will never feel lonely again, but that’s not all. Jesus said, “You are my friends if you do what I command” (John 15:14). In your obedience to His commands, you begin to realize His friendship—that deep, abiding friendship. Friends share things with one another. Jesus desires to tell you things that will draw you ever closer to Him, allowing you to pull open the veil and understand things that are happening in your world. You can see the hand of God. Friends do things together. Jesus beckons you to come and join Him in His mission—to join Him in His work. True friends are always there for one another. Jesus Christ is there for you. This is the biblical response to loneliness.
Let’s assume that another problem that you are facing is a very difficult situation such as losing your job, being arrested as a Christian, or facing persecution. Each of these things can cause fear and if not dealt with in a biblical way can also cause depression. So as a Christian, how do you respond to your problem in a biblical way? If you have lost your job or been arrested and cannot work or are even facing persecution, you may feel as though you have lost everything and may even lose your life. You may feel helpless to provide for your loved ones. You may need a complete re-orientation on how you have been looking at things. You may need what they call a reality check. The Bible says, Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you,” so we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”
Hebrews 13:5-6 (italics are mine) What can man do to me? The answer to this question is nothing! Man may kill you, but he will not take away your heavenly rewards. You are still destined for the throne. Your citizenship is still in heaven. Your eternal glory is beyond anything that you can even imagine. This is where you need to be focusing all of your attention, not on your present difficulty but on Christ the risen Lord and all that awaits you in glory. Remember Stephen, the first Christian martyr, when he was being persecuted “…looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God” (Acts 7:55)?
When we keep God before us, we keep Satan behind us. The more we rely on Christ, the easier it becomes to withstand the pressures of life. We need to respond to our problems in a biblical way, and if you do not respond correctly, then chances are you will face depression falling once again into the snare of the devil. On the other hand, as we respond to each of our problems in a biblical way, then slowly one step at a time we begin to reverse our depression until we are completely out of the pit of depression. Please understand that we have only looked at a few of the many different problems that can cause depression if not responded to correctly. Hopefully by giving you these few examples it will encourage you to bring all of your problems to the Word of God allowing its truth to become your divine remedy allowing you to escape the snare of the devil. There is great power in truth. The truth will set you free.
Putting on the belt of truth is also useful for sound doctrine. The Apostle Paul, when he wrote his letters to the church under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he always began with theology and then ended his letters with the application of God’s Word. Sound doctrine is essential to understand what we believe about God, Jesus Christ, our salvation, and other biblical doctrines. It is useful in keeping us from falling into heresy and the doctrine of demons. We need to gird up our loins with the belt of truth and prepare for action. There is power in the truth of God’s Word to dispel the enemy and set him to flight.
Putting on the belt of truth also concerns our inward being where the Christian is honest and truthful. This is quite opposite from the devil, who is the father of lies. The only thing that can overcome a lie is absolute truth. Where a lie binds up, the truth sets us free. The more a person lies, the further he goes into bondage and captivity to the devil. On the other hand, when a person comes to the truth and speaks that truth to his fellow man, the more he will experience true freedom in Christ. Speaking the truth is so important for the well being of a Christian that he must speak it even if his life is in danger. God will never honor a lie but will always protect the truth. Therefore, putting on the belt of truth and receiving the truth of God’s Word into your life will solve your many problems and keep you from falling into doctrinal heresy. It also causes you to speak only the truth to others in order to build them up in the Lord by giving them what is needed. To put on the belt of truth will withstand the attacks of the devil and send him to flight. Truly, there is power in the truth. As you can see the devil can cause many problems in the life of the believer, so let me encourage you to continue to read the upcoming articles over the next six weeks on how to effectively use the armor of God against a most powerful enemy.
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