Temple Baptist Church - 10-26-2011
A. In these final verses to the Ephesian believers, Paul admonished them to recognize their enemy and, knowing who Satan is, get ready for a continual battle. Our spiritual warfare is a perpetual one. Satan never gives up nor does he let up. God’s children are under constant attack for more than one reason:
1. Because it is Satan’s only way to “get back at God!” By hurting what God loves and doing his best to destroy us
2. Because we are the only gospel that the lost sees. Satan, the god of this world, has blinded the minds of the lost. He has blinded them to the reality of their lost condition and also to the approaching of eternity. If we are defiled, discouraged, or destroyed—the lost will not see the light of the glorious gospel of Christ and be saved.
B. Satan’s battlefield in both saved and lost is the mind! As we are admonished to withstand and to stand, Paul begins with the girding of the “loins” with God’s truth. Along with physical preparedness, mental preparedness is extremely important when facing conflict. If someone slipped up behind you and stuck you with a pin, you would probably jump and scream. When I hit the ground, I would be very upset with the one who jabbed me. But on the other hand, on occasion I go to the doctor for a shot of some kind. I do not like either the pin or the needle but the outcome is always different. I watch as they draw blood out of my arm. I do not flinch when they give me the old needle. What is the difference between the two sticking’s? Mental preparedness! I am unprepared for the malicious jabbing of the pin but mentally prepared for the shot or drawing of blood. I have prepared my mind in that I am ready for the pain of the needle, therefore it is no surprise.
C. We must be expecting the “jab” of Satan’s needle at any time and any circumstance. When we are mentally prepared for spiritual and physical confrontation, we are much more prepared to both stand and withstand. I want to take a closer look at this phrase “having your loins girt about with truth.”
1. The word having tells me that without this girting with truth, standing or withstanding becomes much more difficult if not impossible. The secret to standing and withstanding is having the whole armor of God, not just certain aspects of it and the first mentioned is that of mind! Most fights of any kind are either won or lost before the fight begins because of mental preparedness or a lack of it. Believers everywhere are falling to the wayside because of not having the right mental preparedness. Get ready mentally for the battle of your life.
2. The word loins is in reference to the strength of the mind or the degree of preparedness that we have. The word loins has nothing to do with the actual physical loins of our bodies from which comes physical strength because the context of the verse is speaking of truth. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
3. The word girt means to bind up or to strengthen. A sword is firmly attached to the soldier when in the sheath. Our minds must be properly bound up or fenced in. One man said, “If you are too open minded, your brains will fall out.”
4. The word truth speaks not so much about truth in general as it does about biblical truth or the Word of God. Knowledge and understanding are great weapons to be used against both Satan and the circumstances of this life.
1. A Cleansing - Psalms 19:14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. (We are to be careful what we allow our minds to think upon. We will have “fiery darts” strike from time to time and that in itself is not sinful. Our meditation becomes the problem. I often warn our youth about the things that they place into their minds because, as long as you live, “evil” will be present with you! Cleansing of the mind is like the cleansing of our bodies: it must be done perpetually or it will stink!)
Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.
Psalms 119:9 BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.
2. A Cultivation - Ephesians 4:22-23 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; (23) And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; (The greatest thing that we can do in the realm of our minds is to fill it with the Word of God. In order to be healthy and grow, our minds must be fed a right diet on a regular basis. We feed our minds every day one way or the other; therefore, we must continually renew them. As a right, regular diet makes for a healthy body, so goes the mind.)
Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
3. A Capturing - 2 Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; (When in a spiritual battle, we often let our imaginations exalt “high” things against the knowledge of God. God is not able; God does not care; God does not love us; etc. are things that we know are not true and yet they are things that can constantly impact our thinking. God can; God controls; God controls; God love us; and God does care!)
4. A Concentration - Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Learning to think both righteously and positively are ways in which we can gird up the loins of our minds. Look for good in things; look for the blessings of God in things. I am not talking about the “Power of Positive Thinking.” I am talking about thinking positive. God is still sovereign and there are wonderful things to occupy our minds each day.)
5. A Continuation - 2 Timothy 3:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; (Never, never give up! We are victorious in our faith and Satan is a defeated foe! He may at times win a skirmish but the war was over before it ever began. Hang in there; withstand all that Satan throws your way; and stand fast.)
Conclusion: Your mind is more important that you know. “Mind over matter” becomes a reality in our spiritual warfare. As goes the mind, so goes the war!