Thursday, March 03, 2005

Is Your Clothing Out of Style?

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Many Christians have problems with changes that need to take place in their lives. We don’t like change because it is uncomfortable and unfamiliar. Unfortunately, the attitudes we carry…the disobedience in which we live…the excuses we make…the traditions we place before God…they are all OUT OF STYLE!

When it comes to the Saints of God, especially those in leadership, God is getting tired of mess. He is tired of seeing us wear old clothes as we try to function according to old things. God is doing a new thing in the Kingdom of God, and we must get BRAND NEW for Him. People of God, it’s time to change our spiritual clothes! Hypocrisy must cease. We must walk in TRUE HOLINESS and seek God like never before. We need to “dress to impress” in the spirit realm.

What Authority Do You Represent?

In our society, we are able to recognize people in authority by their appearance. We are able, for instance, to identify someone in the armed forces by the camouflage they wear. We recognize a police officer because of the uniform he wears. These outfits symbolize something for us. They define the authority and the purpose that person has been called to fulfill.

In the same way, the Bible tells us that we should be known by our fruit. The move of the Holy Spirit in our lives will cause others to recognize the power, authority and purpose that has been placed in us by God. The problem in Christian leadership is that many of us are perpetrating an officer, and that’s a crime! We are dressing ourselves with titles, dead works and responsibilities that God never called us to. In Matthew 21:18-19, we read about Jesus and a fig tree. The Bible says the Lord was hungry, and saw a fig tree with leaves on it, signifying that fruit should have been present as well. When He saw that no fruit was blooming on the tree, He cursed it. Many of us today are just like that tree. We act like we’re sanctified, and we talk like we’re holy, but we fail to produce. We call ourselves prophets, but we never prophesy the word of the Lord. Instead we profess our own ideas and ideologies. We call ourselves preachers, but we preach politics and economics, rather than the word of God. Leaders, this puts the people of God in bondage. We cannot be found guilty and false prophesies. God’s judgment begins at the house of God, so many of us need to repent!

In the 11th chapter of John, Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead. In Jewish tradition, the dead were wrapped in a shroud, or a grave cloth before they were buried or placed in a tomb. When Jesus tells Lazarus, “come forth,” he realizes that he is bound by this clothing. The Bible says, in verse 44, that Lazarus came forth “bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound with a napkin.” Jesus told the people surrounding him, “Loose him, and let him go.” If Lazarus had stayed in those grave clothes, he would not have been able to function normally. He couldn’t see. He could barely walk. More than likely, he was unable to breathe freely as well. Many of us, as Christian leaders, are wrapped in a shroud called TRADITION. God has called us into ministry, but we are bound by the things we have been taught by the church. We can’t see clearly. We can’t walk freely, and we can’t speak as the Lord leads us. Well, the devil is a liar! He who the Son sets free is free indeed! Some of us need to stop being bound by titles. We need to take off our binding clothes and walk in new life. If you’re called, you’re just called. “Come forth,” as Jesus said to Lazarus. You may walk in the office of an Evangelist, but if the Lord tells you to prophesy, PROPHESY. You may walk in the office of a teacher, but if God tells you to preach, PREACH THE WORD! At some point, we have to stop worrying about what people will think. We may have to forget some of the traditions we were taught. We MUST do as God says. He is speaking in these last days, and we MUST BE OBEDIENT!

Last, but not least, we must begin to see ourselves as God sees us. Many times, we quench the Holy Spirit because of fear. We must get to a place where we realize that God gets all the glory! Therefore, fear has no place in ministry! We must be bold and walk in power according to Acts 1:8. The Lord had plans for us before we were formed in our mother’s wombs (Jeremiah 1:5). We must walk in our destinies. We must realize who we are in Christ Jesus and live according to the power that is in us. We should be able to pray for the sick and see them healed. We should have the power to raise the dead! It’s only a matter of faith. God isn’t falling short, so it must be us. Amen?

In Job 14:13-15, Job asks that God hide him in the grave until his wrath passes. This is exactly where some of us have been. We have been hiding behind religious traditions and false doctrines of the church, using them to make excuses for why we are not fulfilling the callings on our lives. Well, God is saying that our change has come! It is now time to walk in life and liberty, through the Spirit of God.

Be encouraged, saints of God! The Lord wants to use us in these last days, but we must be strong, willing and obedient. We must be in uniform, compliant with the Word of God. People will see our clothing, in the Spirit, and glorify our Father in Heaven. Is your clothing out of style?

Is Your Clothing Out of Style?

Our clothes say so much about us. Our style communicates our occupation, our self-esteem, our purpose, our artistic ability, and so much more. Clothing is a visible display of one’s culture, society, conscious and economic status. Our character, words and works do the same in the spirit realm. They reveal the status of our spiritual walk and relationship with God. Is your clothing out of style? Is it deceiving? Is it too binding? The Lord is calling us change clothes – to represent who we really are in Him on a day to day basis. We must get real before the Lord. For some of us, that may mean standing completely naked before Him.

Is Your Clothing Out of Style? If your walk doesn’t line up with your calling, change your clothes. If your title doesn’t match your calling, change your clothes!

Final thoughts to ponder…

Take off sin and put on holiness (Romans
11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.
12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

Learn to distinguish between vain tradition and the Word of God (Matthew 15:9).
9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

Live an honest and transparent life. God’s people must have integrity (Romans
20 An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law.
21 Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal?
22 Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege?
23 Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God?
24 For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written.

Let’s watch our mouths. Only GOSSIP THE GOSPEL! We must allow God to touch our lips (Isaiah 6:5-7).
5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.
6 Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:
7 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.

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