Monday, July 6, 2020

A Wardrobe Check

Blonde woman looks in a closet, dressed in a red dress, stands in an old house, a simple home image.  royalty free stock photo

A Wardrobe Check --  We, as women, i'm sure all identify with the above photo ... We look into our closets and know that it is time to go through our wardrobe....  decide what to keep, what to repair, what to throw out,  what we have outgrown,  or what is simply out of style !  

Did you ever consider doing a spiritual wardrobe check ?  No?  Well,  let's do one together today. 
The bible speaks of several 'garments' that we wear ... some desirable, some not. 

Last week we looked at the Light that we are covered with.  It is a beautiful thing ... but what light does is make us easier to see ... we cannot hide !  Matt. 5:14-16
When we meet someone, one of the first things they notice is what we are wearing - our clothes create a  'first impression'.   So also in a spiritual sense,  our 'wardrobe' is more on display than we might be aware of.   People watching us are keenly aware of the 'garments' we are wearing. 
So it behoves us to take care that our spiritual wardrobe is up-to-date and flattering to who we are as daughters of the King!  

Is your spiritual wardrobe in good repair and up to date?
Lets  open our spiritual closets and examine the garments we have hanging there.   

1. . Garment of Salvation -- Is. 61:10 
Aww... the garment of salvation --  That is the first garment we hung in our closet.  It was given to us as a gift  --  a garment of distinction and one that identifies us as belonging to the Kingdom ... marking us as a daughter of the King -- a citizen of God's Kingdom. (Eph. 2:19, I Peter 1:4,5)  In Jesus parable of the wedding feast in Matt. 22:11-14 ,the man who was not wearing the appropriate wedding garment (the garment of salvation) was thrown out into outer darkness.  
So we will keep this garment  in our closet, and will be careful to continue to wear it every day !  

2. Garment of Righteousness  --  Is. 61:10 tells us we have a robe of righteousness. ( see also Job 29;14, Psalm 132:9 )    
A robe protects and covers what is underneath ...  and we are told in Re. 19;8 that our white raiments are our righteousness acts.   We need to take care to wear the 'robe of righteousness' so that  our life -- what we do, what we say -- will reflect the Kingdom we represent. Our robe of righteousness reminds us that we live by the law of love.  What we do with love in our hearts toward God and the people around us will never spot our robes. - I John 1:10 , We need to check our robe of righteousness to make sure it is unspotted and clean - Rev. 3:4 .. 

  If we are out to dinner with a group of people and we look down and notice that we have spilled ketchup down the front of our white blouse we are mortified.  We excuse ourselves and go to the washroom to try to clean it off -- often just making it worse.    
But we have a solution ... 
If we see there is a spot or two on our robe of righteousness, or the hem is dirty from walking where we shouldn't have gone,   we do have a spiritual cleaner ....  I John 1:9 ...  

4. Garment of Shame --   Job 8:22, Ps. 108:29 ,  Oh dear,  how come this garment is still hanging in our closet --  the garment of shame, or guilt or self-condemnation. . 
We try to keep it out of sight but we pull it out to wear when no one is around ... simply because we have had it a long time and it is comfortable like those old comfy pjs. 
But why?   Why should we keep the garment of shame when  Romans 8:1 tells us there is no longer any condemnation for those wearing the garment of salvation.  We are free and forgiven, our past sin will never be sent to us again as an invoice owing!  It is paid !!  in full !! 
Ps. 103:12 tells us we are forgiven -our sins removed far from us !  Eph. 1:7 tells us we are forgiven 'according to the riches of His grace" .  Do you really think you are the one who will out-sin His grace?? Hardly .. and then look at the beautiful passage in Is. 43:25,26 where God says He forgives for HIS sake, not ours ... and it tells us to 'state our case'  -- whatever it is and we will be forgiven !   
Throw this garment of shame out .. it has no place in our closet !!  

