Two passages have highlighted to me the need to wear the “right garments”.
Paul in his letter to the Colossians chapter 3 gives very clear instructions about ‘dressing ourselves’ with several garments absolutely vital for a meaningful Christian life. He gives us five garments to wear (Col 3:12 NIV) and then an outer ‘overcoat’. Of course just as we dress ourselves in the natural it is important we put on the garments in the correct order. When Paul says to clothe ourselves it means to literally be totally immersed in.
The first of these is compassion. Compassion is far more than feeling sorry for another person. It moves us to do something about their situation. Each and every time Jesus was moved with compassion a miracle was about to happen. Compassion moves us to make a difference in the lives of others.
We’re not interested in praying ‘nice’ prayers over people at the Healing Rooms. Our goal is to have heaven connect with earth to see the lost saved, the ill healed and the oppressed set free.
The next garment is kindness. It’s a choice to be kind. This is especially true when others are not kind to us. However it is a God given ability to be kind and a garment we must continualyl wear.
Paul continues with humility. Humility is NOT about thinking we are worthless worms but that we don’t think too highly of ourselves and are willing to put others’ agendas before our own. This of course, takes the grace of God.
Gentleness flows on from humility and there is a real blessing flowing to us in relationships if we are gentle with one another – gentle in speech, gentle in the way we treat each other and gentle in the thoughts we have towards each other. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks so when we have kind and gentle thoughts about one another it will flow out in our speech and our actions.
Finally he exhorts us to put on patience. I believe we can’t ‘put on’ patience if the other four are not already ‘being worn’.
The overcoat for all of these ‘clothes’ is to be love which of course covers or binds together all the other virtues listed above. Love covers a multitude of sins, is not easily angered, selfish or rude. It keeps no record of wrongs. (1 Cor 13:5 NIV)
The other passage with enormous significance for us as God’s people in this strategic time in history is Luke 24:49.
Jesus commanded the disciples to wait in Jerusalem to be empowered by the Holy Spirit before they did anything else. In other words before doing anything FOR God by way of ministry, we must be empowered by the Holy Spirit. Jesus didn’t do any ministry without being empowered by the Spirit (resting on Him at His baptism and then bringing him back from the wilderness in power) . If it was necessary (and good enough) for Him, how much more do WE need the empowerment of Holy Spirit?
So are you correctly dressed? Let me encourage you to be clothed in the Holy Spirit’s power and walk conscious of His abiding Presence.