Eph 6:14-16 “Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.”
When it comes to the truth as it is in Christ Jesus, we are to stand (to be established, abide). Once we have been called out of nature’s darkness, there is nowhere else we will ever find peace or satisfaction. Taking a stand means we will face opposition, and sometimes this opposition will be fierce. God, in His love and mercy, has made provision for us: He has provided us armor for our protection.
We are first told to gird our loins. The gridle or belt, as used with the garments of Paul’s day, served a purpose other than helping to hold up the garment. Both men and women wore long robe-like garments. If there was work to be done or a journey to be undertaken the length of the garment could be a hindrance. In these cases, the wearer would reach between their legs, take the back part of the tail of the garment, pull it to the front, then pull it up and tuck it into the belt. In this way, they were better able to move without the flow of the garment being a hindrance.
When we stand, we need to be ready to move according to God’s will. However, we are not to use just any belt for our garment; our loins are to be girdled with truth. We are to be surrounded by the whole truth of God. If we try to gird ourselves with the works of man our girdle will fail. We will have all manner of hindrances, finding ourselves caught on everything we pass by. The truth will keep us free of these things that would pull at us and slow our progress.
The largest target on the human body is the torso. This is the area that the breastplate is designed to cover. According to Strong’s, the breast area was considered to extend from the neck to the bottom of the ribs. This covers the area where both the heart and lungs are. The imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ is our breastplate; it surrounds the core of our being. Our most vulnerable parts are covered by the breastplate of righteousness.
When we are standing up to opposition, we also need a covering for our feet. In the armor of God, we are shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Since Paul was not just addressing this letter to preachers, this is something that applies to all of God’s faithful children. We need to be ready to face our opposition with the good message of peace in Jesus Christ. We should be prepared (in a state of readiness) to share this gospel in our daily interactions with those around us. Since we are shod with this, it is displayed in the way we walk (live) before others. In many ways, I believe this is one of our greatest “weapons” against the things we are to fight against as outlined in verses eleven and twelve of this chapter.
We are now clothed and shod, but Paul cautions us not to forget a very important part of our protection; the shield of faith. According to Strong’s, this is not one of the smaller, lighter shields often referred to as a buckler. This is one of the great, oblong shields that is almost as tall as its bearer. This is something that we can stand behind and ward off an attack. In military array, we often see these shields being set side-by-side as the soldiers stand shoulder-to-shoulder. We stand, but not alone. Our absolute confidence in God is able to completely extinguish the fiery missiles of our adversary.
May we stand clothed in all our loving Father has provided us to the praise of His glory!