The belt of truth is an essential piece of equipment in doing spiritual battle with the enemy. Truth protects us. Truth strengthens us. Truth supports us at our most strenuous moments. If you’ve ever watched weight lifters you might notice that they often wear huge leather belts tightly buckled around their midsections. Being “girded around” with truth is like that belt. It strengthens and supports us where we need it most. We have more confidence in the lift. We can handle heavier burdens. We can face greater challenges. We are more prepared for the strenuous lift. Without the protection that truth provides we are weakened in every way and less capable of defending ourselves from spiritual attacks.

But humans are experts at deceiving themselves. We’ve all known people who “really think they’re something special.” Of course, you and I have never had such thoughts! Paul tells the Galatians that “if any of you think you are something, when you are nothing, you deceive yourselves” (Galatians 6:3). Paul also told the Romans (12:3) that we ought not to think more highly of ourselves than we should. We often fall into the trap of thinking we’re more important than we really are. That kind of self-deceit destroys our capabilities to stand firm against the schemes of the father of lies, the pride-full opponent of God. Jon Courson writes in his “Application Commentary” on this verse in Galatians, “It has been wisely said that to determine how important you are, stick your finger into a bucket of water, pull it out, and see how long it takes to fill the hole. We all have a tendency to think we’re irreplaceable—but we’re not. Paul doesn’t say we deceive ourselves if we are nothing. He says we deceive ourselves because we are nothing.”

In our walk with the Lord one thing becomes perfectly clear as we get older: we’re not as competent, intelligent, witty, or handsome as we thought we were. John the Baptist had it down from the beginning of his ministry. In John 3:30, he explains the entire direction of his life and ministry when he was asked about Jesus. He said, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” The word “must” is worth noticing. It was not optional for John. It’s not optional for any of us either. Jesus made it clear that in his organizational structure it’s the least that will be the greatest. It’s the last who will be the first. In God’s estimation, the way up is always the way down. Which way are you going?