Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Beautifully Clothed

"I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God.
For he has clothed me with garments of salvation
And arrayed me in a robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
For as the soil makes the sprout to come up,
and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make
righteousness and praise spring up before all the nations."
Isaiah 61:10-11

God's grace never ceases to amaze me. It is early in the morning…before my second cup of coffee, my morning walk, my morning prayers, and my morning shower. Because of that, the truth of being clothed with His beautiful salvation and His beautiful righteousness is a little hard for me to grasp. Especially with the fog that clouds my mind the first hour I am awake. On top of that, I went to bed in need of God's grace and woke up thankful I could clothe myself in it! There is not a day that goes by I don't blurt out an angry word, have a hateful thought I would never want others to know about, or miss an opportunity to share the love of God with someone desperately needing it. There are also times I am aware of needing deeper intimacy with God, but seek relief from the discomfort of my need by turning to other things instead of allowing Him to meet the need. At those times I feel like the ugliness of sin and self-centeredness on the inside is visible to everyone and I want to withdraw from others and flee from God's presence. Amazingly, His love is strong enough and constantly tugs at my heart so I don't give in to those impulses and I embrace the truth that because of Jesus I have been clothed in His righteousness.

Over time I've learned God's love doesn't depend on how I feel. Even when I am at my worst and my own mind is telling me I am unlovable, the Scripture says He loves me and is constantly inviting me into His Holy presence. As I sit and wait in His presence, His ears are turned toward me, inviting me to share my heart with Him in complete transparency. As I pull back the layers of the garbage that are there, He rises up to meet me with His complete mercy and His relentless grace! He reminds me over and over that Christ's blood has covered my sin and my selfishness and He has planted His righteousness in my heart through the Holy Spirit. As I come to Him and lay sin and shame at His feet and voice the pain of deep needs, He meets me there. He causes His righteousness to spring forth from me like a seeds planted in a garden. That righteousness works itself out in a deep passionate love for God and for others. The work He has done on the inside becomes visible and beautiful like the ornaments a bride and groom wear, making me more grateful for His grace! His righteousness working out in my life is more consistent, more humbling, and more beautiful than the righteousness I try to muster up myself. It is in the process of letting the Lord look into the messiness of my heart and cleanse it and heal it that I return to joy and become who God designed me to be. I will rejoice in my Lord and be joyful in my God.

Just think, If you know the Lord, you, too, are clothed in His righteousness like a bride is clothed for her wedding day! It doesn't matter how we feel or what we've done or what we've thought--Christ's blood covers it all. In His grace, God chooses to do beautiful work in us! Let's commit to not hiding who we are, but openly sit at His feet and remember who He is. Let's pour our hearts out to Him, laying our sin, hurt, anger and doubt at His feet. Let's let Him cleanse, heal, and give us His peace and His courage. Let's let Him replace our morning "yucks" and evening "guilt" with adoration and praise for He has clothed us in beauty.

Prayer: Father, thank you for your grace that I need on a daily basis. Thank you for allowing me to lay my sin and my shame at His feet. Thank you for the righteousness you impart to me that springs forth from my innermost being. Please search my heart for anything and everything that dishonors you or hinders my relationship with you from growing deeper. I praise you for you are the Sovereign Lord who will make your righteousness spring up in your people before all the nations. Amen.

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed your post Wendy. You are able to express so much of what I have felt through the years of knowing the Lord. I find it so difficult to share openly and honestly with the Lord my deepest thoughts. I know He already knows them but sometimes I think He isn't interested in what I think. I know that's not true but communicating is a a big weakness for me. I plan to read through each of your posts. This first one is really excellent. Thank you for doing this!



Several years ago I realized that I often sped through my Scripture reading and gave it little thought. Yet, when I had meaningful conversations with friends or family members I replayed them over and over in my head. One day it occurred to me, that if I thought more about what God says in his word that I would not only know more about Him, but I would come to know Him in a personal way. I would know more about His thoughts, His character, His intentions, His passions, and His actions. So, I began to take one verse at a time and think on it and then journal about it. At the time I was served as a volunteer in youth ministry and shared my “Thoughts on God” with those girls. For a while I have been rewriting and posting them on this blog. I have realized when I am in the Word or move through my day focusing on God's presence that I have wonderful opportunities to Meet God in the Everyday. The Everyday can include storms, blessings, hard things, scary things, exciting things...just any where, anyplace, any time. I hope that you will be able to engage with what I write with both your head and your heart. I also hope you will be challenged to love, trust, and know the God of the Scriptures. It is my prayer that as you read you will experience Him at a deeper level and share pieces of your journey in the comments. It is my desire that we form a safe community of believers who pursue the God who loves us radically, eternally, and without reserve. As a precious pastor once told me, "Don't forget, Wendy, God is Good!" I find myself compelled by His Goodness and His Love to share so others can know Him through all the ups and downs of life. Please feel free to dialogue back and to share how each passage impacts you. If if there is a passage you would like me to write on or if you would like to be a guest blogger, please let me know. I am just learning to navigate this blog and appreciate the kind comments you have made in the past...I promise I will even try to respond if you leave a note. If you are blessed please share the blog with friends!