The 1st layer is the Belt of Truth which Paul tells you to gird around your loins because it is your loins that Satan will attack with lies and deceit. On a physical level, if the loins are exposed, then one kick to the groin will take you down regardless of your physical skills. On a spiritual level, if Satan can keep you from the truth and convince you to believe his lies, then he doesn't need to do anything else. He's already won.
The Power of Prayer is always the outer layer whether you're fully suited or missing a few pieces because Paul said in verse 18 that we should be praying always. So when you're completely naked and need to put on the Belt of Truth, you start with prayer first to bind the forces of darkness as you begin putting it on. 2nd Corinthians 4:4 says that Satan is the one who keeps the eyes and the mind blinded from seeing the truth. So you need Spiritual forces to get that deception out of the way.
Then, begin force-feeding yourself the Word of God on a daily basis because it's vital to putting on the Belt of Truth. Jesus said in John 8:31-32 that if you abide in God's Word, then you will know the truth and the truth will make you free. I say "force-feed" because reading the Bible is an acquired taste that consumes you once you get into the habit. But if you've fallen out of the habit, it requires a commitment to get it going again. But you've got to do it. You can't put on the Belt of Truth or the rest of the armor without it.
As you read the Bible, your understanding of it and how it applies to your daily life will be given to you as you daily talk to God while reading the Bible. God promises us in James 1:5 that if any of us is lacking in wisdom, just ask for it and we'll get it. God wants us praying and asking questions while we read His Word. That's how it gets absorbed.
Then, the way we actually strap on the Belt of Truth is found in 2nd Corinthians 10:5 where Paul tells you not to believe everything you think but instead, "lead every thought captive into the obedience of Christ." Christians these days spend way too much time trying to force the Word of God to conform to the wisdom of the world when we should be doing just the opposite. God would have us force the wisdom of the world to conform to the Word of God.
When 2nd Corinthians 10:5 says to "take every thought captive" it really means it. Our brain is like a computer that's been infected with malicious software. It's still a good brain, but you can't trust and rely upon everything that's going on up in there. It's been infected with software from the world culture, which is opposed to God. It's been infected with the software of our sin nature and harmful appetites. It's been infected with malware straight from Satan himself known as "arrows from the wicked one" according to Ephesians 6:10-18. So with all that going on up in there, no wonder Paul warns us to take every thought captive.
Proverbs 16:25 "There is a way which seems right, but at the end of it are the ways of death."
Proverbs 3:5-7 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths. Don't be wise in your own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil."
Psalm 32:8 "I the Lord will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and guide you with My eye upon you." That's great news because God's eye is connected to God's brain. My eye is connected to my brain which has proven insufficient over and over again. God's brain is bigger than our brain, so God's eyes can see more than our eyes. Therefore, trust in the Lord with all your heart, not your brain. He will direct your path and teach you personally.
Our search and discovery of the truth, guided by God's personal direction via daily prayer and Bible study is the foundation for which the rest of the Armor of God is built. Without the Belt of Truth, we're in bondage to all of Satan's deception. Too many professed Christians today are victims of Satan's lies because they've built most of their education and personal viewpoints from the wisdom of this world without filtering it first through God's Belt of Truth.
Whenever Christians research anything, it doesn't matter whether we're talking about political issues, religious issues, cultural issues, marital issues, sexual issues, financial issues, supernatural issues, historical issues, whether we're reading books, magazines, watching television, absorbing documentaries, researching the occult, researching anything...
There are 4 pivotal truths that YOU MUST HAVE ESTABLISHED IN YOUR HEART if you're to wear the Belt of Truth:
1. The wisdom of the world is foolishness to God. I Corinthians 3:19
2. Respectful fear of the Lord is the beginning of true wisdom and understanding. Proverbs 9:10
3. A true follower of Jesus Christ abides in God's Word... John 8:31-32
4. ...and brings all theories and arguments in opposition to God's Word into alignment with God's Word. II Corinthians 10:4-5
That is the Belt of Truth. If those 4 truths are permanently engraved on your heart, then you can watch any documentary, read any book or magazine, research any topic without fear of deception because God is with you in your research, instructing you and teaching you in the way you should go; counseling you and guiding you with His eye upon you. This is how I managed to survive watching countless hours of paranormal documentaries during the 1990s without being deceived.
Here are 4 signs you can watch for if you're not wearing the Belt of Truth:
1. You respect the wisdom of the world more than the wisdom of God.
2. You fear the world and what it thinks more than you fear the Lord and what HE thinks.
3. You abide in the words of the world's wisest rather than abiding in God's Word...
4. ...and you are probably in the habit of forcing Biblical doctrine into a box that is more palatable and acceptable with the world's wisdom. Instead of leading every thought captive into the obedience of Christ, you lead every truth captive into the obedience of the world.
If you find yourself leaning towards any of these 4 points, then Satan has managed to chip away at your Belt of Truth. That also means that the other 6 pieces of defense in the Armor of God are most likely absent as well since the Belt of Truth is the bottom layer.
- Without our reliance upon Biblical authority (The Sword of the Spirit)...
- We begin to lose our identity in Christ (The Helmet of Salvation)...
- Without which our focus shifts toward self-reliance which destroys our faith (The Shield of Faith)...
- Which takes away our peace (The Shoes of Peace)...
- Which leads us into feeling guilty (The Breastplate of Righteousness)...
- So that truth is the final casualty (The Belt of Truth).
Truth is the number one enemy of unrighteousness; therefore it is easy for Satan to chip away at the 1st and final layer of armor once the Breastplate of Righteousness has been removed. Hardly any Biblical doctrine can make it's way into the heart anymore because every part of the Bible is either deemed offensive, inapplicable or too archaic. Since there is no healthy prayer-life, no Biblical authority, no authority in Christ, no faith in God's faithfulness, no peace standing upon the whole counsel of God, no God-given righteousness, then the usurpation of societal authority, secular church authority, faith in yourself, faith in other people, faith in money, faith in your own definition of what's right has overthrown and overruled God's Word, which is the 1st and final layer: The Belt of Truth. You are now completely naked, defenseless, a serious danger to yourself and other Christians.
To naked Christians everywhere who are running around all over the place, usurping your worldly wisdom upon the rest of us without realizing what you're doing... PLEASE!!! Please get somewhere alone with God, and pray for discernment. Pray for the truth. Don't be wise in your own eyes as Proverbs 3:5-7 warns. Get back into prayer. Get back into God's Word. Respect the truth of God's Word over the wisdom of this world. Respectfully fear the Lord and what HE thinks over what the world thinks. Move out of the trailer park of worldly wisdom and move into the mansion of Godly wisdom. Abide in God's Word. Stop trying to force Biblical truth into a box that's acceptable to the world. Let it be the light it was intended to be. Lead every thought captive into the obedience of Christ.
Do all these things and you've put on the Belt of Truth and you're on your way to putting on the Armor of God.