“Change your clothes”

Sunday will be the first day of spring! Yay! But here it was actually warmer weeks ago and many of the beautiful trees flowered early and now old man winter is huffing and puffing and rain and wind are blowing and all those pretty blooms are looking anything but pretty.

Funny how the perception of a trees beauty is gauged by the covering of that tree, not what it looked like before or what it will in several months, but what it is NOW.

We aren’t that much different and I can never think of “changing” clothes without thinking about my Mother… most Mothers insist on clean underwear and socks but that never comes to mind with my Mom.

Growing up in the eighties.. fashion was seriously whatever you wanted it to be and styles ranged widely from elegant jumpsuits that were multipurpose to be worn many ways and as I called them “clown suits” I loved them. Others wore leather and styles that bordered medieval archery wear, and styles with satin, gauze, and loads of lace, fad after fad with every imaginable fabric stuffed in between.

I went through a phase (before I was liberated to clown suits and my beloved shoulder pads) that rotated between raiding my Dad’s church ties to polish off my look, and raiding my brothers printed tee shirts.

Now my parents both worked so me and my brother got ourselves off to school and I would ride the bus to school and then ride home with Mom because she worked close to the school and got off about thirty minutes later, so anyway she did not see me BEFORE I left the house only AFTER everyone else had, she has always been a big believer in looking ones best so I really should have seen it coming sooner… we were getting out of the car to go into the store one evening and  staring rather sternly at the extra-large tee-shirt and jeans I had donned, she says “Why are you wearing that?” Of course my shocked reply was “Because its comfortable” so she finally strongly suggests that if I don’t start wearing my own clothes and stop wearing my brothers shirts that I would not be in public with her.

So looking back I don’t know if this was a “sister moment” or a Mom asking a sister “Can you do something with your sister” moment but my sister who has always been beautiful and well dressed decided to give me a beautiful outfit, still miss that shirt!

Anyway it was black DRESS SLACKS and a black “almost” tee but the upper portion was almost like a velvety suede with an applique, also solid black.  As soon as I tried it on, I fell in love, and wore it to school and the most shocking thing happened that day… I could not believe how many compliments I got on those clothes and I actually FELT different, I felt FEMININE, I felt like a GIRL…WEIRD Right!???

I can truly say that I have never been the same, still have my sloppy moments  but I was given something that is priceless, a “change of clothes” that helped change me from a “tomboy” wearing make-up into becoming a young lady.

Something hit me at church Sunday night…  and God confirmed the thought when the story of the lady with the issue of blood was used, in a different context.

Sometimes we have to CHANGE our “garments” to touch His. Yeah.. that is much harder to explain outside of my head, but understanding it in my spirit.

What we wear SPIRITUALLY is of course even more important than what we cover our bodies with.

We wear our happiness as a beautiful sundress, we wear our joy as a brightly colored array reflecting from our very beings.

We wear peace as a blue flowing robe that reflects the sky and the sea and their endless blueness and beauty.

And we wear so many WRONG things and like my double shoulder pads and cinch belts of yesteryear, God above knows that I have worn more than my fair share of many of these:

We wear our pain, our sad countenance and eyes expressing the sorrow of our heart just as deadening and dreary as a funeral veil.

We wear our hurt and resentment as easily irritating, rough garments that scratch and chaff and make us quite nasty to be around.

We wear our guilt and our shame as a hideous smocks decorated with skulls and cross-bones and bio hazard symbols to ward others away as they carefully hide the most delicate of silk and linen underneath.

We also wear the unattractive and ill-fitting garments of anger, rage, pride, and arrogance, regret and remorse and every imaginable human condition.

Luke, chapter 8 tells us of a woman who knew all to well about the garments she was forced to wear, she was sick, very sick. Her condition made her life exceptionally miserable because she was under the law to stay on her sick-bed, she had an issue of blood, and that made her UNCLEAN and by that NO ONE could come into contact with her or they would also become unclean, so she spent ALL of her money on doctor, after doctor, and I’m sure remedy after remedy and her condition only WORSENED.

So for TWELVE YEARS she spent her life, alone, sick, and outcast in her  condition. Now THAT is carrying a heavy burden, we’ll pick up her story: Luke 8:43-48: “And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, NEITHER could be healed of any. Came BEHIND him and TOUCHED the border (hem) of HIS GARMENT: and IMMEDIATELY her issue of blood stanched (stopped).

And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press (surround and crush) thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me; For I perceive that VIRTUE (POWER) IS GONE OUT OF ME.

