How to gird your loins with the full armor of God. Pragmatically!
Hallo and welcome back to another blog-pisode by yours truly and the one and only, Miss Faith herself.
Currently, I am having a cup of green tea and it is very chilly outside. Cloudy too. I just came from running a few errands since as you well know sadly, errands don’t have feet to run themselves.
Also, I am looking at a fresh bouquet of a blend of Sunflowers, Roses, Begonia, Daisies and Lilies. They look so pretty and elegant in the vase, making me feel so good, calm and like a small girl in a field of flowers. What’s missing is a bunch of colourful butterflies. You need to know I am a small girl at heart. Apparently, with an old soul.
Before we talk about grown up stuff, I want to begin by making a public apology to whoever it may concern. This weekend, I learned from two heaven sent bloggers that, it is a bit difficult if not impossible, to leave a comment in my blog posts. I want you to know that wasn’t deliberate.
If anything, I am curious to hear what you have to say about what goes on around here and what you want. I had no idea that this was happening. I was even wondering if my communication was unclear/un-relatable/unheard of, until I got the report and looked into the situation. Then I realised, I had a plugin that was over delivering. Haha! It was doing more than requested in the sense that, if you try to comment, it looks at you as a spam suspect or bot and blocks you immediately.
So, I deactivated it and afterwards, received a comment which made me extremely happy. This means that now people can comment without feeling stressful about it. Yay!
Otherwise, should you experience any form of dissatisfaction around here in any shape, manner or form, now and in the future, let me know and I will act immediately. There are so many ways to reach me if you look at the side bar menu and the fastest of them all, is either through Twitter or Instagram. Thank you in advance and comment away if you want to.
GIRD UP YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH
Now, back to the original purpose of this post without further ado.
I wonder if you have ever heard of “gird up your loins”? If you have, what does this mean to you? Why do you/we need to gird up our loins? What is the benefit? How do we practically gird up our loins?
If you haven’t heard of “gird up your loins with truth”, don’t worry, be happy, keep your mind open, buckle up, get a drink and I’ll sort you out.
ENTER HIS REST-ACTIVITIES
Yesterday, we were having a good ole dose of bible studies, thoroughly dissecting the book of Hebrews. No I do not study my bible as a religious act. I adamantly and frankly refuse to identify with religion or anything religious for that matter. Neither do I want you to think I am a very holy person. On the contrary, my imperfection is the drive behind my quest and the way God loves me in my imperfection, is the very reason why I fall in love with Him daily and get extremely curious about Him.
In other words, I read my bible to understand my identity in Christ, God’s will and purpose for my life as I marvel in His character. As an imperfect individual, made perfect, by grace through Faith and like I have also said before, boldly, unapologetically and assuredly, God, Christ and the Holy Spirit are not related in any way with religion and religious acts. These are facts and you need to find this out by yourself because I think it is important that you know the difference for your own sake.
Otherwise, as I was saying, whilst deep in the hunt in Hebrews yesterday, one line, led us to the book of Ephesians, where the “Full Armor of God” is mentioned and what amused me, was that I know of the scripture, I like to make it a part of my prayers and I have encountered it uncountable times. However, not once did it ever occur to me to question the meaning of “having girded your loins with truth” until yesterday.
To understand a concept excellently and be able to apply it successfully in your life, I think it is better to approach whatever it is with an open-analytical mindset and absolute focus on the details. Find out the definitions, scrutinise the use of language, deconstruct the sentences, construct them back again in your own understanding, highlight important key factors for you to find true meaning and be able to apply it in your life.
Additionally (in my humble opinion), anytime you want to invest your time spiritually in particular and connect with God, I think it is important to first of all pray. Especially a cleansing prayer (for no man is without sin) and humbly ask the Holy Spirit to educate you so that you lean not on your own understanding. Approach your bible study sessions with a humble, hungry and genuinely curious spirit, to unlock its wondrous power.
This way, you will look and see. Hear and understand. Discern. You will advance from milk to solid food. Equally important, speaking of milk and solid food, the power of the scripture, based on my own experience, will meet you at your level of maturity spiritually. The more you mature diligently and proactively, the more you will know and each time, you will uncover different profound meanings in just one scripture which will be of benefit to your life and decisions.
