Facing Any Challenge With Our Christian “Bat Belt”

Since seeing The Batman (2022) for the first time, and enjoying it so much I went back to the theater again, my sister and I’ve been watching a ton of Batman content. We rewatched the Nolan trilogy, laughed through The Lego Batman Movie (2017), and started Batman: The Animated Series (1992-1995).

I’ve been a fan of Batman since watching Batman (1966-1968) reruns on TV Land at my grandma’s house as a little girl. One of the things that stays consistent through all these different versions is that Batman wears a utility belt containing everything from batarangs to shark-repellant batspray. He’s ready for anything.

We have a similar belt as Christians. We often speak of the Armor of God that Paul describes in Ephesians 6, and I have a whole series of posts on spiritual warfare that goes into detail about that armor (I’ll link to those posts at the end of this article). One of my favorite Bible translations calls the first piece of this armor a “utility belt.” The comparison between Batman’s belt and the Armor of God might be a bit of a stretch (or even seem way too cheesy for a Bible Study blog post), but it did make me think and I thought some of you might find this interesting as well.

The Utility Belt of Truth

Therefore put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having the utility belt of truth buckled around your waist

Ephesians 6:13-14, WEB

As a Batman fan, this wording made me think more deeply about what the “the belt of truth” is than I ever had before. I noticed this translation choice years ago when I first started using the WEB, and it’s been rolling around in my mind ever since. Watching more Batman content now, I realized just how useful–and how seemingly inexhaustible–his utility belt is. The Batman Wiki page lists nearly 50 tools on this belt including a stungun, rope, gasmask, cryptographic sequencer, and first-aid kit. It’s full of non-lethal offensive weapons, defensive tools to protect himself, and evidence-gathering tools to aid in crime fighting.

I don’t usually think of belts as being so universally applicable–they’re for holding your pants up or accessorizing an outfit. But in Bible times, girdles were a key part of soldier’s clothing (1 Sam. 18:4; 2 Sam. 20:8). They could also be decorative, signaling the respect and power of a prince or priest (Ex. 29:9; Isaiah 22:21; Ezk. 23:15). For Roman soldiers in particular (the most well-known army at the time and location of Paul’s writings), the belt was a status symbol and a practical tool that could be considered “even more important than armour or weapons” (Shawn M. Caza). When Paul says the first piece of God’s armor is “the utility belt of truth,” he means for us to understand how useful and versatile this belt is.

Image of an open Bible overlaid with text from Proverbs 3:3-4, NET version: “Do not let mercy and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will find favor and good understanding, in the sight of God and people.”
Image by Dakota from Lightstock

What is Truth?

Like Batman’s utility belt, the belt that God gives us to put on as the first piece of armor is applicable in every situation. There is no time when we can’t reach into the belt of truth and pull out something that’s helpful and relevant to our situation. But what, exactly, is truth?

Jesus replied, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

John 14:6, NET

Set them apart in the truth; your word is truth.

John 17:17, NET

God’s word and Jesus Himself are where we find truth. They are truth. So when we read something like Proverbs 3:3, which says, “Don’t let kindness and truth forsake you. Bind them around your neck. Write them on the tablet of your heart” (WEB), we can think of staying close to God, never forsaking His word, and keeping Jesus so near it’s like He’s hanging on our neck and written in our hearts. He has the answers we need and He helps us navigate a complicated world with confidence, and even boldness, knowing that the Creator of the Universe keeps close to us as we keep close to Him.

Truth is a key part of how we worship God (John 4:23-24). It’s part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:9), and rejoicing in truth is part of the definition of love (1 Cor. 13:6). Believing, knowing, and loving Truth are closely connected with salvation (2 Thes. 2:8-14; 2 Tim. 2:24-26). We can even tell whether or not we’re in God’s light–in other words, if we have a relationship with Him–by looking at how well we obey His truth (John 3:20-21; 1 John 1:6-8; 2:4; 3:18-19). We’re actually supposed to become new people because the Father “gave birth to us by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures” (James 1:17-18, WEB; see also 1 Pet. 1:22-23).

… if indeed you heard about him and were taught in him, just as the truth is in Jesus. You were taught with reference to your former way of life to lay aside the old man who is being corrupted in accordance with deceitful desires, to be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and to put on the new man who has been created in God’s image—in righteousness and holiness that comes from truth. Therefore, having laid aside falsehood, each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, because we are members of one another.

Ephesians 4:20-25, NET

Applying Truth In Love

Image of an open Bible with the blog's title text and the words "God’s word applies to every situation, and when we put on His 'belt of truth,' we’re even better equipped for whatever we might face than Batman is with his utility belt."

We can use God’s truth when navigating any challenge that comes our way. By studying God’s word and cultivating our relationship with Jesus and the Father, we deepen our understanding of Truth and arm ourselves with a belt that helps equip us for facing any situation. As our understanding deepens, we gain an anchor that keeps us from being tossed around in the storms and confusions of life. We also learn better how to apply God’s truth in our lives.

So we are no longer to be children, tossed back and forth by waves and carried about by every wind of teaching by the trickery of people who craftily carry out their deceitful schemes. But practicing the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into Christ, who is the head. From him the whole body grows, fitted and held together through every supporting ligament. As each one does its part, the body builds itself up in love.