And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all people for what cause she had touched him, and how SHE WAS HEALED IMMEDIATELY. And Jesus said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort (cheer) thy faith hath made thee whole (well) GO IN PEACE.

Mark 5:25-34  recounts her famous words, “If I MAY touch but (ONLY) his clothes, I SHALL BE WHOLE (well).”

Can you imagine the “clothes” she had worn every day for TWELVE years and the courage it took to “change” clothes in order to TOUCH His?

She had to change her garment of FEAR, the very real fear of being punished for breaking the law by even being there and put on a new covering of FAITH.

She had to change her garments of rejection, and ostracism for the beautiful two piece suit of acceptance and assurance. Removing the tight uncomfortable binder of medically impossible and allowing herself to be completed wrapped in  ALL things ARE possible with God.

And to NOT even be touched BY Him, or touch Him, but just to touch something that is touching Him, so matter how small it may seem, even the little things in life, right down to the to the tiniest seam, after all, that little seam holds it all together. (Dig that, for a little symbolism) We all pray and we all want Him to touch us, our health, our lives and there IS nothing wrong with that but.. maybe sometimes we need to just TOUCH Him.

Hebrews 4:15 a: “For we have not an high priest which cannot BE TOUCHED WITH THE FEELING OF OUR INFIRMITIES.. ” OUR High Priest CAN be touched!

And when those heavy burdens, sickness, and toils and toll takings of life happen, and that SPIRIT of heaviness start to show on us like tattered, torn clothing we MUST be willing to change OUT OF THAT.

Isaiah 61:3: “To appoint unto (console) them that mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for their ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, THE GARMENT OF PRAISE FOR THE SPIRIT OF HEAVINESS; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord.”

So shed the old crusty duds and  put on your new clothes and allow Him to cover you in a beautiful garment of praise!

Now to finish up my story, life is good in slacks, Dad finally quit having to come ask for his missing ties and looking back my brother bought me an “ALABAMA” tee-shirt all of my own,  ( I will post that in as soon as I dig the picture up.. good for a flashback laugh) now I’m thinking maybe a gentle way of saying, “Sis, please stay out of my clothes….. wear your own clothes”…  But I know one thing for sure the most beautiful garment we will ever wear is “broken” that is the garment that shines brilliantly and flows most beautifully, because it is most splendid and glorious once it has undergone repair.

Blessings and Love! Have a great week and a beautiful new spring!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω  NBJ 2017

If you have never heard this PLEASE check it out!

 

“How shall I come….”

“In the year that King Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train (skirts of garment) filled the temple, Above it stood the seraphims (a type of angel) each one had six wings; with twain (two) he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.

And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: The whole earth is full of his glory. And the post of the door moved at the voice of him who cried, and the house was filled with smoke.

Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone (surely to be destroyed) because I am a man of unclean lips; for mine eye have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.” Isaiah 6:1-5

Now, ever think this is the SAME God we tend to get a little too chummy with when we choose to attribute to Him purely human qualities, attitudes, and thoughts?

Please do not get me wrong, this is sincerely designed to just be a little thought-provoking not to hit people over the head with the heretic stick! So please, hear me out.  There is no need for me to point out what a fight the true church is having… between dealing with Satan and the forces of hell, spiritual wickedness in our high places, and the onslaught of the candy coats who completely trash God’s word in favor of  humanism, with their doctrine of “if it feels good, it must be good” leading people into destruction and yet PROMISING them they are saved, when any true Bible reader KNOWS it says otherwise.

I think somewhere along the way, another philosophy has also manifested itself, the thought that God can be on OUR level again, do not get me wrong, we NEED the personal relationship with Him and we have to have that, the oneness, closeness, and togetherness but when we start to view Him as our BBF we may be getting a little TOO chummy.

HE IS our best friend, but HE IS HOLY. He is STILL God over heaven and earth, HE IS still a supernatural BEING while we are well.. just beings! Yes, even though He did say He has called us friends and WE ARE, I still think there is a major need to turn back into reverence and Holiness.

I am a huge advocate of POURING your heart out, your innermost fears, thoughts, and all that you are to Him and will ALWAYS stand by that and teach that but we must always remember there is a fine line between allowing Him to heal us and console us and taking Him for GRANTED.

Once we gain that assurance, that love, and that place of being completely engulfed in His presence, we can be very easily swayed in OUR thinking that we can become lax and write off the wrong behaviors as simply thinking “He understands”.  With a calling on you life and His gifts bestowed on you for the use of edifying the church.. I would not automatically assume that He is just going to understand your failure to use any of it.

