Psalm 17:4 Concerning the works of men, by the word of thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer.

Psalm 40:11b Let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me.

Psalm 51:6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.

Psalm 91:4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

Psalm 107:20 He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. (See also Matthew 8:16.)

Psalm 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

John 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

Titus 2:3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;

4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,

5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

6 Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded.

I Peter 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:

15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;

16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

MEMORY VERSE: Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness. —Ephesians 6:14

CENTRAL THOUGHT: God’s Word and truth (which we bind about our inward affections, thoughts, feelings and emotions), preserves, heals, and keeps us from the subtle insinuations, suggestions, temptations and accusations of the enemy; causes us to stay in the safe path; keeps us from sinning, and makes us strong, wise and holy.


“Psalm 17:4 “I have kept”: I have watched or observed, in order to avoid.

Psalm 40:11 “Preserve”: watch; guard; keep.

Psalm 51:6 “Inward parts”: dark, hidden spaces; inmost thought.

Psalm 91:4 “Truth”: God’s spoken testimony and judgment; divine instruction; firmness and faithfulness of God. “Buckler”: bulwark; something surrounding the person.

Psalm 107:20 “Healed”: to mend or stitch together; repair; cure; make whole. “Destructions”: a pit.

Psalm 119:11 “Hid”: laid up; stored; treasured. “Heart”: seat of the appetites, emotions, passions, morale.

John 17:17 “Sanctify”: purify internally; make holy.

Titus 2:5 “Discreet”: safe and sound in mind; prudent; self-controlled; correctly (divinely) balanced. From a Greek root, phren, which is also “the root of ‘diaphram,’ the inner organ (muscle) that regulates physical life, controlling breathing and heart-beat” (HELPS Word Studies). The diaphragm controls the tone of a singer.

Titus 2:6 “Sober-minded”: to think shrewdly; to be safety-minded; to have true balance and moderation. Also from the Greek root phren, alluding to the diaphragm.

I Peter 1:13 and Ephesians 6:14 “Gird up”: take out the slack; tighten the belt; be prepared. “Loins”: the reproductive area; seat of generative power. “Mind”: disposition of thought, reasoning, insight, and speech; the faculty of understanding, feeling and desiring. “Sober”: not intoxicated; having presence of mind and clear judgment; free of illusion.

I Peter 1:14 “Not fashioning”: not identified with the same shape, form or expression; not following the same mold or pattern.


It was the firm belief of the Psalmist that the commandments—the truth—of God had power to preserve, shield, and keep him from the evil ways of sin (Chapters 17 and 40). David’s confession of sin in chapter 51 contained his acknowledgement that God desired truth and wisdom to be in his inward parts. David’s grievous sin awakened in him a desperate cry, again and again, for God to keep him from further transgression. In the 91st Psalm, God’s truth and commands were recognized as a weapon which both shielded and pierced; a full- body shield. The 107th Psalm, probably written after the captivity, celebrated God’s mercy and deliverance to His people. Again, the power of God’s word in answer to their cry unto him in trouble was what sent healing and salvation. The writer of the 119th Psalm, in answer to the question, “How shall a young man cleanse his way?” gives the treasuring up, or assimilating the Word of God into one’s very heart and character, as part of the answer to inner purity and prevention from sin.

Jesus repeated the concept several times in His ministry. His prayer in John 17 was that His disciples would be sanctified in heart and life by the truth of God’s Word. It is one thing to read or know what God has said; it is quite another to obey it and allow it to work a cleansing of the conscience, character, and conduct.

The admonitions of both Paul and Peter to “gird” the “loins” contain important comparisons of the tender, vulnerable organs of the body’s reproductive system to the spiritual origin and seat of reproduction of the feelings, emotions and affections, which directly affect the actions and entire direction of an individual. To both men and women, old and young, Paul gave the command to be sober and discreet—sound in mind, inwardly controlled, emotionally stable. As the Psalmist and Jesus have already established, it is only God’s truth—girding up, taking up any looseness, cinching in and providing support—which can accomplish the stability, discipline, and safety in this critical area.

