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Christian Tool Kit: belt of truth

Did you know that Satan eats SCUBA divers for lunch! Now before you think that I have gone off the deep end, let me tell you how I came to this sinking conclusion.

Several months ago my wife Nicole and I decided to take SCUBA diving lessons in preparation for an upcoming vacation that we had planned. I had wanted to try the sport ever since I was a young boy. By the second night of the lessons, we were ready to try our first swim.

We donned the equipment and took our first submerged dive to the bottom of a swimming pool at a nearby hotel. This short dive was fantastic and we both came out excited and looking forward to what was ahead.

Our excitement wasn?t to last, however, because it was just the next week that Satan started his attack. Upon entering the water that night, Nicole started having trouble with her mask and quickly rose to the surface. Although we were only in ten feet of water (an easy swim for any experience swimmer), this action while breathing compressed air was quite dangerous.

It seemed that every time she tried to breath through her nose (I must admit this is a horrible sin) she would choke for air, panic, and swim to the surface. Even after repeated attempts to rejoin the others in the water, she just wasn?t able to learn the trick. That evening she went home wondering if she would ever be able to master the course.

The next class didn?t bring any relief. When the panic came, she was almost ready to drop out of the course then and there. Only our instructor?s faith in her kept her going. And that was when the attack came my way. Although I was doing fine up to that time, I suddenly had trouble performing a simple exercise. I too felt that grip of panic on my throat.

Although I was determined not to let the panic control me, I had to stop the exercise, close my eyes, and force myself to breath properly. I even tried praying but couldn?t form the words in my mind. It took a tip from a diving friend before Nicole and I could learn to handle the situation. He told us to stop and take two deep breaths of air to clear our heads. And it worked. With a clear head we were able to reassess our situation and realize that as long as we had air to breath, we could work through any problem.

So where is all this leading? Well I?m glad you asked. Several weeks after the course had ended, I picked up a book on spiritual warfare. In it the author described various attacks by demons on unsuspecting Christians. He finished by reminding us always to put on the armor of God (Eph 6).

Although I had read the verses many times over the years, I decided to look at them a little deeper this time. I read ?Finally be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil?s schemes. . . . . Stand firm then with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, . . . ? The old King James version says ?have your loins gird about with truth.?

I stopped there and asked myself how a belt can protect a soldier. I thought of the belts that weight lifters use to support their backs but this didn?t seem to apply. I then checked the meaning of loins in a Bible dictionary.

Among other parts, it said that the loins refer to the organs and bowels contained in the lower stomach and that ancient Roman thinking placed this area of the body as the source of the emotions of panic and anxiousness. We?ve all heard how some lose control of their bowels during times of extreme fear.

The description staggered me! I immediately thought back to my under-water experiences with panic. First comes anxiety where breathing becomes shallow and erratic. This is followed by panic where a person looses total control over their actions.

They will do anything to get away from the apparent source of the panic - even if it means putting themselves into an even more dangerous situation. In warfare, this is deadly and almost always leads to certain death. God used this same tactic to destroy the Midianites (Judges 6 and 7) with only 350 Israelite soldiers.

Well, in SCUBA diving, we were told to take several deep breaths of air to clear our heads. This sends additional oxygen to the brain and allows it to regain control. Notice that it is our stomach muscles that allow us to take these deep breaths.

Spiritually, Paul tells us to protect against anxiousness and panic with the belt of truth (Word of God). When feeling panicked by life?s situations, don?t run away. Instead stop and take two deep breaths of God?s Word to clear your head. Read the following verses (these are especially helpful if you read them OUT LOUD):

Jesus has already overcome satan and since He lives in me I also can overcome all satan's attacks - 1 John4:4

Why not start right now to make up a list of such verses and keep them handy for the next time Satan attacks in this way. It?s amazing how much confidence you will gain when you win your first battle.

Yes, Satan certainly ate us for lunch during those first few dives, but being in Jesus? army we learned how to counter attach. So, when he next attacks, I?ll be ready. I?ll claim Jesus? promises and watch as Jesus sends him swimming.

Steve (water logged) Posiak