August 26th

Dressed for Success 

“The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.Romans 13:12-14 NIV 

The things we do and say each day can “stay on us” just like the clothes we wear.  Several scriptures liken our deeds to spiritual clothing.  Here are some examples:

For the high price of Jesus’ blood, God purchased our forgiveness of sins and gave us the right to live as sons of God (John 1:12).  There is no reason, therefore why we should continue putting on the putrid garments of our sinful nature any longer.  God wants (and expects) us to dress well spiritually and live up to our identity.   

In the above passage, Paul explained how we can put on “the armor of light" and clothe ourselves with Jesus Christ each day.  When we’re clothed properly, we maximize our potential for living as the new person God created us to be.   

We begin by setting aside the deeds of darkness.  We can’t expect God to step in and prevent us from continuing to practice sin. We must make a decision of our will to stop practicing the sin and rely on the strength of the Holy Spirit to bring our flesh into submission to God’s will (Romans 8:11-13).   

As we stop practicing evil, we then must put on the “armor of light” by behaving decently.   How do we determine what is decent?  To answer this question, we can look to the scripture and use common sense.  Considering that our identity in Christ is as children of God, we will want to only do those things that will honor and please our Father in Heaven – as opposed to embarrassing him and bringing reproach on his name.   What honors and pleases God most is when we do his will (John 6:38), and when we’re doing his will, we’re going to be reflecting his nature (i.e. light) to those around us.  The Holy Spirit will help tune our conscience to God’s will as we walk with God daily. He will convict of us of the things we do that do not honor the Father.   

Finally we are to clothe ourselves with Jesus Christ.  This complements putting on the armor of light in that we seeking to emulate Jesus’ character in everything we do, say and think.   For example, when faced with temptation Jesus responded to the devil’s lies with the word of God that refuted the lies (Luke 4).   We too can use God’s word to refute the temptations we face (i.e. using the Sword of the Spirit).  As Paul noted, it will help us greatly in this endeavor if we not even think about how to gratify our sinful desires.  Here again, we can rely on the conviction of the Holy Spirit to help us recognize when we’re using our thoughts for sin.   When we realize we’re sinning with our thoughts, we can use tools like memory verses or praise songs to help break the “daze” of the moment and refocus our thoughts on God.   

These are skills that take practice, but the results will be worth the effort.   I encourage you to evaluate the spiritual clothes you are putting on each day.  Are you putting on the armor of light? Are you clothing yourself with Jesus Christ?  If not, please commit taking immediate steps to change your spiritual wardrobe. 

Questions for further thought:

Prayer:

“Heavenly Father, I praise you for clothing me in righteousness through my faith in Jesus Christ.  Lord, I take this opportunity to formally cast off any garments of sin that I have been clinging to.  Please forgive me and wash me with the blood of Jesus.  I commit to putting on the armor of light and clothing myself with Jesus Christ every day.  Please teach me how to do this and lead me in carrying it out faithfully.  I want to be dressed as your son (or daughter), living to honor you.  May I glorify you in all that I do.  Thank you, Lord!  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”