My husband is the master of the work aesthetic. He always makes sure he’s dressed for success, no matter what the task is. I’ve always admired how put-together he is for the occasion, from hat to shoes to belt. Always gotta remember the belt! And he’s right about that, because it’s important that he has one—without that belt, his entire work ensemble doesn’t stay on quite right.

I think it’s not coincidence that the list of the armor of God begins with the belt. It’s the part that holds the whole outfit together—and this was as true of ancient armor as it is today.

There were two roles the belt played in the Roman soldier’s armor that I want to pay special attention to. One was that the belt was the support of the entire armor. It was often hung with leather strips that helped protect the lower extremities, and it secured all the other pieces of the armor. The belt also held the scabbard—where the sword hung. With no belt, there was no sword.

Think about that for a moment. The belt and the sword went hand-in-hand to the Roman soldier. You needed to have your belt about you to carry your sword effectively into battle. The same is true for us: our starting place, the thing that secures all the rest of our armor, is the truth. It’s a core element of our defense from the enemy’s schemes.

And this is not truth as in “perfect doctrine,” by the way—none of us will have absolutely perfect doctrine in this life. Rather, it’s the truth of God’s nature, of His promises, of Christ’s purpose and power, and of our identity in Christ. Put it this way: the entirety of the Book of Ephesians summed up is truth. It’s God’s plan, His purpose of the ages. And how powerful are we, how much more powerful can we be in the spiritual battle if we gird ourselves with that truth? If it protects our vital spots, if it’s the security around which we fasten everything else?

Take time to really deeply read through the Book of Ephesians from cover to cover. Do it several times, in several different versions. Soak up and sit in the truths it contains—about who we are, what we are called to, what is promised to us. What was done for us and what we are to do for God. Let the truth in this story, of God’s purpose for the ages, really live for you.

After all, it is not until we are properly armored that we can stand. And the truths we read from Scripture are what will keep our entire spiritual ensemble from falling apart.

Lash on the truth.