Ephesians 4:14-16, NET

This verse tells us that “practicing the truth in love” is part of growing up as a member of Jesus’s body. You’ll also find translations that say, “speaking the truth in love” (WEB, for example). The more we grow to be like Jesus, the more we’re able to apply His truth in a loving way through every aspect of our lives, including what we say and what we do.

Truth from God can do amazing things. Knowing truth makes us free (John 8:31). God can send out His truth to rescue us and vanquish enemies (Psalm 43:1-3; 54:4-5). We can tell whether a teacher is aligned with God by how they handle the Word of Truth (2 Cor. 4:1-2; 6:3-7; 13:8; 1 Thes. 2:13; 2 Tim. 2:15; Titus 1:1). And we can go to God’s truth for aid when we’re not sure what to do next or need to counter an attack from the Adversary (as Jesus did when the devil came after Him). God’s word applies to every situation, and when we put on His “belt of truth,” we’re even better equipped for whatever we might face than Batman is with his utility belt. 

Spiritual Warfare Series

Featured image by Abhishek Kashyap from Pixabay


Several times when speaking of future events, Jesus told His disciples to “watch.” Most people I hear talk about this focus on us watching for His return. Typically, they try to match-up prophecy with events going on today and figure out how close we are to the end times. But that’s only one aspect of watching. There are three:

  1. Watching for Christ’s return
  2. Watching yourself
  3. Watching for wolves in the flock

Each aspect of watching is vital for us as followers of Jesus Christ. We need all three and we need to balance them. If we only focus on watching for Christ’s return, we can get so caught up in the future that we neglect what God wants us to do in the present. If we only watch ourselves, we can miss important things going in on the world and the church. And if we only watch for people who may cause problems, we can become suspicious, judgmental, and self-righteous.

Watch, Keep Alert, Pray

When Jesus’ disciples asked about the end times, the first thing He said was, “Be careful that no one leads you astray” (Mark 13:5, WEB). This is one of the main reasons we need to watch ourselves and the situation around us. The closer we get to Christ’s second coming, the harder it gets to stay on-track for His kingdom.

“Watch yourselves,” Christ says, and don’t be afraid of the challenges coming to try and shake your faith. Watch for the things He has warned us of before hand so you’re not deceived by “false Christs and false prophets.” Watch, because you are like servants waiting up for their master’s arrival (Mark 13:9-13, 21-23, 34-37).

But of that day or that hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Watch, keep alert, and pray; for you don’t know when the time is. (Mark. 13:32-33, WEB)

When we look at all the instructions to watch recorded in Mark 13, it reveals how all three watchings we talked about are tied together. You can’t do one without the others, at least not effectively. This passage also reinforces how vital watching is for followers of Christ as we draw ever closer to His return. Read more

Spiritual Persecution

In the sermon I referenced in last week’s post, the speaker briefly touched on a point that I wanted to make the subject of further study. Since I also needed a topic for today’s post, I decided to “kill two birds with one stone,” as the saying goes. This first section is going to summarize relevant parts of that sermon, then I’ll move on to my own thoughts on the subject.

In 2 Timothy 3:12, Paul writes that “all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” There are no exceptions. However, as this speaker pointed out, we can all name Christians we know of who went through life without having to face the kind of persecutions mention at the end of Hebrews 11. His conclusion, from bringing in Ephesians 6:12, is that this verse includes persecutions from a spiritual source.

Not Against Flesh and Blood

The Armor of God passage in Ephesians talks about arming ourselves for our struggle against sin as if for war. It also gives us important information about who our enemies are and what must be done to overcome them.

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. (Eph. 6:10-13)

In his commentary on this passage, Matthew Henry describes the kind of assault we can expect from this type of enemy, who he describes as “subtle,”an enemy who uses wiles and stratagems.”

They are spiritual enemies: Spiritual wickedness in high places, or wicked spirits, as some translate it. The devil is a spirit, a wicked spirit; and our danger is the greater from our enemies because they are unseen, and assault us ere we are aware of them. The devils are wicked spirits, and they chiefly annoy the saints with, and provoke them to, spiritual wickednesses, pride, envy, malice, etc. … They assault us in the things that belong to our souls, and labour to deface the heavenly image in our hearts; and therefore we have need to be upon our guard against them. We have need of faith in our Christian warfare, because we have spiritual enemies to grapple with, as well as of faith in our Christian work, because we have spiritual strength to fetch in. Thus you see your danger.  (Eph. 6:10-18, 1. [3])

Overcoming Through Christ

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Seeing our danger is one step toward overcoming the adversary. We can’t fight something if we don’t recognize that is is putting us in peril. As in other areas of our lives, our focus should be on spiritual, not physical things. It is hard to be on guard spiritually if we are too focused on physical safety. Are we more worried about keeping our hearts, minds, and spirits safe than we are about protecting our lives? Perhaps this is one reason we are told, “do not worry about your life” (Matt. 6:25). To much focus on the physical distracts us from the importance of our spiritual future, the condition of our spiritual lives, and the danger from our spiritual enemy.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. (1 Pet. 5:8-9)

We must be on constant guard, steadfast in faith, and strong in the power of our Lord Jesus Christ. The line right before this warning about our adversary reminds us where our true strength come from: “humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Pet. 5:6-7). To win a fight against a spiritual enemy and endure spiritual persecutions, we need the aid of our Spiritual Savior. When we fully submit to God, we can say along with Paul, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13).