“…And change your garments.” (Genesis 35:2)
In life you do not want to be above today and fall tomorrow. If you want God to elevate you and you remain on top and stay above, there is a way you can go about it. In this scripture we have read, Jacob after he had asked his family to be clean he went further into deeper detail by asking them to put on new garments. This was in preparation for the presence of God as they were returning to Bethel where Jacob had had an encounter with the Lord. Changing of garments is a very critical part in your walk with God. You have to get to that place at some point where garments are changed. A garment speaks of a covering, protection and in other cases it represents safety. In certain instances a garment represents your outward appearance.
When you are walking with God, fellowshipping with Him and getting to know Him better, there comes a point in time where what you used to put on has to be removed. You will have to put on something new that qualifies you for the current experiences that you are having with God. Remember when Elijah was about to be taken he left a jacket. Elisha when he picked up the jacket that fell from the body of Elijah, he had to rent his own garments first before he could inherit Elijah’s attire.
You have to surrender a certain lifestyle before you can inherit a new one. There is an old you which is stopping the new you, there is a part of you that is better than the part you see. There is more to you than what you or others have seen. There is always a better part of you that is being stopped by the worst part of you.
The Bible teaches us to “Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.”(Colossians 3:9). The two cannot overlap, you need to surrender the old man and then you put on the new man. When it comes to garments as well you need to put off the old garment before you can put on the new garment.
Serving God requires that you present yourself well before God. How you present yourself before God matters, there is a certain regalia that is not expected in the presence of God. There are certain attires that are forbidden in Bethel otherwise why would Jacob advise his family members to change their garments if every attire is acceptable in the presence of God.
There are certain personality traits that are on us that we need to learn to put off. We use them as a covering and yet these are characteristics which are not required in the presence of God. When Adam sinned in the garden there is an attire that he lost.
The Bible says that Adam and Eve realised that they were naked and were then ashamed. It means that before, it is either they were naked and were not ashamed or they were putting on something which I believe is the glory of God which was covering them.
The glory immediately left when they sinned and they were exposed. There is a garment you lose when you commit sin. You lose the glory of God and you begin to feel condemned and discouraged. There are days when you know that you have gone for a very long time without committing sin and you avoid every appearance of sin.
During those days you feel much closer to God, you pray and you believe that He is hearing you, you fast and you feel there is a change. You will not struggle to enter into the presence of God, you will be staying in the presence of God because of the absence of sin.
But when you commit sin you lose confidence, which means it is a jacket that you were putting on and you lost it by committing sin. Sin uncovers you, it takes away your protection. You do not commit sin and still feel safe, if you commit sin you will feel like every little wind can blow you away. When you commit sin you do not need the devil himself to fight you, you need yourself to fight yourself; you will need little things in life to bring you down.
Jacob advised his household to be clean and take away every strange God from amongst them. If you cannot put off an old garment it will take you away from the presence of God and that will finally destroy you.
Spiritual maturity is not about acting like you are in the spirit everytime and speaking in tongues everywhere you are, it is far from that. It is not really about what you say when you pray or even how you pray, spiritual maturity is about how you face situations in life and how you react to people. If a person looks at you now you are like an angel until you are provoked and an old nature comes out of you. There is an old garment that need to be taken off.
In most cases there is a part of you that you do not want people to see, everything you try to do is a cover up. There is an old garment that you have not yet put off, it is still there and it normally manifest in certain situations. There are times you act, react and respond like you have never had an experience with God. It is an old garment and that is what kills you.
There are people who really love God and they serve Him in different departments of the church. But most people who are really committed in the House of God have got serious issues. What really motivate them to serve God to such magnitudes is the belief that if they serve to such extent, maybe God will end up overlooking their issues.
They do it to extremes because they have areas that they are trying to cover up. There is a garment that need to be removed before you can have a permanent experience with God. People come to church and start serving God before removing the old man. The old person has to be removed, if you claim that you have removed him, there are people who are going to come and test you to see if you have really removed the old person.
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