TODAY’S READING: Ephesians 4:17-24
“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” EPH 4:22-24 (NIV)
My mother had a job that I don’t know anyone else’s mother had. She was a tailoress and worked part-time making high quality children’s clothes and yes, she loved making me my clothes. You might be thinking, ‘that’s amazing’, ‘what a blessing!’ Well, the only problem was that my mother’s fashion sense for her sons was usually stuck in the previous fashion season. When tight trousers, drainpipe style, were in, my mum was making me flares for school. On a windy day there was a genuine risk that I’d take off into orbit with my school trousers turning into sails. When shirt collars were small and neat, yes you guessed it, my shirts had wings with a matching kipper tie. I’m surprised I don’t need counselling today! (No, please don’t respond to that comment.) All I could think about throughout my teenage years was, ‘get these clothes off me’.
There are some clothes we should wear.
Paul now addresses this increasing, loving and maturing church in Ephesus and tells them that they need to take off old stuff and to put on God’s wardrobe. They had to take off ‘self’ and now be clothed with the wardrobe of God. Our ‘old self’ is our sinful nature. From birth, every single human being without exception is preoccupied with ‘self’. By nature, we reflect an unholy trinity of ‘me, myself and I’.
Do you remember the last wedding you attended? At some point the official photographer gathered together the entire wedding party and guests for a photo. A few weeks later, probably on Facebook, the happy couple started posting the official photographs on their wall and you saw the group shot for the first time. When you click on the picture where do your eyes focus? On the happy couple? Nope! We inevitably frame the entire scene around ourselves. Where am I? It’s all about ME! Most of us have grown up with that ‘Star Wars theology’ - “this answer lies within you” - but the problem is that, within every human being is self, selfishness and a self-serving attitude. It’s time to get rid of that old self-centred wardrobe and to put on God’s wardrobe of righteousness, love, joy and peace in the Holy Spirit.
Every morning as you wake up and begin to get dressed, why not make that a prophetic action where you consciously remind yourself that you are a new creation in Christ Jesus and intentionally remind yourself of the righteousness of God upon you, peace, joy and the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Whatever time of year it is, as you read the devotional, please spring-clean your spiritual wardrobe and, on this occasion, don’t give your clothes to someone else or to a charity shop. Burn them. Bin them. Don’t pass on your old identity or put it into storage. Embrace your new wardrobe. You’re a new person! You’ve got Kingdom style!
• Read Ephesians 4:17-24
• Let’s clear the wardrobes of our lives today and continually declare the new wardrobe of blessing from God over our lives. You are who the Word of God says you are!
• Pray that, increasingly, righteousness and holiness will be the hallmarks of your life.