PART 18 – PUT ON THE BELT OF TRUTH (27/1/20)
During this week’s devotionals, we will be considering how David fell into sin with Bathsheba, and how we can protect ourselves. Each day we will look at a different piece of the ‘Armour of God’ (Ephesians 6:10-20), which is God’s power and wisdom on how to overcome temptation and evil.
The process of David’s defeat
David went through a process that led to his defeat. This process was:
Passivity + Seeing + Asking + Inviting + Acting
David didn’t fight temptation because he’d become passive. He assumed that he was in a safe place, so was not dressed in the armour of God. We read,
‘In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem’ (2 Samuel 11:1).
David did not ask for God’s strength that day because he assumed that he was at peace and that no ‘giants’ were out to get him! When faced with Goliath he trusted God, picked up five stones, took his sling, ran to confront him… However, on this day, David doesn’t take due care and so is ambushed by temptation.
Warren Wiersbe wrote:
"The Christian life is not a playground; it is a battleground, and we must be on our guard at all times."
The devil’s deceptive schemes
Behind David’s fall into sin in the work of the devil. Paul writes,
‘Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes’ (Ephesians 6:11).
The devil’s primary method of attack is deception. He lies about God, Lies about us, Lies about what is true…He wants us to believe that sin is good and that obedience to God is harmful. David, in his passivity, failed to recognise the lies that he was believing. He had failed to dress in the ‘belt of truth’.
The belt of truth
To be prepared for temptation’s assaults, you and I need to ensure that we are wearing the ‘belt of truth’ every day - no days off! Paul writes,
‘Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist’ (Ephesians 6:14)
The belt of truth means to live in alignment with what is true - to live in accord with God’s word. It means that Christians and whole church are devoted to God’s truth.
If David had spent that morning, prayerfully reading the bible - putting on the belt of truth - this catastrophe would never have happened. He would have been enabled to ‘stand firm’. He would have known that adultery (sex with someone who is not your spouse) is hateful to God and always leads to destruction. David should have followed his own advice - as you need to follow your own! David wrote,
‘How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.’ (Psalm 119:9-11)
RESPONSE - PUT ON THE BELT OF TRUTH
Each response this week will be around putting on each part of the armour of God.
Are you dressed in the ‘belt of truth’? Are you living in the truth, specifically, regarding sexual purity? Do you need to put on the belt of truth again and throw off any sinful behaviour? Take a moment to ask God to reveal anything that He wants you to deal with. Specifically, are you living in line with this kind of truth:
‘But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.’ (Ephesians 5:3)
2. PUT ON THE ARMOUR BY MEMORISING THE TRUTH
Let’s put on the belt of truth by making a commitment to memorise the armour of God this week (see notes at the bottom on a way of doing this).
‘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.’ (Ephesians 6:14-17)
3. BE HONEST ABOUT YOUR STRUGGLES
It’s easy to live and struggle in silence. A key to freedom is confession - bringing things into the light. A couple of specific questions for you:
If you are married - Have you ever spoken to your spouse about struggles that you have with temptation? Will you make some time to talk this week and answer this question: Where, if at all, are you being unfaithful in action or thinking, or being tempted to do so?
If you are single - Will you make some time to talk to a friend (of the same sex) and answer the following question: Where, if at all, are you being sexually impure in action, thinking or feeling tempted to do so?
TIPS ON MEMORISING SCRIPTURE
Don't disqualify yourself if it's hard - it is hard!
Write the text somewhere that's easy to find and use
Include the reference throughout the process
Read it slowly and carefully x 10 (Don't rush or dismiss this accurate repetition)
Recall it, without looking as much as possible x10
Do this a few times through the day
Revise regularly (and revise previously memorised verses)
Make it a habit to learn new verses - skill comes over time