2017-06: WHAT TO WEAR?! Part 2
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What To Wear! - Part 2

[To read Part 1 of this blog click HERE]

”Strip yourselves of your former nature [put off & discard your old unrenewed self] which characterised your previous manner of life & becomes corrupt through lusts & desires that spring from delusion; And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental & spiritual attitude], And put on the new nature (the regenerate self) created in God’s image, [Godlike] in true righteousness & holiness.” -- Eph 4:22-24 [Amp]

 

With the advent of cooler weather, have you had to do a spot of shopping for warmer clothes? I’m one of those who tend to wear multiple layers to ward of the wind and chill. Buried under my jacket can be layers of clothes observers may never see, but I feel the influ-ence of them. But ohhh, how very hard it is to feel motivated to dress for the day on those particularly icy winter mornings! Recently, I was debating with myself whether I really needed to change out of my PJs. Couldn’t I just stay warm and comfy? Did I really need to strip down in order to change my apparel so as to be presentable for my day’s activities?

As much as it would be nice (especially on such cold mornings or those other ‘ugh’ type of days when my get up and go just seems to have got up and went) my clothes don’t automatically jump on my body. I have to exchange one set of clothes for something else. My pyjamas don’t magically leave my body; I have to purposely and intentionally get myself dressed. This is true when it comes to our attitudes and expectations too.

READY FOR A CLOTHES SWAP

I’ve seen ads on Facebook for clothes swaps. I’ve never been to one, but participants seem to have a heap of fun and bag some great bargains to boot. It’s not an original idea however. The Bible talks of amazing exchanges from which we benefit. For instance: 

  • We receive Jesus’ righteousness for our sin. And, in exchange for His wounds, we receive healing. 1 Peter 2:24: “…He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.”
  • By Jesus’ death, He secured our life. Gal 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life that I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me.”
  • We receive mercy instead of judgement. (Rom 3:24-25, Jer 42:10) Ephesians 2:5 encap-sulates so much of this: “Even when we were dead (slain) by [our own] shortcomings and trespasses, He made us alive together in fellowship and in union with Christ; [He gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life with which He quickened Him, for] it is by grace (His favour and mercy which you did not deserve) that you are saved (delivered from judgement and made partakers of Christ’s salvation).” [Amp version]

Instead of death — life. In that life, we are no longer separated from the Godhead. In that fellowship, union. And along with all that, His grace, mercy, favour instead of judgement. This, my friends, is good news. We also have access to God’s armour and protection, taking on His wisdom and discernment about safety and danger, direction and decisions. We can strip off fear in exchange for faith; chaos for peace; offence for forgiveness; sinfulness for holiness; contention and strife for true shalom with Him and others. No wonder the Word tells us to strip off the old and put on the new! Talk about a fantastic clothes swap! He gets our rags, we get His riches.  

STRIP OFF TO DRESS UP

When dressing each day, if I leave on my dowdy PJ bottoms but wear a quality shirt, they don’t match. There’s incongruity. Hypocrisy. Something doesn’t feel right or work right, and I thus present a confusing message to myself and those around me. At times this is exactly what we do and how we present to those in our everyday life, through our conduct, attitude and example. Praise God for His relentless patience and mercy while we continue to learn how to fully release what needs to be released so that we can receive what He died to give us — to strip off what needs to be stripped off, so we can put on Christ.  (Gal3:27: “And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes.”)


DRESS FOR SUCCESS

The rich, the monarchy, those with means buy good quality. They can afford it. We, as child-ren of God, have means to access good quality garments too — garments the King of Heav-en supplies. As daughters and sons of God, our robes are laced with royal colours, gold thread. They are well-made, serviceable, sturdy. The best quality. He paid a high price for them through Jesus, and gives them to us freely. The only thing we need to do is receive them and put them on. Intentionally.

Not unlike me and my many-layered winter ensemble, not everyone will be able to see these ‘clothes’ with natural eyes, but their effects and influences will be experienced and will make a difference.

When we clothe ourselves in Christ (Rom 13:14) we bring new meaning to being “dressed for success”!

For Part 1 of What to Wear, visit here.
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Belinda Tigell is an Australian singer-songwriter, speaker-teacher, worship leader and author. Find her regular blogs on belindatigellministries.com. 
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