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Buckle up for Safety! (2 of 8)
Series: Spiritual Warfare
Eph. 6:14a, Psalm 51:6, Dan. 6:1-28
INTRO: Every morning while being a prisoner the apostle Paul watched his Roman guard as a soldier dress himself. Then this soldier would chain the apostle to himself to insure his captivity. As Paul watched the Roman soldier dress he was inspired by the pieces of equipment worn, so he assigned spiritual meaning to each piece. Interestingly enough, the order of these pieces listed here is the exact order in which a soldier put them on.
One of the oddest pieces of the soldier's dress however was not really armor at all, it was an undergarment called a ''belt'' or ''girdle'' - Paul calls it spiritually the ''belt of truth.'' It was actually an undergarment that was mostly hidden from view because it went underneath the armor and connected all the pieces together so the soldier had both flexibility and a way of keeping everything tied together. Without this belt or girdle the armor would have simply fallen off!
Paul likens this belt in the Christian life as ''truth'' - but not truth as in God's word, for that image is found in the ''sword of the Spirit'' later; this is rather ''truth'' that reflects a truthful life or INTEGRITY.
Real integrity is like this belt or girdle, it is hidden deep within us, but its effects can be seen in how well we are able to wear the rest of the armor and hold it together! Our lives should reflect the highest level of integrity or the rest of God's armor will not stay on!
ILLUS: A New Hampshire farmer took his horse to see the veterinarian. He complained about the horse: ''One day he limps, the next day he doesn't. What should I do?'' The vet advised him, ''On the day he doesn't limp, sell him!'' -- James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) p. 288.
There can be no success in spiritual warfare for us to not be people of integrity, there will be nothing to hold the ...
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