—Angela Gellenbeck


  1. What kept the Psalmist from the paths of the destroyer?
  2. What important power did David recognize was desired by God to safeguard his inward thoughts and desires?
  3. According to Psalms 40, 107 and 119, what power heals, preserves and keeps from sin?
  4. For what did Jesus pray that would produce holiness in the hearts of His believers?
  5. Discuss the importance of girding up the emotional and mental faculties with God’s truth.


The personal, practical application of the lesson is found in the admonition Titus was to give to the men and women of the church: be sober; be controlled mentally and emotionally. We live in a world corrupted by generations of unbridled lusts and physical desires. The resulting mental chaos and emotional ruin is underlined by rampant alcoholism, drug abuse, and violence. Chemical dependence can be found in any family, among any socio-economic group or age sector. How are we to escape? Is there a positive answer? Is there a way to stop the generational tendencies in a family?

The answers lie in the “grace and truth” which come by Jesus Christ. Our lesson states that we must put on this particular piece of protective armor. In the passage in Romans 13, we are to put on Christ. We do this by assimilating HIS WORD into the mind and inner being.

What truth checks the “God doesn’t love me” attack at the door? “I have loved thee with an everlasting love.” “I am persuaded that neither death, nor life… shall be able to separate us from the love of God…” “And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love…”

What truth sends the “God has forsaken me” demon reeling? “For he hath said I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear…”

How do we combat “Why does God allow me to suffer?” “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.” “If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as sons.” “That we might be partakers of His holiness.” “For our light affliction…worketh for us…”

What steels us against worry and fear? “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God…shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” “Fear thou not; for I am with thee; be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee…”

Weave these powerful strands into an unbreakable, cohesive, protective unit and bind it securely around you! Shield your mind, your affections, and your emotions from pride, lust, anger, fear. It has often been said that the armor in Ephesians 6 doesn’t include a shield for the back. But wait a minute. This piece wraps completely around you. You may have retreated for a moment. You may even be on your face on the ground, bleeding. But you can tighten your belt of truth and stabilize those wounds, get back up and face the enemy again.

—Angela Gellenbeck


I went through a trial where the enemy convinced me that my imperfectness meant that God did not love me. I know that sounds ridiculous, but the enemy had me believing that. One night I started praying and asking the Lord to show me His love. I opened up my Bible and my eyes landed on Romans 8, verses 38-39, which read, “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” It was like a wave of God’s love immensely overflowed me! Nothing in this world can separate us from God’s love, not even our imperfectness. I got so caught up in the fact that I wasn’t perfect that I let the enemy convince me that I never could be. But I realized that on my own I never will be. It’s only through Christ’s love and salvation that we can be made whole and perfect.

As humans we are faulty, incomplete, and imperfect because sin and the fall of man separated us from God. He wants us to look to Him for our completeness! Only through Him can our every need be satisfied. Trials will still come and the enemy will still fight, but only through Him can we make it out with victory. In the past I have made the mistake of going through my trials alone. God has always been there waiting for me to grab hold of His hand, but I pushed the conviction away and tried to do it on my own. Every time I failed, and we will fail every single time we do it on our own. During this trial the enemy told me that God was done with me because I failed to turn to Him. I began to feel that God wouldn’t want me back after I tried to do it on my own. But God showed me that He loves and cares for His children. Our flesh is so quick to make mistakes, but we have to make the conscious decision to be guided by the Holy Spirit every day. God gave us the tools to fight our battles. He gave us the Holy Spirit to follow and the word of God to teach us, and that is what we must rely on.

I am so thankful that Jesus came down to this earth and died for me. It still blows my mind that Jesus came knowing that many would make mistakes, backslide, and that many would even deny Him. But He still chose to die on the cross to save us all. I am so thankful for the love of God and the promise that He will never leave me nor forsake me! When you feel like you’ve failed, don’t scurry to a corner and write yourself off. Get back up and run to Jesus! We will never be perfect, but God will continue to work on us if we seek after Him. Each day is another chance to walk in the footsteps of our Savior. The sole fact that God gave you another day proves that He loves you and hasn’t given up on you.

—Haleigh Edwards, OK

Click here to listen to an encouraging song: “That Wicked One Toucheth Him Not.”