“Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” (Romans 13:14, NIV)
What is our spiritual clothing? Our physical clothing defines us each and every day. For example, I’m a stay at home mom, so most of the time you will find me in sweats and a t-shirt for my daily attire. When I was teaching school, I could not get away with wearing that type of clothing in a classroom. I had to put on a professional demeanor, and my clothing reflected that. Spiritual clothing should reflect who we are in Jesus Christ. If our physical clothing defines our daily lives, then our spiritual clothing should reflect Jesus in our daily life as well.
After having three children, I am finding out that entering into my closet can be a blessing or a curse. My youngest boy just turned one year over the summer. I’ve found out my wardrobe in stuck between a rock and a hard place sometimes! I’ve got the clothes that I wore before my last baby. I was about 10 pounds thinner than I am now. Then I’ve got the clothes that I wore about half way through my pregnancy, and finally the clothes I wore at the end of my pregnancy. Of course these are way too big. For some reason out of all my clothes, there seems to only be a few, precious items that have that perfect fit. There seems to only be one or two perfect jeans in my closet that do the trick! The reason for this illustration is a simple comparison to the Word of God. God gives people a word from Him. It is up to God’s children to believe the word from Him, and want to proclaim it to the world. Only certain items will fit into our walk with God, and as Christians, we need to make a choice. I wish it was that simple. But sometimes it’s like the jeans in my closet. We can’t seem to find the time or place to make that word fit into our lives. Well then, if God gives His children the word, then why shouldn’t we proclaim it? Don’t we want to glorify our Heavenly Father? I believe the enemy tries to confuse us with that same word God gave us. Many times the question arises in my own mind, “To speak or not to speak?”
Oh the tongue! I’ve heard the sermons on it time and time again. It seems to be a problem for many. We’ve got so much floating in our minds, that we feel somebody ought to hear what we’ve got to say! After all, you are right, aren’t you? I used to feel this way myself. At the former little church we attended in the country, I had no problem voicing my opinion, over and over again. I spoke up freely in business meetings, or anytime anything came up that had to remotely deal with me. Did I work in the church? Yes, I volunteered for everything, or I got volunteered. Because in my mind I was thinking, “If I don’t do it, who will?” I believe the enemy is creeping in to churches all over the world putting these thoughts in people’s heads. Unfortunately, what ends up happening is burning out with stress. Another thing that happens is people are pouring their hearts out volunteering and teaching, that little learning is taking place. I found myself at this point in my life several years ago. I was at a place where I was speaking out of righteousness, teaching out of guilt, and was not allowing myself to lay down at Jesus’ feet to hear what He had to say to me. Basically, my spiritual wardrobe was over-sized and didn’t match up to the Word of God!
By the grace of God, and the Holy Spirit, things changed. God brought forth such a change in me, that I felt there was nothing else to do but share it. Let, it be known that I’m not giving anybody counsel to leave their church! However, sometimes you may come to a fork in the road, and you need to take a deep breath and listen. We did leave our church, mostly because we moved. It was one of the hardest and scariest things we had ever done. It can be a very intimidating situation entering into a new church, where you know nobody. However, the change came. I was allowed to learn for a while. The Lord called me distinctly at this time in my life to be a learner. Listen friend, this is important! I believe God is calling his children to a place to learn or teach, and you must recognize which area you fit into. This is not to say you can’t do both. But it is prevalent to figure out which direction God may be leaning you closer to. Sometimes it’s time to sit down, shut up, and listen! I was in our current church for a couple of years when God revealed this to me. It was right after Christmas in 2010 that God spoke to me truly about this subject. He told me very distinctly, “Martha get out of the kitchen, and come be a Mary!” I had been so busy doing my business; I had not been about my Father’s business. Once I heeded to God’s calling, life became so much easier! I had to stop trying as hard, and I could allow Jesus’ grace to cover me. When we allow God to speak to us through His word, we can become like little children again. We can let the cares of the world drift away, as we sit down at Jesus’ feet, listen, and learn. You feel like that little child sitting cross-legged as your teacher reads you your favorite story. After all, Jesus did say, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them.”(Matthew 19:13, NIV) Many people think that is about children. I believe it is in the physical realm. However, in the spiritual, it is the children of God I believe He is speaking about. God wants His children to come and sit as still as a child listening to a teacher telling a story to her students. This excites me so much, because I was always the one telling the story’s to students. Now I can become as innocent as one of them, and sit down at Jesus’ feet. When we do this, our spiritual clothing can slip on perfectly, and match up to God’s teachings.
I find that through our valleys in life, is when we are to be still and know God is God. Next, after God has brought deliverance upon us, this is the time to make the Word fit and wear it as a testimony. Many people find shame in the heartaches and pain that the enemy brings to their life. We cannot be ashamed of anything that has occurred while we were in the valley. As Christians, we must climb up to the mountaintops of God, fly on His eagle’s wings, and allow His Holy Spirit to lead our former faults to bring joy to a brother or sister in a current valley in their life. God recently began to bless my family out of a valley to a restoration time in a situation in my life. I noticed in the beginning the prayer request looked bright, and all was going great. But in the last hours of this restoration occurring, while we were being still and waiting upon God, the enemy threw a few lies our way. Our discouragement began, but then I remembered a beautiful promise in God’s Word. “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw night to God, and he will draw nigh to you.” (James 4:7-8a, KJV) I had to remember that God is the solid rock, upon which I must stand on. I had to wear the Word like my favorite pair of jeans that fit just right, and not take it off until deliverance occurred!
I find many opportunities in my daily life to speak God’s Word over and toward people. These random events seem to appear out of nowhere, but I do pray daily for this. I feel like many people today are being called by God, but they may not understand the season for their calling. We have to be so careful, because if we try to speak God’s Word before people are ready to hear, it may turn into a disaster. This is exactly how the devil wants it to be. I used to speak, speak, speak, without listening, listening, listening! Thank you Lord for grace, grace, and more grace! Shortly after I began to become more of a listener, I knew I needed to study the tongue, and how powerful this two-edge sword could be! God showed me this verse, which I ponder frequently. “A word fitly spoken and in due season is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” (Proverbs 25:11, Amplified) Sometimes, it is best to be still and know God is God. There may be a lot to say and do, but finding the perfect fit to the word God has given you is one only found by much prayer and supplication.
The key verse at the top speaks a world of good about God’s Word. Picking out my perfect fit in clothing is important; however, it is just a physical attribute to my day. The more layers of spiritual clothing we pack on to us, the better protected we are from the world. The only way this can be accomplished is to dive into the Word of God and see what fits in my mind spiritually. I have to be careful for those pre-baby jeans that look good in my closet, but in reality do not fit on my post-baby body. Make sure that the word in your mind is from the Lord, before it becomes clothing that defines you!