Again what comes with maturity? Diligent effort to gain knowledge and the practicality of it in your life which creates adventure, experience and wisdom. Remember when I said you cannot do anything successfully, without knowing which transforms how you become? Then I gave it the acronym KBD? Know-Be-Do respectively. That’s exactly what I mean.
I think (correct me if I’m wrong), God is very careful about His reputation and will show you according to what you can handle based on your speed of growth. That’s why I am so big on focussing on your growth, strategically starting with your soul going outwards. You know as is within so is without?!
If God were to reward you with a Ferrari analogically speaking, He will not give you the keys unless you have a license and know how to drive it. In case you crash and people start wondering who gave you access to the car in the first place when you barely know how to drive or have a license!
More interestingly, He will not push you to follow His instructions. He gives you the free will but lets you know this is what and how you should do things to get to point A and B. This is what to expect when you get there and I will always be here to help you no matter what, if you need me. However, it is all up to you to decide and in case of any mistakes, I have forgiven you in advance but you might need to live with some consequences of your decision especially if you know I told you in advance.
That’s how I personally understand God’s modus operandi.
In fact, to tell you the truth I find God’s personality intriguing, inspiring and also extremely scary. For instance, Imagine all the evil events that take place today yet you will not see Him even once coming to literally interrupt you during the day? I find that patience and silence admirable but also very very scary!
Otherwise, if you’re just reading the bible like every other book, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but not only are you wasting your time but you might find yourself in scriptural bondage. If you don’t know what that is, observe Africa with a very keen interest. It is the most religious continent perhaps with even the most number of religious-church buildings but look at the dysfunction politically, socially and economically? When God by nature is never contradictory! That’s what I mean.
You know, I really don’t believe in the romanticism of aspects. Look at things truthfully for what they really are so that you can make the right and more importantly, informed decision. While the bible has the potential to turn your life around when used correctly, it can also put you in a depraved state especially when you approach it from a religious, manipulative or self-righteous point of view. You’re actually better off not even touching it, maybe you might get away with ignorance as an excuse rather than touch it with misconstrued priorities.
Does this mean that you should not read it then? No. How is that even possible when you don’t live by bread alone but with every word that comes from the Father-meaning your life depends on it more than it depends on food, nutrition and even oxygen. I mean, open the book with pure intentions. The need to learn, grow, transform, overcome and connect with God. Also if you want to construct the most powerful prayers since you will be praying God’s will.
If you are reading it to pervert the truth it upholds, manipulate its intended meaning, coerce, control or exploit people for your own selfish desires/actions and prove to be self-righteous to the people you are trying to please, you will be unknowingly destroying yourself and your life in general. Don’t touch it. Yes it can benefit you in ways you cannot imagine but it can destroy you too. Always check yourself and intentions before you touch it. The preachers today are not telling anyone unfortunately but actually the scripture has a type of force which defends itself fiercely from misconstrued priorities.
Now lets get down with it!!
THE MEANING OF GIRD UP YOUR LOINS
I want you to pay close attention to this picture from The Art of manliness which sparked my interest yesterday and put things in perspective.
Once you’re finished, have a look at this scripture in the book of Ephesians 6: 10-18. It reads as follows (from my New American Standard Bible):
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might“.
Meaning your strength is found in Christ Jesus and the power of His might. Not yours. Which also reminds me of Jesus example in the book of Hebrews. Where actually, people have twisted the scripture by virtue of thinking it was a mistake when it reads “…and upholds all things by the word of His power” whereby they argue that it ought to have been “…by the power of His word” which is wrong.
The scripture means exactly what is written and “by the word of His power” means Jesus upheld all things by the word of His-as in by the word of God’s power. So then the question begets, if Christ upholds all things by the word of God’s power then what of us? We too gain our strength in Christ Jesus, the strength of His power which is upheld by the word of God’s power. No wonder, man shall not live by bread alone but by ever word that comes from the Father. Ok. Once we become strong what next?
“Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil“.
Stand firm according to the dictionary, means to refuse to change a decision or position whereas a scheme means, making plans deviously, with an attempt to do something wrong or illegal. So then this means if we walk around spiritually naked without the full armor of God or gaining strength from Christ’s strength of His power which is upheld by God, then we are vulnerable to attacks that might not be so evident to us in the physical and if we want to be able to detect when we are in a danger zone unknowingly and deal with the situation firmly, we need to rely on Christ Jesus who relies on the power of God’s word. What next?
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against:
- world forces of this darkness,
- the spiritual forces, of wickedness in the heavenly places“.
This means, your struggle is not necessarily against physical opponents but against world forces of darkness facilitated by wicked rulers and their powers- think along the lines of Satanists, Witches, Hexers, Sorcerers, Necromancers, Numerologists, Astronomers etc.
You will find these people in church sometimes even on the pulpit, in your social circle, social media follower’s list, at work, school, market and in your family.
Without God, it will actually be difficult to discern this because demonic people also know the scriptures back to front. They know how to play the part just to trap you. Study Jesus in the wilderness and see how the devil tackled Him and how He responded then learn from that.
Also, if you’re there convincing yourself these things don’t exist you’re fooling yourself. They very much exist and they are in places where you least expect them presented by people who you least suspect!! For me in Paul’s words I say “let God be true and every man a liar”. If God thinks we need to be dressed, ready for battle and tells us where the enemy is, that’s exactly what’s up.
Then of course there are forces in the heavenly places that fight day and night to block your blessings or interfere with your prayers. I mean, have you not experienced at least once, that you were expecting good news and right before it got to you, something bad or terrible happened? Or the blessing doesn’t arrive? Or your blessing does not last long?
If you don’t know how to counterattack this you will think that is how life is supposed to be. You make abnormal, normal and settle in that. Evidence to this is in the story of Daniel when he was fasting and praying to God until his skin became very ashy and vision blur yet no answer was coming. Then He asked God why He was not answering and God said to Him from the first day when He began His prayer, before He could even finish He granted Him the answer.
However, the angels had a hard time battling the prince of Persia who stopped Daniel from receiving the answer to His prayer on time.
What does this tell you? That God answers prayers instantly as long as you believe. Your main work in prayer is in counterattacking and protecting your prayers in the spirit.
Also something very intriguing is that, while you are busy sleeping around midnight to 3:00 a.m, drooling and spreading your legs like a bad rumour in that duvet of yours, the rulers of the world forces of darkness are awake doing things beyond your belief in conjunction with wickedness in the heavenly places.
I mean even in Mathew you see Jesus waking up His disciples around midnight, at least twice urging them to pray. Then the question begets, if Christ Himself had to pray like He did with all His power and might, what of mere mortals like you and I? Then also imagine what this world would look like if we had a unison of Faith, Hope, Love and know how to battle in the spirit?
Otherwise, if God is saying you need to be fully dressed in the spirit because there is an ongoing battle which you need to participate in, then I leave it upon your imagination on how crucial this is to your life.
“Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth“.
This is where it got very fascinating and intriguing when I found out about the picture above during bible studies yesterday and put it in the full armor of God context. In fact, I have looked at that picture maybe more than 100 times since then.
My point of intrigue more especially was in picture number 1 that states “the tunic wouldn’t allow you to fight in battle, necessitating the girding of one’s loins”.
Then from step 2-6 there is a clear cut procedure of girding the loins. From the picture’s context, the loins are being girded with the tunic but I took the entire procedure and replaced the tunic with Truth of God’s word.
Truth just like the tunic girding the loins, gives you good mobility spiritually when you walk on God’s promises and statutes. Meditating upon it day and night and assigning it to watch over you behind your back. Finding out more about the scripture and establishing the foundation of your life with it. It also helps you to analyse the past and present while looking forward to the future. Moreover, bringing some of that truth you applied in the past (and it worked) to the present gives you courage and maybe even peace and comfort to face what’s right in front of you. Equally, leaving some of that truth at close reach maybe by having small daily reminders for example “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” right in front of you makes you “set for battle and hard labor”.