5. Garment of Praise -- Isaiah 61:3 --  Aww... this is a 'dress-up'  garment.  The prettiest in our closet.  How beautiful our Bridegroom thinks we are when we come dressed to praise Him !  This garment is made of lovely threads that will never show any wear .. this garment will stay beautiful no matter how often we wear it ...  So let's wear it every day !  Because do we not have much to praise our God for ?  Is He not worthy to be worshipped?  If we are wearing this garment the gates of the throne room are flung open and we are ushered into God's Presence. 
   Psalm 100:4 ... see also Ps. 99:1-5, Ps. 22:3

6. Garment of Sackcloth --  Ps. 69:11  We have all put on this garment at times in our life, have we not?   Sackcloth is the garment of sorrow and grief.  The garment we put on when life seems overwhelming and crushing.  We think of Job ...  we think of Jacob mourning for his 'lost' son Joseph, we think of Daniel wearing sackcloth sorrowing for the sins of his people .... 
I wish we could throw this garment out,  but as long as we are on this earthly sojourn there will be times of sorrow and grief.  But we need not wear this garment without any comfort.  In fact, the Holy Spirit is given to us as our "Comforter". ( John 14:16) 
see.  Psalm 86:17, I Thess. 4:13,  Ps. 119:76,  Ps. 9:9, Ps. 23:4,6 
So, we hang this garment back into our closet, but when we must wear it, let's remember that the comforting arm of God is around our shoulders. 

7. Garment of Violence -  Psalm 73:6   - What is this garment still doing in our closet .. hopefully we have all outgrown it !  What does this  garment look like?  Well,  it has various styles from a quick temper, to unforgiveness, to  hating someone,  to wishing harm on someone, to maybe even include discontent or worry, or impatience.  Colossians 3:8 ...  While this verse lists the features of this garment it also tells us in no uncertain terms what to do with it .... TAKE IT OFF and toss it to the curb !!   
It is not a  becoming garment and it is infested with deadly viruses.  
Matt. 5:43-48 describes a much better way to 'dress'.  
8.  Garment of Humility -  I Peter 5:5 --   Do you know how good you feel when your undergarments are new, and pretty and especially comfortable and make you shapely?   
They  make you feel good in whatever you wear over top, don't they ? 
 So it is with the garment of humility -- it is that inner humble spirit that makes beautiful anything we might 'wear' on the outside ... 
There is no garment more important for us to wear to reflect the image and beauty of Christ than the undergarment of humility ... it gives us that inner glow that is so attractive and invites people to come close. 
see also   I Peter 5:5, James 4:10 , Psalm 25:9,  I Tim. 2:9

9. Garment of Deception -  Zech 13:4 --  Sometimes people dress to give a desired impression but it isn't who they really are.   It is easy to tell if someone is comfortable in their 'garments' .. and so the spiritual garments also project our comfort or discomfort -- our authenticity or our attempt to impress..   
Do you have some garments in your closet that aren't really YOU .. but you have them in your closet anyway because someone else gave them to you, or convinced you to buy them? 
Sometimes deception isn't intentional ...  Sometimes it is simply that we don't want to offend -- we want to fit it .   When in the world we try to 'look' like the world .. when we are with Christians we try to 'look'  spiritual .   
There is an interesting commandment of God in Lev. 19:19,  Deut, 22:11 , Job 38:9 ..  where He forbids His people to wear 'mixed' garments.   Garments made of two kinds of yarn -- linen and wool for example.   Why would He command that ?  Maybe as a picture of the spiritual garments that are mixed -- We cannot serve two masters,  we cannot live in the world and in the Kingdom of God,  we cannot live by two standards,   
We must choose who we will serve ... Elijah challenged the people who were worshipping God on one hand and the gods of  Jersebal on the other. Elijah cried out to the people .. "How long will you halt between two opinions ..."    I Kings 18:21 and Joshua challenged the people of his time with the words ... "choose you this day whom you will serve .. " Joshua 24:14,15 

We need to throw this garment out ...  and exchange it for a 'sincere' garment -- the Greek word translated 'sincere' is the word that means 'without wax' ...  In sculptures if a statue had a flaw or chip they would fill it in with 'wax'  (deception) which of course did not stand the test of time ...  
see .. II Cor. 1:12,  Col 3:22

Okay .. what do you think ?  does your closet look better ?  
 There is  a beautiful verse found in Psalm 45:11 that is written to the woman's heart -- God sees us and desires our beauty ...  why ?  because He loves us !!