What about our spiritual garments? Are we just as logical when the heat turns up? What are you wearing today? Are you fancy, wearing your garments of praise to God the Father, or are you wearing something more common and casual, such as pride, bitterness, resentment, anger, depression, or despair?
It depends on the "weather" around us. Unfortunately, instead of adjusting to the storms in life by wearing the right attire (the armor of God, for example- Ephesians 6:13-17), we end up dressing in the completely wrong attire, not fighting against the weather, but complimenting it; adding the cherry to the top of the sundae, if you will. Yes, we dwell in our storm, dress in unrighteous unbelief, resentment, and anger, getting drenched and weighed down. Look down, you're holding the key to the shackles.
What would it look like if we would purposefully dress right for our spiritual weather, as we do for the physical, earthly weather? First, let's take a look (with a bit of friendly sarcasm) at what it looks like when we don't:
Bitterness: Someone offended you (how dare they?) and you do NOT have to deal with it. You put on pride when dealing with certain people. If the bitterness took root and grew for a number of years, then everybody may get a piece of that pride. Life is just not fun, beautiful, enjoyable, or fair. You've been dealt a hard hand and there is no joy in the daily routine. You may have been in an abusive relationship and chose to stay. You may have had no father, mother, or affection while growing up. Your hard life entitles you to respect from others and no one can give you any advice because hey- they don't walk in your shoes so who cares what they have to say, right? Let's add a garment of denial to this. You're not wrong and you don't need certain people in your life.
Lukewarmness: What a pretty garment (NOT)! You may say all the right things, agree with what the pastor says, even! But you're so comfy in your attire, you don't want to ruffle anything out of place. Once saved, always saved, right? You can say bad words without much of a second thought, dress showing too much skin, be unkind to people, gossip, etc. And hey, there are people worse off than you are. That show you watch on t.v. has some inappropriate talk, relationships, and scenarios, but let's not be legalistic, for crying out loud! You believe in God and even pay your tithes. You raise your hands in worship and may even enjoy a happy peppy Joel Osteen message on several occasions. Then Monday through Friday, you work, work, work, and your Bible is sitting there, looking pretty, unopened. Maybe you did open it from time to time, read something encouraging, and felt good about yourself.
Unbelief: A very heavy piece of garment to wear, indeed! We almost seem to gravitate toward it more often than most would like to admit! We experience a difficult time in our life or ministry, and we fall apart. Well, this garment of unbelief is much easier to put on than the garment of praise that will actually help us out of our storm. Let's put on unbelief. It's comfy because we've worn it so often, it conforms to us perfectly. We know it. It knows us. We know God's promises, but it's quite difficult to choose the right garment when the other one just seems to grow legs and come to you itself. There it is, ready to wear. Not much effort. You don't have to try. It's sneaky, actually. What may feel like a simple "part of life" situation, becomes an excuse to remain in despair. That is not faith.
There are many garments. Many trials. Many reasons. But there's only One Way. God is faithful and will continue to be there for us, guiding us, helping us and making available to us, the freedom that comes with the garment of praise, so that in our trials, we can choose wisely what to wear- the garment of praise! It's OUR choice.
We can break out of bitterness, lukewarmness, unbelief, and any other type of storm that comes our way! Refuse to wear what will only melt you right in your situation. Rise above it. I can't say it enough; examine yourself and see if that light you think you're in is actually darkness (Luke 11:35). Commit to not taking the easy way! Yes, it's actually easier to go with the flow rather than allowing God to prune you so that you may produce fruit. It's a painful process, this spiritual growth. That fire you're in can refine you. That storm you're in won't drown you. Jesus stands above the waves, bidding you, "Come."
Take His hand and don't take out your unhappiness on other people. We tend to push others away. Don't. Let them see the power of God work through your life. Let them witness how good God is and the greatness of His grace, which is sufficient for you. Rise above your own pride, your self sufficiency, and mediocre way of thinking. Respect others and love God, passionately, whole-heartedly, and uncompromisingly.
Wear your garment of praise and righteousness; you look great in it!
Go serve your King,