Notice the first thing that happened to Isaiah, horrifying fear BECAUSE in the presence of the glory of the Lord, he immediately felt conviction for his sin, as he said a man of “unclean “lips and in that presence he knew the possibly that he could be completely destroyed.

One of our biggest issues of today, a lax in the fear of the Lord’s Holiness. Again this is not to beat or badger, it is to prompt thinking, the Glory is coming, NOTHING is stopping that, it is actually already here but whether or not one will be able to stand in it is another question.

Isaiah 6:6,7: ” Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from of the altar; And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath TOUCHED thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged (atoned for, covered).”

So think about THAT, Isaiah had RECEIVED A VISIT FROM THE LORD, allowed to see into the heavenly places, allowed to see THE ABSOLUTE GLORY of the Lord so strong, it became as smoke and YET, AFTER this, he had to undergo the cleansing fire of God, to “clean up” his mouth and consecrate it, in order to receive his commission from the Lord.

That fire that we are often so fearful of approaching, because often we as humans are comfortable right where we are in our salvation, if many were to be honest they simply do not want to undergo the purification process because it can be very “painful” and once we have accepted that process we are then required and bound to a higher level of responsibility.

As I have said before and will probably say again..and again.. I believe this is why there are people God will bestow multi-gifts and talents upon, NOT because they are special but because THEY ARE WILLING and His work will be done.

Think about the statement Jesus made.. “Many are called but few are chosen” as a very new Christian, my first pastor explained this to me and he was a wonderful man of God, whose advice that early in my walk, forever holds impact for me, many ARE called, they ARE saved but FEW ARE chosen.. chosen vessels…

Think of Paul, when Jesus said that he was “A chosen vessel”, now think about a vessel.. what is that?

A vessel IS a COMPLETELY EMPTY CONTAINER, it has NOTHING of itself.. it does not plan its own use…it does not have an agenda.. it does not REFUSE to be used… it only has ONE purpose.. TO BE FILLED with whatever IS CHOSEN BY THE MAKER OF THAT VESSEL.

The reason it is FEW is due to the refusal to be “emptied” and allow Him, through the Holy Spirit, to do whatever He wants.

Like Isaiah, we must be willing once He has presented us with that glory to allow Him to purify, sanctify, and burn everything that hinders out of us until we are a suitable vessel, and then the callings and gifts can be manifested AS HE WILLS.

Now to “word-out” that THIS is a “Christian” condition. Luke 12:43-48 deals with the parable of the servants, the servants are left with the tasks given by the Lord and instead of doing as they have been commanded, they party, drink, and BEAT the others because the think they will not get caught because they think he is not coming back, and this is the clincher;

“And that servant which KNEW his lord’s will, and PREPARED NOT HIMSELF, NEITHER DID ACCORDING TO HIS WILL, shall be beaten with MANY stripes,

BUT HE THAT KNEW NOT, and did commit such things, shall be beaten with FEW stripes, FOR UNTO WHOMSOEVER MUCH IS GIVEN, OF HIM, SHALL BE MUCH REQUIRED; and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.”

The operative word’s there, KNEW and prepared NOT, and then greater mercy shown to the one who did not know. 

James 3:1: “My brethren, be not many masters (let not many of you be teachers) knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation (stricter judgment).”

That really needs no explanation.. bad news for the candy coats and prosperity teachers though! We are responsible for EVERY word we have taught in His name.

And the final one, that I think maybe was going on in Isaiah’s  thoughts, he HAD to know because it was what terrified him as far as things he could fall under.

James 4:17: “Therefore, TO HIM THAT KNOWETH TO DO GOOD, AND DOETH IT NOT, TO HIM IT IS SIN.”

That is about as close as it can cut, so the choice is ours but please NEVER take for granted the Lord, his goodness, His mercy, and HOW INCREDIBLY BLESSED it is to be chosen of Him and never forget we are still accounted, as those servants, for doing those jobs, or failing to do those jobs.

The job has been given, the rest is up to us but the final reward/reprimand is up to Him, don’t be fooled into thinking otherwise, that is a human thought! The glory of the Lord to be revealed as never before and it is HIS glory, our job is to JUST LET HIM DO HIS WILL THROUGH WILLING VESSELS.

“Wherewith (HOW) shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the high God?

SHALL I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old?

 WILL the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil?

SHALL I give my firstborn for my transgressions, The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?

He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; And what doth the Lord require of thee, But to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God.” Micah 6:6-8

Reverence and Respect HIS HOLINESS! Submit yourself, ALL of yourself HUMBLY unto Him!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016