Ephesians 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
I have touched on these powers of the dark world before, suggesting that these powers are not merely disembodied spirits, but powers working through real flesh-and-blood human beings. The Apostle Paul writes next how we are to deal with these rulers and authorities and spiritual forces of evil:
13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,
The very first defense we have is truth. The Apostle Paul offers this even before righteousness. But it gets more interesting thereafter:
15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Next comes the gospel, faith, and finally, salvation. But first of all comes truth – a commodity sorely lacking in our world, and one few rulers and authorities speak today. It is not found in the media, not in politicians, not in business leaders. But Paul offers that it must be found in those in the Lord.
The spoken word is to be guarded, above all else. God created the world through words; in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God; it is not what goes into one’s mouth that defiles him, but what comes out.
Truth comes first. When it comes to our armor, it is our first defense.