We place a great deal of importance on how we dress. We want to make a good first impression. We go to great lengths to coordinate our shoes with our shirt with our tie…..the struggle is real. Don’t you feel better when you dress up? It’s like the best version of you! Your choice of clothing does indeed send a message to others, whether you know it or not. Clothes were originally designed as a covering, to protect you from heat or cold. They can also serve to spark a conversation- an outward statement of your inward thoughts and dreams. You can appear primed for success, or as if you didn’t have a care in the world. The message is not lost on those around you.
I am assuming that you have the same goal in your Christian life- to be the best version of Him! It is no accident that God spends quite a bit of time in His Word using “clothing” or “garments” as metaphors to teach us spiritual truth. It’s God’s way of illustrating spiritual truth in a way we can relate to. Take Job as an example:
” I put on righteousness, and it clothed me. My justice was like a robe and a turban.” Job 29:14
Job was talking about being “clothed in righteousness”. People around you can tell if you are a sincere, active follower of Christ. It shows. A relationship with Christ sets you apart from others that don’t know Him. You embrace attributes and behaviors that others don’t feel are important. You embrace a higher calling, walking this earth clothed in a different wardrobe. Let’s take note of the kind of wardrobe that God provides for those that follow him. Designed by God Himself, it has two purposes: your perfection, and your protection.
Who among us does not struggle with faults and flaws? God knows each of us, loving us in spite of our shortcomings. He has high hopes, however, that you will partner with him to do better; to be better. James noted that God’s goal for you is to be “perfect and entire, wanting nothing” (James 1:4). He is willing to extend grace, unmerited divine assistance, to aid in your perfection. Obviously, the process will only be fully completed when we reach glory.
We weren’t saved to sit, We were saved to serve. As you venture out into this world, He wants to clothe you with humility. God resists the proud, and gives grace to the humble. (1 Peter 5:5). He wants to clothe you with compassion and kindness, as befitting God’s chosen people. (Colossians 3:12). God encourages us to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 13:14) and to make no provision for activities of the flesh. God is concerned with what is happening within you. Men look on the “outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”(1 Samuel 16:7). A righteous heart sets the stage for righteous behavior.
What do people see when looking upon you? David said this: “He hath put a new song in my heart, even praise unto our God, and many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.” (Psalm 40:3) . Notice that people can see what you thought you harbored secretly in your heart. You are an “open book” to those around you. What an opportunity! Your Christ-like behavior has the potential to lead them straight to the Savior. The wardrobe of the world- envy, lust, greed and hate, no longer belongs in our closet!!
Christ is leading and guiding you towards a more perfect you. While he continually works to renovate and improve you from the inside out, he also wants to strengthen you from the dangers posed by an evil and out of control world. He wants to clothe you for your protection, as well.
Our walk with Christ is described repeatedly as a spiritual battle. Battlefield language is used repeatedly to describe the challenge that lies at the feet of a Christian soldier. I trust you share my goal and desire to live a victorious Christian life. To help us, I notice that God describes appropriate wardrobe choices to insure you walk safely wandering though this tortured earth. Paul’s words to the Church at Ephesus should sound familiar to you:
“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:11)
Our battle is an ominous and serious one. We wrestle against “the rulers of darkness of this world, and against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Eph. 6:12). God would not have you walk onto the battlefield unprepared. Prepare yourself , having done all, TO STAND (Eph. 6:13).
- Having you loins girt about with truth
- wearing the breastplate of righteousness
- your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace
- taking the shield of faith
- the helmet of salvation
- the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God
Paul closes by stressing the importance of prayer in the eventual victory in any believer’s life. It’s God’s plan and process: to see you perfected, and protected. Come on board and step away from the world’s bright lights and glitter. God’s got something better for you! It’s time for a MAKEOVER!