Derek Prince - You Cannot Hide Behind Religious Talk
This is an excerpt from: War In Heaven And Earth - Part 1
Let's go back to Ephesians chapter 6. I hope I've succeeded in showing you that there is a real conflict taking place in the heavenly realms and we've got part to play. It's not going to come to success without us doing our part. Have you grasped that? Say yes or no. I hope you have because if you haven't, I've been wasting my time.
Now, let me point out something to you which another preacher pointed out to me this recently. If you read Ephesians every statement in it is in the plural, there's not one statement to an individual it's all to “you” plural, to you, the church, to you, the believers. This whole scenario does not leave room for the lone ranger, he has no part to play in this, it's going to be a corporate action by the people of God or it's not going to work. So, we come back, through Ephesians 6, going on in verse 13: 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. So, Paul's picture is taken from the equipment of a Roman legionary, what was called his panoply, his full armor, or his full equipment. And he gives it a spiritual application. I wish I knew a way to blow my nose without getting it recorded.
All right, we're in Ephesians 6, verse 13: Therefore, now you've heard the famous Prince saying, haven't you? When you find the therefore in the Bible you want to find out what it's there for. And verse 13 is there because of verse 12, because we're involved in this life-and-death conflict with it satanic forces in the heavenlies take up the whole armor of God. And let me say, this is the most urgent importance, for all of you who are involved in spiritual warfare, don't go into it unarmed. And Paul lists six pieces of armor, and the first five are all weapons of self-defense of equipment. I want to go through them briefly and I want you to check how much do you have on. It's verse 14: Stand therefore having your waist... Having girded your waist with truth. The first piece of equipment is the girdle, the belt.
Now, you need to understand, in those days, most often, both men and women wore long garments that stretched below the knees, and you'll find a phrase that is quite often in the Bible, gird up your loins, because to do anything active the first thing you had to do was get your long garments up above your knees so that you could freely move your legs. So, what you did was you put the girdle on you pulled the long garment up and you tucked it into your girdle. after that, you were ready for action, before that, you couldn't go into action. Your long garment would have impeded you. Stand therefore having girded your waist with truth. I think that's very important, I think it means being ruthlessly honest, with ourselves and other people. The pastor was talking about my first wife Lydia, and she was a person who told it like it is. He was reminding me, somebody said to her: how are your children? So, she said do you really want to know? The man said yes, well, sit down and I'll tell you. And she went through all eight children one by the one and told him exactly, see?
In other words, she took words seriously, she did not use idle speech, she didn't use religious cliches, they are a terrible hindrance if you want to be a real committed Christian. You cannot hide behind religious talk, you've got to be sincere, you've got to tell it like it is. When I got involved in the 1960s with that generation, they were saying, tell it like it is, and I said to myself, and my fellow preacher, whatever could we ask better than that? Let's tell it like it is, let's tell it the way it really is, let's not mince some words, let's not pin pretty pictures, let's really come down and tell them the facts. And I thank God that I saw hundreds of young people radically changed. You know why they got changed? Because they were radical. I was radical, a generation before them, but there were no hippies so, I didn't know what to be.
I tell this story because people sometimes are an incredible witness. While I was still at Eaton and then in Cambridge, I had the impression that you could make money at Roulette, if you had the right system, and I thought we'd discovered the right system, my friends and I. So, I would go to Monte Carlo or Cannes, on the south coast of France, and play roulette. By a miracle of God's grace I never really lost anything. Then I discovered, later, that the man who invented the system, whose name was Labouchère, died a pauper. But why I'm trying to tell you is living in Monte Carlo or Cannes in warm weather, I would walk around in sandals which is pretty normal. But what is not normal about me was, I colored my toenails red. I've often said to myself, why did I do that? I really don't know, but, I think it was a kind of protest. Well, I mean, I think it is a protest.
You see, why does a girl color her hair blue? What motivates her? I don't criticize her. I can't cast the first stone, if I colored my toenails red she's got the right to color her hair blue. But I asked myself: What is it motivating young people to new things like that? And I think it's a wordless protest against the fact that there's something phony, and you know what they think about the church? Many of them think we're phony. And you know what? They're often right too. I believe myself there's a deep hunger in the young people of this generation to get to reality, but it doesn't occur to them to go to the church to find reality. I'll speak about that more on Sunday evening if God wills that we live.
So, we're talking about the girdle, in other words, tell it like it is, don't use religious cliches, don't use sweet language, be like my first wife, and also, my second wife to say the truth. I've never been married to an insincere woman. I've never been married to one who played a role, they were real, they were what they were, with all their weaknesses and failings, they were real. And that's what I believe is getting up your loins for the girdle of truth. It's getting all this fancy religious talk, these religious cliches. When I first became a pentecostal pastor, which was in Britain, and the slogan of the pentecostals was, we've got it all, saved, baptized in water, baptized in spirit, speaking in tongues. Well, then I read the journals of John Wesley and I said to myself, if we've got it all, what did John Wesley have? because he had a lot more than we did.
See we had the language, we spoke in tongues, but how far does that get you? It doesn't get you very far, you can just be a freak, a religious freak, and gather with the other freaks every Sunday morning. I'm not being malicious, I'm just trying to get you face to face with reality. I thank God I'm in a church now, in North Carolina. I really enjoy going to church on Sunday morning, that's unusual. Most often I go because it's a duty, but we got in the church which really tells it like it is, up to a certain point, and I know it, I'm having so much enjoyment, I want reality. I don't know how many more years I'm going to live, only God knows, but I don't want to... I don't want to fool around. To me time is precious, my strength is precious, I want to use it for the right things, I'm prepared to make sacrifices.
You know, I'm going to celebrate my 85th birthday, God helping me, if God wills me to live. I'm going to be flying back from Benin, where I'll be going to preach. You know where Benin is? No, you don't. I don't blame you. I didn't either. But it's just next... West to Nigeria. And there's a conference of French-speaking Africans from all over the... that part of Africa. And it's like a challenge to me, I want to get my teaching into French, I want to be able to reach the French speaking world. You know, there are 500 million people who speak French and they're not being reached, basically. France is a desolate land spiritually. So, why did I say all that? Because I want to get rid of these long religious garments. I want to tuck them up in the girdle of truth, and tell it like it is, amen?