Daniel Fast Day 11

Dress like the King

As a kid growing up, one of the things I never quite enjoyed was receiving clothes for Christmas. I was grateful for them, but I thought my parents could be a little bit more creative than that. Seeing that I was the fourth child and the third son, some of my clothes were hand-me-downs, but fortunately not at Christmas time. I don’t know if you are like me, but whenever I would get new clothes I would wear them as soon as possible. As a matter of fact, I am the same way today. My wife on the other hand is the complete opposite. She savors the moment and is very selective when she wears something new. She might wait weeks or wait for the right occasion to wear something new. Myself, however, I could buy something in the morning and be wearing it by the afternoon! 

Do you know that you have a brand new wardrobe filled with beautiful garments just waiting to be worn? It’s a wardrobe that is fit for a King, in fact, it’s actually the King’s clothes. This wardrobe is personally picked out for you. It is not ill-fitting or hand-me-downs, it is custom-made and never goes out of fashion. These are clothes that can and should be worn for all seasons. You can wear them inside and outside. You can wear them to work and to the beach. These garments are not just for special occasions like going to church, you can and should wear them all the time! You should wear them when hanging with your family, especially hanging with family members who irritate you or get on your nerves. Everyone should see you in these clothes! Colossians 3:12-13(NLT) “Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.”  

We saw the ugly list Paul gave us and we are encouraged to disrobe from those things and clothe ourselves with this new wardrobe God has chosen for us. Who dresses you? If you are a mature functional adult, you dress yourself. We dress ourselves daily with natural clothes but somehow, we have forgotten that we have a choice in what spiritual garments we wear. Paul tells us to clothe ourselves because we have been chosen as God’s holy people. That means we are set apart. Set apart to look different from the world. We have a choice in the spiritual clothes we wear. There’s an old English idiom that says; “Clothes don’t make the man”, meaning, you cannot judge a man’s character based on his clothing and appearance. In other words, even if you are well dressed and well kept, it doesn’t mean you are not a scoundrel. 

I want to change that saying to; “Clothes do make the Christian man and woman!” Other people should be able to identify us by the clothes we wear, not our physical clothes but our spiritual clothes. I want to remind you what Paul admonishes us in Colossians 3:9-10(MSG) “Don’t lie to one another. You’re done with that old life. It’s like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you’ve stripped off and put in the fire. Now you’re dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it. All the old fashions are now obsolete.”

Those ill-fitting clothes of sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, greed, anger, rage, spiteful behavior, slandering others, dirty language, and lying to others are all clothes that should never be seen on those who profess Christ Jesus. We are not encouraged to wash our old clothes, we are encouraged to completely disregard and destroy them. Trying to put on new clothes over old clothes is like me dressing for cold weather in places like Chicago and New York. I am an African, I need some sunshine and heat. When I travel to these cold places, I do what my wife has taught me to do, layer up. I end up looking like the Michelin Man. The only problem with layering up is that it restricts movement. There are some of us that are not becoming fruitful in our Christian walk because we try to put our new clothes over our old clothes and we restrict ourselves. We have to first get rid of the old clothes so we can put on the new clothes.

Some of us are spiritual nudists because we refuse to wear the clothes the Lord has prepared for us. Revelation 3:17(TLB) “You say, ‘I am rich, with everything I want; I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that spiritually you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.”

We say we look fine! God says we are broke, miserable, blind, and on top of that we are naked. We can fool others for a short amount of time, but we cannot fool the Lord for any amount of time. He knows our true state and condition, but He has made provision for it. We just have to be willing to wear the clothes He lays out, not the clothes our sinful nature is comfortable with. 
Revelation 3:18(MSG) “Here’s what I want you to do: Buy your gold from me, gold that’s been through the refiner’s fire. Then you’ll be rich. Buy your clothes from me, clothes designed in Heaven. You’ve gone around half-naked long enough. And buy medicine for your eyes from me so you can see, really see.”

You have Heavenly designed clothes that will make you look so good. God’s designs fit all of God’s people. Here’s the kicker, we don’t wear God’s clothes to brag, we wear His clothes to reflect that we have been set apart so that others may have the benefit from us dressing in God’s clothing. You have a closet filled with clothes for fruitful living, clothes for every occasion of life. No matter what the occasion or situation, you have clothes for it. You have a beautiful jacket of tender-hearted mercy when you see someone in need. You have a shirt of kindness when you are being mistreated. You have gorgeous pants of humility. When others arrogantly insist on their way, you are content with second place. You have an enduring, patient winter coat to withstand cold harsh treatment from others. You have a strong leather belt of forgiveness that does not allow your pants to fall down through an offense and you get spiritually exposed. You wear Christ’s fragrance everywhere you go with everyone you meet. It’s the fragrance of forgiveness because that is what Jesus wears when you go to Him and ask Him to forgive you! 

Colossians 3:12-13(MSG) “So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you.”

Imagine with me how fruitful we will become when we dress the way we are told to. You find these clothing items only in the wardrobe God picked out for you. You won’t find it in the world, you find it in Him! So, get dressed each day with your Heavenly clothes, and you will see how His kingdom does come in your life. You will look great, smell great, and do great things for His glory! It’s time to dress like your King!

Prayer and Reflection:
  • Do you think you are doing a good job of dressing yourself spiritually? Why?
  • When we get ready physically, we use a mirror to see how we look. How often do you use God’s Word as the mirror for your spiritual clothes? What does God’s mirror say about how you look? 
  • When you are under pressure, which wardrobe do you use more, the Father’s wardrobe or your old comfortable yet dirty clothes?
  • Dressing God’s way completely changes how we relate to others. Do you choose the clothes of offense or forgiveness? Do you choose the garment of lies or the buckle of truth? Do you choose retaliation or kindness? What piece of clothing, (spiritually speaking) do you need to work on first? 
  • If you start dressing God’s way, how would things change in your relationships? Remember even if others continue to respond to you in a negative way, it remains your choice what clothes you wear. 

Father, I pray for myself and all of my fellow believers. We love You and desire to please You. I thank You for providing for us a new and glorious way of relating to others. Help us as we look into the mirror of Your Word, not to neglect any part that needs to be changed in us. Holy Spirit, empower us to remove the things that do not suit us as children of God. Remind us daily that we are set apart to represent our Heavenly Father.

Help us dress ourselves with compassion for others so we may see how You see them. Help us to put on kindness even with those whom we deem as difficult to get along with. Help us to reach for humility when pride knocks on our doors and we are tempted to become posers instead of truth-bearers. Remind us that You wear forgiveness with us and that we will do the same for others.
Even now, we forgive those who have hurt us, harmed us, and offended us. We release them in Jesus Name and we refuse to pick up the bait of offense. Thank You, Lord for our new clothes. May we wear them daily for Your glory. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen and Amen!
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