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. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness. (Ephesians 6:13–14—NKJV)

“Withstand in the evil day” is quite a phrase. If it does not describe the day in which we live, it certainly is talking about a not too distant day when troubles descend upon your head and trials block your path. Key to a Christian’s success when the “chips are down” is his accustomed familiarity with the spiritual armor which Paul describes in the verses that follow our text.

The item placed first, by way of emphasis I am sure, is the necessity of “girding the waist” with truth. Every other bit of weaponry or battle technique will not matter if you cannot keep on your feet for want of this one fundamental necessity. Cinch up your belt of truth or your movements will be hampered. The first requirement in order to prevail in the evil day is to be sure the belt of truth is in its rightful place, and you are in a right relationship with it while it works to free you to do your work.

Truth’s order-keeping work is not only the truth about life, but it is also the truth about things. Certainly, God’s truth found only in the Bible’s revelation of truth is doubtlessly in view. God’s unchanging truth stands absolute. Deuteronomy 32:4 states, “He is the Rock, His work is perfect; for all His ways are justice, a God of truth and without injustice; righteous and upright is He.” Psalm 146:6 reads, “Who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; who keeps truth forever.”

But there is another side of truth with which the believer must reckon if he is to withstand evil and to stand. It is the believer’s practical relationship to God’s real truth in a false world. It is this aspect of truth that prepares the believer to apply himself to the work of spiritual warfare. Zechariah 8:16 enjoins, “These are the things you shall do: speak each man the truth to his neighbor; give judgment in your gates for truth, justice, and peace.” Paul echoes this thought in his practical advice found in Ephesians 4:25, “Therefore, putting away lying, let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor.”

Truth is defined as “accord and conformity with fact, reality, and experience.” Just as “God is Truth,” so accord and conformity with fact means that truth is a standard by which the truth about things is discovered. Real truth in standard becomes truth in character which is seen in beliefs that are actuated. God’s truth embraced becomes truth in character—loyalty, faithfulness, and constancy. Truth in character takes on flesh by actualization—visible activity being predictable for truth, to be reliable and certain. God’s Truth is to be active as a belt around God’s warrior in touch with spiritual reality, as opposed to things seeming, pretended, imagined, fictitious, nominal or ostensible. Spiritual reality has a sense of gravity to it versus the baubles and trinkets of what passes for reality in our day-to-day world. To illustrate, observe the two types of legal property: real property is real estate, land, buildings, crops, and mineral rights, things difficult to trade, while personal property is chattel, simple possessions easy to trade. Obviously, real property, like truth, is much more desirable than that which comes and goes easily—the “eternal” versus the temporal.

The trouble with keeping the belt of truth cinched up for use is the fact that Satan is pretty good at masquerading as an angel of light. For every Christian, it is a constant battle to discern between reality and illusion or reality and imitation; primary and distraction, or authentic and fake. More to the point: truth versus lying. It should be the daily pursuit of every bona fide believer to fill his day with pursuing “Real” things. Proverbs 23:23 succinctly states, “Buy the truth, and do not sell it, also wisdom and instruction and understanding” (Colossians 3:2–3).

What is real?

  1. The fact that God is.
  2. God created you.
  3. God gave you the gift of life along with an immortal soul.
  4. You have received a stewardship for your life for which you will give an account to God.
  5. Evil is real, sin is real, bad guys are real, and there are more of them every day so you are in a spiritual battle that never takes a break.
  6. God gave His Son to save you and to enlist you in His army.
  7. Your time on earth is limited, so make every day count. Gird up your spiritual core with truth, and do not waste your allotted time with the fashions and affections that the world tries to pass off to you as “real estate” when they are no more than counterfeit chattel (1 John 2:17).

Make it a point to ask yourself whether what you are pursuing is the “Real” thing in God’s sight. Trust and obey.