“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....” (Isaiah 61:10)
We spend most of our lives trying desperately to look a certain way, in order to convince ourselves and our world that we are actually worth loving. This “dressing ourselves,” as John so beautifully described it (John 21:18), takes many forms—appearance, performance, possession, etc.
The problem is that anything we can dress ourselves with—no matter how beautiful or expensive or hard earned—is really nothing more than “filthy rags” or “fig leaves.” It is merely a covering, a hiding place, camouflaging what really lies underneath. Thus, we spend our lives living falsely, desperately hoping that we will never be found out. Needless to say, living this way is utterly exhausting.
The beauty of the gospel, however, is that we do not have to dress ourselves; God offers to do it for us. All we have to do is take off all of the falseness and pretense, stand naked before our God, and allow him to clothe us. God says, “I will dress you. Let me clothe you in the garments of salvation and a robe of righteousness; they fit you perfectly. They make you who you were created to be. Thus, when you allow me to dress you, instead of constantly trying to dress yourself, it will result in you living a life of joy and delight, rather than a life of fear and shame.”
Forgive me, O Lord, for always trying to dress myself. Forgive me for trying to make people believe that I am something more than I really am, which really makes me less. So much less. Forgive me for all of the ways I pretend and posture and project. Help me, O Lord, to have the courage to stop dressing myself and allow you to dress me. Clothe me, O Lord. Amen.
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