So stand ready, with truth as a belt tight around your waist, with righteousness as your breastplate …. (Ephesians 6:14 TEV)
In Ephesians, the apostle Paul says the first thing to do in spiritual warfare is to wear truth like a belt around your waist. Truth is the foundation for you to fight against the enemy. If you don't have a foundation of truth, you will fall apart when temptations and turmoil attack your life. God’s Truth is what holds you together.
The belt of truth is integrity. It means you not only know the truth, but that you also act on the truth. If I know the truth but don't act on it, then I don't have integrity. In fact, that is hypocrisy. God says if you are a hypocrite, you have no defense against Satan.
In order to defend against Satan, God says we must maintain integrity. This doesn’t mean you are perfect, but it does mean you are honest and authentic. You don’t wear masks with different groups of people. People who know you intimately can honestly describe you as: “What you see is what you get.”
The opposite of integrity is compartmentalizing your life. The word "integrity" comes from the word "integer," which means a unit of one. It means you don't slice and dice your life like pieces of a pie. Integrity means all parts of your life are integrated together. You act the same no matter where you go. You don’t act one way at work, another way at church and another way with your friends. Integrity is being truthful in every area of your life.
Unfortunately, Satan doesn't have to work hard against some believers, because their lack of integrity makes them pushovers for his temptations. They don't have the belt of truth around them, so they are easy prey. The Bible says we are to stand ready with the truth wrapped tightly around us.
Have you compartmentalized your life? Are there some areas where you lack integrity? God wants you wrapped in the truth. Confess your sins to him and ask him to strengthen your ability to live transparently before others.
Saddleback Resources offers a small group Bible study related to these devotionals: The Invisible War-Winning the Battle of Temptation.
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and best-known churches. In addition, Rick is author of the New York Times Best Seller The Purpose Driven Life and The Purpose Driven Church, which was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for ministers. © Copyright 2011 Rick Warren.