That’s how I interpreted the picture contextually towards girding the loins with truth. Saturating yourself and every area of your life with the truth of God’s powerful word and the help of the strength in Christ Jesus’ Might. As in, finding out what the truth of God says about this list for instance in case of any attacks:
- Relationships (Marriage-Family-Friends)
There is truth in the word that remedies every single issue commonly known to mankind and if one of those listed areas in your life is not going 100% well, you need to gird up your loins with truth and get ready for battle. Get lost in scripture. Two chapters or so and you will start to notice a change. The word is powerful like that and beyond I tell you! Proudly and assuredly!
Following after is:
“and having put on the breastplate of righteousness“.
Did you know that something as simple as trusting God with your life or rather having Faith in Him is counted as righteousness?
When I think of righteousness I remember this “but now these three remain; Faith, Hope, Love, abide in these three; but the greatest of these is Love”. Actually, If I was to be religious then these three would be my religion. Nothing more or less.
Faith in God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Hope in the salvation of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Loving God with all my heart, mind and soul then my neighbour as I love myself. Until I can do these three things correctly and perfectly, I don’t want extra curriculum activities shoved in to my life by anyone when I am functioning under Grace to maintain the three because on my own (flesh standpoint), I fail and can’t actually keep up.
When we are in Christ Jesus, we are made righteous through His blood-Grace through Faith. Yes we may fail from time to time but His Grace is sufficient for us. When you understand how weak you are in the flesh and then compare to the strength you gain when you are under the Grace of Christ, it moves your heart beyond expression. You never get to understand How someone can love you so deeply when you are the messiest yet. This is now when true worship comes in. This is also how judging others or condemning people becomes impossible. Grace will put you in your place then it will transform you.
It ceases totally to be about the fear of hell, wanting blessings, to be seen “acting like a Christian” and or to accumulate worldly things. It becomes about really thanking God for the Love and patience He extends to you when you know better than anyone that you don’t deserve it. Which also leads to obedience. That I will not doubt you, I will not waver. Here I am and here is my life. Continue to mould me. My entire Hope is in you and only you. You even start asking God what you can do for Him rather than asking Him to do something for you.
The power in the breastplate of righteousness-Integrity towards God even when you fail, admittedly failing forward because of Grace and its power. No man is righteous but in Christ Jesus, we are all made righteous.
“and having shod your feet with preparation of the gospel of peace”.
Ready to stand by the word and what you believe to be true. Waiting actively rather than passively.
Sometimes, your Faith and current situation will never go hand in hand in the moment until later. This will put your belief in question and my advice would be, you want to go as far as people saying “you claim to be a Christian so why is God letting you go through A and B or If you’re truly a Christian…?”.
Your response to this will determine if you have shod your feet correctly with preparation of the gospel of peace. Also, can you talk about Him boldly without twisting His words like people do today?
Can you explain why you believe in Jesus Christ?
Could you make somebody want to meet Him after they have met you?
This is how you gauge this area.
My argument as to why I believe in God, is that, my very existence back to back and how far I have come, is nothing but pure Grace of Jesus Christ and prove that God exists. God’s grace in my life is the reason I am here today and due to this, I owe Him my loyalty and life because how else would you repay somebody that is the reason why you exist? Somebody that was humiliated beyond comprehension so that you can live in liberty in an enslaved world?
Moreover God is good. Even demons agree ladies and gentlemen and bow at the mention of the Lord’s name. Who am I to act clever? I personally think the world needs to draw near to Him against all odds, far and wide. There are things only He does that nobody or nothing in this world can do. Otherwise, if it were up to me, what’s understood doesn’t need to be explained. I mean even science agrees that there is God and most biblical events are being confirmed by both scientists and archaeologists.
Moving on swiftly as I quickly remind you this is not a religious page. Before you get lost in your head…
“In addition to all, taking up the shield of Faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one”.
If I take you back to our English grammar classes, remember when we were told that the adjective -ING causes a feeling and describes the characteristics of a thing or a person-for this case? Also, according to the dictionary, flaming means violence or annoyance.
