“Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning.”
Girded. It is the action of hedging about, to prepare, to make sure, to fasten on your belt and get to work! Here is the stance of the prepared and anticipatory Christian. He stands both sure and active. He is girded for service with majesty of attitude and action with Christ as our example. His light is burning brightly holding forth the Word of Life with preparedness and a confident stance in life, doctrine, attitude, direction and sure reward.
Such a Christian stands ready to receive honour and reward. “Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.” (Luke12:37)
Did you see that? If we are ready and watching, the Lord will “serve” us? He will see to our needs. Isn’t that amazing!?
To be ill prepared, however, is to receive punishment. “And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. (vs. 47)
Remember the Ten Virgins? Those that were not prepared when the voice of the Bridegroom sounded missed out on the wedding party. Their lamps were not lit. They were not girded and ready. They missed the opportunity.
Being girded is our responsibility. We are to be prepared and watching for His coming and be actively serving with lamps all trimmed and bright. We are to be anticipating His return. “Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing!” Luke 12:43
So, are you ready? Is your lamp trimmed and bright? Are you ready to get to work?
““…having your loins girded about with truth.” Ephesians 6:14
Vine’s Dictionary describes this word with the visual picture of the soldier or servant of Christ girded for service, ready for rapid movement. The truth is on his heart and mind. He is ready to be used at the first call. There is a readiness and an ability to use the truth that is bound to him.
This girded loin is just one part of the armour of the soldier of Christ as described in Ephesians chapter six, but it is a very vital part. From the loins come the movements of the rest of the body. If truth is not the sinew holding the frame together, the body will be disjointed and unable to be ready for rapid movement.
The image of a girdle is accurate picture. There is an elderly lady in our church whose aging frame requires her to daily wear a tight girdle. Without this girdle her hips will dislocate and she will not be able to function. The girdle literally helps to hold her together and enables her to continue to function.
If we apply the image of a girdle as truth we will understand that it is truth that holds us together. It is truth that gives us the ability to function productively and for the honour of our Lord. We definitely need truth.
So the question can be asked, “Just how much truth do we know?” Every piece of truth is important. God loves me. That is truth. I am His child. That is truth. He will never leave me. That, too, is truth. These are basics from God’s Word. Knowing them, believing them, and relying upon them will enable us to move in faith. Without these basic truths, we will be disjointed.
So, is your girdle tight enough?
“Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness. “ Psalm 30:11
In this verse the meaning of girded is to be wrapped up in, bound about with, to be wholly influenced by or under the influence of.
The Bible makes many references to the putting on of sackcloth and ashes to represent grief or repentance. The wearers would literally take dusty, dirty cloth and wrap it around themselves. They would then rub their clothing and skin with ashes and sit in a heap to demonstrate their sincere grief of heart and soul.
When David and Bathsheba’s son was ill the Bible says that David did sat in sackcloth and ashes, but when the child died he arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel…” (II Sam 12:20) His time of grieving was over. It was time to put off the sackcloth and change his emotion. David moved from being girded in grief to being girded in acceptance.
In Psalm 30, a song of dedication of the house of David, the time for rejoicing had come. Verse eleven says it was time to be wrapped up in gladness for all God had done. What a wonderful feeling – to be wrapped in gladness! What a wonderful change God makes in our lives as he changes our mourning into joyful dance and pours gladness into our hearts.
The Psalmist completes the chapter by revealing what a heart girded with gladness produces. “To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.” A heart girded with gladness will produce praise and thanksgiving.
Life can bring many changes of emotion. We can be held under the influences of these emotions. Matthew Henry says, “Thus must we learn to accommodate ourselves to the various providences of God.”
What are you wrapped up in?
“And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the Lord’s Passover.” Exodus 12:11
Sounds like really bad table manners, but the Israelites were to eat the Passover fully clothed as if they were ready to go out the door. This was not to be a leisurely meal like the everyday meals where they lounged around and ate for the enjoyment of the food and fellowship. They were to eat it quickly as if in expectation of being called away.
The reason was that this point in the Passover service was a picture of their readiness for their wilderness journey. They were waiting for the cloud to move them on to the next place. For us, as Christians, it reminds us to live our lives alert in expectation of Christ’s coming.
I John 2:28 says, “And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.” Abiding, being girded, being ready, this is the stance of the Christian. There is a little chorus that says:
“ I’ll be somewhere listening,
I’ll be somewhere listening,
I’ll be somewhere listening for my name…”
Indeed, no matter what service we are doing for the Lord we should be always girded and ready for his call whether in death or in rapture. Ready to meet Him. That call is imminent.
Are you ready? Are you listening?
“And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.” Revelation 1:13
This description of Christ in the book of Revelation reveals that Christ too understands the emblematic and symbolic meaning of being girded. He stands as the Alpha and Omega, the first and last as he begins to reveal the mysteries of the ages. His girding is not so much for readiness, but for the majesty of attitude and action with which he now stands. He has overcome and now he is about to set all things aright. He has this power and authority and his apparel signifies his position.
It is interesting to note that the girding of the Christians we have been talking about was usually done around the hips with a cord or a sheath of fabric. Yet here we see the girdle of Christ described as golden, and instead of being around his hips, it is across his breastplate.
The High Priest wore a breastplate with twelve jewels symbolizing the twelve tribes of Israel. It was to be worn as a memorial before the Lord. (Exodus 28:29) This breastplate signified him as the High Priest. Similarly, Christ, here in Revelation, wears this golden girdle, over his heart signifying and confirming that he is our Great High Priest.
And what is the reaction of those who see him in Revelation? The Apostle John said, “And when I saw him, I fell at is feet as dead.” John recognized the majesty and authority of the Deity before him. His heart was attuned and ready to worship. He recognized the Way, the Truth and the Life…because, he, too, was girded.
Are you girded? What would be your reaction if you stood before Christ today?