Monday, March 11, 2013

What Not to Wear

Lately I've been giving a lot of thought to clothing. Everyone has their own style--funky, traditional, classic, and every twist in between. I often wonder what Stacy and Clinton would say about me, and I fear I'd be found lacking (I told y'all before that I love my yoga pants!) But it's not the clothing I can run to the mall and buy that's caught my brain, it's more like spiritual clothing.

It all began when I read John 11 again, the story of Lazarus dying and Jesus raising him from the dead. It was the last line that caught me this time:

Jesus said to them, "Take off the grave clothes and let him go." John 11:44

And I stopped.

Lazarus was alive, and yet a part of death still remained wrapped around him. Stinky and blinding (they  wrapped the face even), the strips still bound him, and yet he'd just walked out of the tomb very much alive.

Made me think of our own walk. For many of us, God's delivered us from a spiritual death and yet we're still strolling around like that miracle didn't happen. We let our past hold us in its grip, and someone needs to say to us: Take off those grave clothes!

There is such victory we could be living in! One of my favorite passages in the Bible is Isaiah 61, and this section especially:

...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. (vs. 3)

Okay. First we get a crown? As a girl, I especially love that part! But then that garment? That word used there stems from the Hebrew word "atah" which means to wrap, envelope or clothe oneself. So we're taking off the clothing of despair (death) and wrapping up in His garments instead! LOVE:)

Want even more? He tells us over and over in His word that He's raised us from the dead. He's removed us from the death of sin and made us fully alive in Him. And to remove those grave clothes and instead:

Clothe yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 13:14
Put on your new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:24
Buy your clothes from me, clothes designed in Heaven. Revelations 3:18
Put on the full armor of God. Ephesians 6:10

Over and over God speaks to us about what we should be wearing--His very own version of What Not to Wear, only SO much better:) And I can't help but realize that I need His advice. I can completely pull on the wrong outfit some days--past sin, defeat, impatience, jealousy, control...and leave my house not looking so great. I NEED him to say "Take of those clothes" and "Here, put this on." That's a style intervention I can get down with!

So what about you? Are you still walking around with any strips from the grave? Ready to put on something new?


  1. I'm in complete agreement with Cindy! Awesome stuff, Susan! Such a blessing -- thank you!

  2. Susan, how beautiful. What a great message to share with us.