I forgot to wake my daughter up for school today. I don’t know what happened, but I was ready to walk out the door when I realized she was still asleep. She is not a morning person, but I did manage to convince her that we were late and she needed to get moving. Did I mention that she’s a teenager? Well, this also just happened to be the day after she washed her clothes, so guess where all of her school pants were? On the drying rack. Still wet.
I wish I had a picture, but it wouldn’t be appropriate. And she would kill me. But we rode to school with Bethany in her red and white striped pajama pants studying for a poem quiz and with me steering with one hand and drying her school pants in front of the car’s heater with the other. She did manage to get her pants on over her pj’s before we arrived in the school parking lot. And aced her quiz. That’s my girl. Even on the days when just getting up and dressed is a challenge, she manages to overcome.
So can you.
Guess what? We will face many challenges in our daily walk with the Lord. But if we will wake up and get dressed, even in difficult circumstances, the Lord will show Himself strong on our behalf. So what does that look like? Here are a few thoughts the Lord led me to.
First, we have to get up and get ready.
“The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 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 13:11b-14, NIV),
Paul is speaking to the church. He is calling Christians out of this sinful behavior–the things we do under cover of darkness that we don’t want anyone to know about–the jealousy, hatred, impure thoughts, dissension, even sexual sin. Just as my daughter would not have dared to walk in the school in her pj’s, we shouldn’t walk about in darkness, but clothe ourselves with light and the Lord.
Second, we need to put on the right garments: characteristics that are becoming to a Spirit-filled, blood-bought, redeemed child of the living God. I don’t know about you, but I miss this one a lot. I may get up and get ready in the morning, putting on the armor of God, but then sometime during the day, I manage to take off that cloak of the Spirit and get right back in the bare flesh. God wants us walking in His spiritual garments.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity” Colossians 3:12-14).
“All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5b).
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes…Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm, then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all of this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, with which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:10-11, 13-17).
Third, we need to throw off the wrong clothes that Satan and the world try to make us wear, and take up those outfits that are rightfully ours in the Lord. Jesus came…
“to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair” (Isaiah 61:3).
I don’t know about you, but a crown of beauty and a garment of praise sound a whole lot better than the junk I keep trying to wear. You know, there are days when I am up early and had my clothes laid out the night before, and then there are those days that, like my daughter, I’m doing well to get out the door. Regardless of my circumstance, I still get up, I still get dressed, and I still carry on. If I can do that in the natural, then surely I can do that in the Spirit. And so can you.
So, no matter what tomorrow holds, just wake up, dress up, and show up, clothed in the power of God. Who knows? You may look like a warrior in your armor or a princess in your crown, but either way, you will overcome.