Without the shield of Faith-trusting in God with your life, making Him your shield and protector, you are vulnerable to attacks you know nothing about. All you’ll be seeing is a vicious cycle of events and the society telling you everything is okay (as long as you’re “positive”), so that they can feed off of your vulnerability while life is being siphoned out of you one attack at a time along the lines of the list given above or If you find solutions and it is outside of God’s truth, they will not satisfy you unless you’re settling or don’t really know your worth.
So, take the shield of Faith and respond to each and every problem (flaming arrows of the evil one) with the scripture. As I mentioned in my previous article, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing the word of God”.
By the way let’s use your imagination quickly here because I want this to stick on your mind like white on rice. Assume for example, you’re behind bills, jobless, nobody to turn to and perhaps even your “friends” have left you in your ditch. Family members are acting funny too. What do you do? Get depressed, desperate and do desperate things or look at the situation with confidence and say “My God will supply every need of mine according to His riches in Glory in Christ Jesus”?
You are sick and the doctor is claiming you have very few days to live. What do you do? Plan how you will be buried, tell everybody goodbye or say “I shall not die, but live and declare the works of the Lord”?
Your enemies will not leave you in peace and they are trying day and night to go as far as to terminate your life. What do you do? Live in fear, sell out and give in or say “My ever faithful Lord delivers me from my enemies; surely He lifts me above those who rise against me; He rescues me from the violent man therefore I will not be afraid or dismayed”?
You are in huge debt, can barely make ends meet and you don’t know how you are going to survive. Do you accept this as your reality and start settling for mediocre opportunities in the thought that you will be able to overcome the problem only to find yourself in further financial turmoil or do you say “The Lord my God is my shepherd therefore from this moment henceforth I lack no good thing. I also delight myself in the word of the Lord, therefore I am blessed. Wealth and riches are in my house and my righteousness endures forever-Psalm 112:1-3”?
You get the drill? This is how you use the shield of Faith to extinguish the flaming arrows of the enemy and If you are seating there thinking you don’t have an enemy, your life is perfect and you don’t need this, well…
“And take the Helmet of Salvation”
Protect your mind with the gospel of Christ. When you fully understand your identity in Christ, the enemy and his cohorts will not be able to play with your head.
Sometimes all the enemy needs is to plant one evil seed in your mind which grows not only to harm you but generations after you. Especially in form of negative self talk and thinking. Or through negative talks from negative people you are allowing to have a say in your life that should not be there in the first place.
Nowadays by principle, I live to impress only God through Grace. I am concerned with only what God feels about me. Also, if I didn’t see you on the cross or read in the scripture that you died for my sins, you don’t get to call the shots in my life. This decision was made humbly and permanently. It has also led to great satisfaction and grounded me as well. Otherwise, let me know if you manage to win with human beings. The same ones that sent Jesus to the cross after all He did and still scoff at God to this very day. I mean you might be exceptional and who am I to challenge that?
Other than that, you ought to look at yourself strictly the way our Lord and Father sees you. Not how people see you and I’m sorry, not even how you see yourself because sometimes you don’t make proper judgement about yourself. You know it’s true!
Also, could you imagine for one second, if Dr Wayne Dyer’s and the likes affirmations, are capable of changing your mindset and situation positively albeit temporarily, could you imagine how much more an affirmation from Christ’s strength and God’s word would change you, your situation and environment?
Define yourself, speak of yourself and think the way Jesus thinks of you and things in general. Practice and it will grow on you. The word is like yeast in dough. You read a few scriptures and make bible study a daily routine then all of a sudden you start to feel like you are exploding inside. Your faith also becomes stronger when you speak the word against a problem and you see results. Results that will actually shock you. You could ask God for a fish and instead of Him giving you an actual fish, He sends you to an ocean packed with Fish, teaches you how to Fish, makes you the owner of the ocean with the fish etc as in “He provides immeasurably beyond what you thought of or imagined”. Let that sink in, then decide if you want to deal with suppliers or the source!?
Things get clearer too and problems become easier to solve. You become fearless. Everything changes in my opinion including yourself step by step.
