Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Playing Dress Up
“Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. The angel said to those who were standing before him, ‘Take off his filthy clothes.’ Then he said… ‘See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put rich garments on you…Put a clean turban on his head.’ So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him, while the angel of the LORD stood by.” Zechariah 3:3-5.
No doubt we all have beautiful clothes hanging in our closets. If you could see what I grab at the end of each day to wear around the house you would be embarrassed for me. It is the most unattractive and unflattering outfit which possesses a hole in the back of my shirt. Surely there is something that is more flattering which is also comfortable! I don’t even search…I just throw on the same unflattering garments every night fully aware that I have more attractive things available.
When we have chosen to be Christ followers He hangs these beautiful garments of His character, His attitudes and His joy in our hearts. He places within us the ability to know the mind of Christ, our spiritually clean turbans. He clothes us in forgiveness, grace and mercy but our new wardrobe is optional. We reach around Him for the same unflattering attitudes. He stands beside us as we proclaim we have new identities in Him, all the while repeating hurtful gossip. He overhears the dirty jokes that leave the very lips that praise Him in public. He looks over our shoulder and sees what we are watching on television or searching on-line. He is grieved by the way we are disconnected from compassion as others are hurting. He is frustrated as He has given us revelation in our lives, and yet we continue to see ourselves as victims in our circumstances.
He has rescued us but still we live enslaved…He has indwelled us with His spirit but still we live in emptiness…He has transformed us to the new but still we reach for the old. God provides the rich garments to be worn on this earth but do we reach for those? Or do we throw on the old flesh attitudes where humility has worn thin and gratitude for present blessings now has holes in it? ‘God reminds us that He didn’t plant His word in us just so we could divert it toward someone else’s conviction or deliverance. We need humility to receive a word from God down into the soil of our humanity. We tend to take God’s message to us and hang it around someone else’s neck, but its first target was our own souls.’ James – Beth Moore, p. 77.
I can just picture God standing in my closet holding up a hanger of compassion saying, ‘Brenda, why don’t you try this on today?’ Tomorrow after I drink my coffee and return to my bedroom He is there with His sweet smile saying, ‘Look child, I laid out your clothes for you…today you will wear forgiveness and gratitude.’ Thank you Father for laying out our clothes and give me the passion to dress in them.