Wardrobe musings: what to wear to this virtual meeting … Who would have thought that our selection of attire would be reduced down to above the waist only? Ok, so now we simply have to be concerned with the appearance from the shoulders upward. Anyone find the perfect Zoom face? Lights, camera, water container, electronic devices … action! *sigh*
But let’s be honest, Sister, when you are fully present — from head to toe — you are truly present. No matter what the virtual meeting or gathering may entail — family, friends, professional colleagues — to be fully present in body helps us to fully engage the mind. So with that said, I am one of those that believes in getting fully dressed (yes, the bottoms do count, Ladies) and putting on the makeup.
I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. Isaiah 61:10 ESV
This verse tickles me — as I read through these words of how GOD has draped over me with garments of salvation and a robe of righteousness. Sounds so spectacular and grand! I feel so unworthy of such attire. And yet, His Love for me is just so. I didn’t earn it and I certainly don’t deserve it. But GOD … He chooses to clothe me in His Righteousness through Jesus Christ.
He is so merciful and kind beyond what our minds are able to comprehend or imagine.
Strength and honor are her clothing, and she can laugh at the time to come. Proverbs 31:25 CSB
- Do strength and honor hang in your wardrobe? Are they among the main pieces of clothing or are they the optional accessories?
Now here’s another angle to consider, Sister: my choice in what to adorn myself.
I can choose to pursue GOD and all the wonderful things He has and wants to give me and receive the benefits of strength and honor to live this life.
When the Bible says things like wearing attributes and virtues, my eyes seem to circle back to the passage from which come. How exactly do you put on strength and honor? Pulled over my head with my arms reaching into sleeves of compassion?
Before adopting this as one of my life verses I had to seriously consider the cost of ‘wearing’ this declaration. I am one that likes to think about my moves and be certain that what I do is leave behind the right legacy. Life is a testimony in motion.
On my own feeble strength, I don’t stand a chance against the unpredictability of life. Period. I’ve lived enough years to know that the strength I need for anything that requires breath must come from the One Who breathed life into me. Life is just that way. No matter how much we plan and prepare, there’s likely to be something you didn’t see coming.
Strength comes from the rigorous exercising of my faith in GOD Almighty. And I’ll attest to the fact that He has loved me through a lot — I mean A LOT — of opportunities to develop that faith. I confess to not always being on board from the start. In fact, many, MANY times my Father GOD patiently waited for me to join Him in agreeing that He knew best and only had the very best intentions for me. As I think back, I hide my face in embarrassment over what I just admitted to you, Girlfriend. But that is the price of wanting to spare you the heartache that I experienced by being slow to respond to the Lord’s plan for me.
Putting on this daily garment of strength has come to look like wrapping myself in full confidence of GOD’s Promises over my life. Trusting in His Word and walking those steps of faith into whatever situations befall me — even when I couldn’t see the next step in front of me. This wrap moves with me; it is not an accessory that is good for some things and not necessary for others; but instead is the foundational piece — the base layer — to all other layers.
Now, try this on for size (pun intended):
You changed my mourning into dancing. You took off my funeral clothes and dressed me up in joy so that my whole being might sing praises to you and never stop. Lord, my God, I will give thanks to you forever. Proverbs 30:11 CSB
Being dressed up in joy! Hallelujah! The Lord Himself strips away the old darkness that I was once cloaked in and weighed down. He exchanges His Light for my heavy darkness and lifts my burden of drudgery and slavery to sin. That’s something worth singing and dancing about.
You are my strength and my shield from every danger. When I fully trust in you, help is on the way. I jump for joy and burst forth with ecstatic, passionate praise! I will sing songs of what you mean to me! Psalm 28:7 TPT
Another word for honor is dignity. To behold dignity is to have exemplary values that display righteousness and a praiseworthy lifestyle. And this is where I was initially intimidated by the words in Proverbs 31. Would others consider my example dignified? Am I genuinely modeling a life that demonstrates and gives honor back to the Lord of Hosts?
While it does sound a bit daunting, I must remember that what I do and say comes from the One I worship. Because I intentionally seek Him, there are blessings that accompany being in His Presence. The BIG bonus is being His Daughter. That’s the biggest perk of being a Child of the King. But having the benefits of royalty doesn’t necessarily equate to automatic radical lifestyle changes that deem me ‘dignified.’
But He gives us more and more grace [through the power of the Holy Spirit to defy sin and live an obedient life that reflects both our faith and our gratitude for our salvation]. James 4:6a AMP
Everything brings me back to the Lord. He pours out His unmerited grace upon me so I can live an obedient life and it is this that reflects my faith. I love what James says here: “He gives me more and more grace …” A double helping of what I need — GOD goes above and beyond. He purposely sets me up for success. And that success is in maintaining my dignity by living by the power of His Holy Spirit. No other way. I couldn’t achieve this on my own efforts.
Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Ephesians 4:22 NLT
When I think of throwing off my clothing, it reminds me of when I’m indecisive about an outfit. I’m confident you know this scenario: you’ve been invited last minute to attend lunch or dinner and you’re desperately doing the 360-degree search for the right outfit to wear. If you’re like me, you start with one, glance in the mirror and it doesn’t set right with the occasion. Then you peel that off and move on to the next one but that one doesn’t fit your mood. Tossing that one onto the bed you select another that “oh my goodness, what millennium did I last wear this?!” goes through your mind. All the while throughout your pursuit you are throwing off your clothing.
It’s the same concept when we become new creatures in Christ. The old nature must be removed (the Holy Spirit dresses us) and is tossed out in order for the new nature to drape over us.
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, Colossians 3:12 ESV
And if we’re searching for attributes to complete the ‘look,’ Scripture spells it out in compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience.
- List additional ‘wearable’ attributes that you can think of: (I’ve given you a start)
So let’s start with what we see in the mirror. After all, this is what others see of us.
If you listen to the Word and don’t live out the message you hear, you become like the person who looks in the mirror of the Word to discover the reflection of his face in the beginning. James 1:23 TPT
The translation and meaning here in The Passion Translation gives rise to the consideration of simply hearing the Word but not allowing it to transform your nature (from the inside). And the result is the ‘reflection’ (that legacy you are leaving behind) is that of your old self. Ultimately, you are not wearing your garments well. Maybe they’re inside out or upside down or even backwards. You’ve put them on haphazardly and may not be as productive as you could be — because of your restricted mobility.
Let’s commit to keeping only those awesome garments that suit us well and project the message we want the rest of the world to remember. Consistency will be our guide and focus will prevent us from wasting time in trying to wear things we have no business being seen in.
I love you to Heaven and Back, Girlfriend ~~
LindaRJohnson, TitusTwo Visionary