Saturday, May 21, 2011

Proverbs 31 Journey: The Belt of Truth

Meditation/Memory Verse: Teach me Your way, O Lord, that I may walk and live in Your truth; direct and unite my heart [solely, reverently] to fear and honor Your name. ~ Ps 86:11 (Amplified)

With graduations and work issues, I had to take a week away from this study. As I was waiting on God to stir my heart towards this next subject of the Proverbs 31 Woman, the 22nd verse from Proverbs 31 stirred me. Then a message last week from a pastor lead me to write these words. For the next few weeks lets look at the internal make-up of this woman and what made her outward appearances so beautiful.

She makes her own bed coverings, her clothing is fine linen and purple. ~ Prov 31:22 (HCSB)

At first my thoughts of this verse above brought to mind my mother. She is someone who can and will sew anything from bed coverings to my dads suits. I however do not follow in her pursuit of this talent. There are many women like me who would stumble getting around the sewing machine. But I felt God's whisper that this is not the message He wanted me to pull from this verse. I felt Him say to me as I listen to that sermon this past week that the clothing here goes much deeper than the linen itself or the talent to put it together for a covering.

She makes for herself coverlets, cushions, and rugs of tapestry. Her clothing is of linen, pure and fine, and of purple [such as that of which the clothing of the priests and the hallowed cloths of the temple were made]. ~Amplified version

In Biblical time purple was reserved for royalty. As a daughter of the King we would fall into that category. We are His holy maidservants, chosen to be the aroma of Christ in this world we live in. Remember a memory verse from a few weeks past....

But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.~ 2 Cor 2:14-15 (NIV)

As royalty to the kingdom of God, we cover ourselves with the coverings God has given us and we intentionally follow his purpose...

But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God's instruments to do His work and speak out for Him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference He made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted. ~ 1 Peter 2:9 (Message)

This woman of Proverbs 31 was not about being a fashion statement, she was about being a woman of God. She knew each morning before her feet hit the floor she would have to determine her course. Not knowing what laid ahead of her, she would determine in her heart and mind to say yes to God. Intentionally she would gird her body, mind and spirit to be ready for the day.

For the next few weeks, we will look at the Proverbs 31 Woman from the verses found in Ephesians 6:

11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.

Remember that Proverbs 31:10 in several translations defines her as "noble". A noble woman is strong, a woman of high birth who possessing outstanding qualities and character. I heard a preacher reference her once as "brave, a warrior for her God and her home". She is clothed with Christ.

The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh. ~ Romans 13:12-14

She is a woman who is not about herself but a woman who can take the message of Ephesians 6 and literally dress in it. This week, lets look at the first garment she is required to wear--the belt of Truth. Soldiers in Paul's day wore belts to secure their clothing and hold weapons. The belt of truth found in Ephesians 6 has similar but expanded functions for spiritual living . This belt of truth allows for the action of daily sanctification. The belt of Truth is God's Word and by wearing God's Word we are being sanctified. To sanctify means to set apart for a special purpose, to purify. This belt of Truth will help us stay on mission for God and avoid falling back into sin's grip. This belt of truth will set us apart from people who don't follow God. Jesus, being set apart, prayed that God would sanctify us by the truth, His Father's word:

"Sanctify them by your truth; your word is truth!" ~ John 17:17.

Another action of the belt of Truth is that it is our guide. The Holy Spirit uses His truth to guide us in whatever circumstances we're in. Just as communication is crucial on the physical battlefield of our lives, so is the Holy Spirit's guidance of Truth in the spiritual battlefields we encounter.

"But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come" ~John 16:13 (NIV).

The belt of Truth will also arm us with discernment. How we interpret a situation can play a critical role in the outcome of our actions and words. God's word reveals truth that helps us decisively recognize the devil's lies that can lead us in spiritual conflicts. Armed with the truth of the Word, we'll recognize the devil's lies for what they are.

"For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." ~ Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)

The belt of Truth makes us ready. Our belt can become corrupted by the sin we commit and tolerate in our lives. Memorizing and knowing scripture becomes our main weapon. The belt of Truth enables us to move quickly and confidently without tripping into lies and losing focus of what God has intended for us, His royal daughters.

Study it, speak it, and live it!

To keep our belt of truth in great shape, we keep our hearts pliable and obedient to God by clinging to his Word.

Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other. ~ Deut 4:39 (NIV)

When we put on the belt of Truth, we acknowledge His sovereignty, love, wisdom, and holiness. So this week, our assignment is simple. Before you even allow your feet to hit the floor, before you even grab that first cup of coffee or brush your teeth, choose to put on the belt of Truth. Choose to believe that God is who He says He is and He is in control of this day. Choose to be a Jesus girl, to be willing to say "Yes Lord" before you even know what lies ahead. Lay a belt out so that it is the first thing you see each morning when you awaken to remind you of this truth. Post throughout your home and car these verses below. Meditate on them. Believe them.

He will wear righteousness like a belt and truth like an undergarment. ~Isa 11:5

I love you, Lord; you are my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety. ~ Ps 18:1-2

Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you. ~ Ps 25:5

Send out your light and your truth;let them guide me.Let them lead me to your holy mountain,to the place where you live. ~ Ps. 43:3

You are my refuge and my shield; your word is my source of hope. ~ Ps 119:114

Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. ~ Col. 2:7

Grace, mercy, and peace, which come from God the Father and from Jesus Christ—the Son of the Father—will continue to be with us who live in truth and love. ~ 2 John 1:3

For the Lamb on the throne will be their Shepherd.He will lead them to springs of life-giving water.And God will wipe every tear from their eyes.” ~ Rev. 7:17

God's armor brings victory because it is far more than a protective covering. It is the very life of Jesus Christ himself. The Proverbs 31 Woman believes in the TRUTH. Because of this, God's reveals to her all that He is, all that He has done, and all that He promises to do for her in the days ahead. She abides in Him.

"I am the vine; you are the branches," said Jesus. "If a man abides in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." (John 15:5)

Thank you, my Lord, for showing me the TRUTH about Yourself, Your plans and Your ways. Help me to abide in You, truly abide in You. Thank You for reminding me that You are the only God, the Creator of heaven and earth. I thank you for the Truth that You are the King of the universe, my Father who loves me, and my Shepherd who leads me. You are my wisdom, my counselor, my hope, and my strength. You are everything I need each day. I choose to wear this belt of Truth so I can reflect You in this world. ~ Amen

Believing Him~Pamela

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