“And the sword of the word of the Spirit, which is the word of God”
In Hebrews, we saw “Therefore, let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience (reference was the Israelites in the wilderness). For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” This was the reason why we turned to Ephesians to read about the full armor again.
Can you just run to the kitchen, take a knife and cut through the air? Sometimes it helps your understanding when you dramatize the scripture to fully understand. Cut through the air? What happens? Nothing right?
So now contrary to that brief exercise, God is saying, His word is sharper than any sword you will ever know and can cut through that air (because a soul cannot be touched or felt you know?)
As in His word can reach dimensions you are not able to access in your own might and it is the tool you need to cut through the impossible and unthinkable dimensions. I really can’t put this kind of power in proper perspective!
“With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petitions for all the saints“.
This means you need to pray fervently all the time, wherever you are, whenever you can in your heart but before you do, put on your battle armor lest you become a casualty due to unexpected injuries.
Also, just because your fully dressed it doesn’t mean you will be immune to some cuts and bruises but fight like every other well trained soldier. Hang in there and don’t give up. That’s what this finish line tells me. Oh and remember to fight for others too.
In the book of Job, one of the keys that opened up the door to his double blessings was praying for his friends who were discouraging him and talking him out of God’s purpose. If I remember correctly, It’s written “Job prayed for his friends and God blessed him because of that and his friends were forgiven”. True love, is praying for people going through a hard time and not even telling them about it. Sometimes on your facebook feed, you will see people going through really rough times. Strangers. Put your needs aside and pray for them. Nothing will strengthen your faith and refresh your spirit more than seeing someone who was distressed doing very well knowing that you prayed for them.
I also strongly feel in my heart, we were not born to serve ourselves. We were born to serve others whilst God takes care of us! Random thought. I am bound to be corrected.
Otherwise, to get to the full armor of God level, you need to spiritually mature. You need to advance from milk to solid food to stepping in the battle field and become a warrior of Faith. By reading your scripture daily, diligently and praying fervently. Hunting for scriptures that apply to each and every problem and solution you can think or imagine so that when need arises you know what to say and do!
My spiritual goal is to reach Jesus level where He said “I do only that which I see my Father do and say only that which I hear my Father say”. Also Jesus said, when we have Faith, we will do exactly what He did and even more. Could you imagine walking in a hospital and asking Cancer patients to rise up and go home by the power of Christ they have been healed? Goals!!
Currently, I am barely there but that’s my spiritual desire, one step at a time and thankfully, with God, all things are possible.
I hope you are encouraged to pray and live a Faith filled life. Your bible has the answers to every problem you are facing. You only need to get off your seat and step in to the battle field.
Are you ready to be a warrior or nah?? How bad do you want it? Haha!! God is saying let us put on our full armor and grab what is rightfully ours.
I like to say, I get what I want when I want it because I fight in the spirit and I am very nasty at it. By Grace through Faith, I win all the time. I have never taken a step of Faith my entire life and got disappointed. I have also failed miserably a number of times when I didn’t have faith.
By the way, have I told you my name is Faith? My parents giving me that name was the best thing they ever did to me I think. That name has some influence to my Faith in God. There are times I face really hot and seemingly impossible challenges that those around me start panicking and I am the one comforting them (when it should be the other way around) because I know the harder the challenge, the more qualified I am for a miracle that will blow my mind. A challenge to me is a signal for opportunity and breakthroughs. I actually protect my crisis’ very viciously because I know that’s where the answer to my prayer is. I say this to inspire you, I know what to do, when to do it and how to do it by virtue of spending a lot of time in scripture.
God is true to the T to both the just and the unjust by the way. Trusting in Him doesn’t mean you’ll not face challenges it means you will face challenges and you will conquer them in style. Become a fierce warrior not a worrier!!
Otherwise, go forth, be ye men and gird up your loins!!!
I say, while at it, don’t give in, don’t sell out, don’t give up and don’t back down. Slash through baby and slash fiercely like a true warrior of Christ!!! Slash like you know who your Father is!!
Much appreciation for stopping by and I wish you a winning mid-week full of unfathomable blessings.