As I walked out the door dressed for an event, I took one more glance in the mirror to make sure I was ready to go. I wore a new dress and shoes, ornamented with jewelry my husband had bought for me. I felt so special.
The event was a formal affair. My long dress of solid white sparkled, as did many of the other dresses the ladies wore. Their sequin-covered gowns glimmered as they reflected the light from objects around the room. It was as if the night twinkled with stars.
While I chatted with others, a waiter approached us with glasses of red wine on a tray. Just as we turned down the wine, someone bumped the waiter, and red wine flowed down the front of my sparkling white dress, staining it. My eyes grew wide with surprise, and I heard the gasps. The embarrassed waiter began frantically handing me napkins. Smiling, I patted my dress, and not to be dissuaded from enjoying the party, I exclaimed to people that I could not decide between a red or white dress for the evening; therefore, I wore both. You’ve heard the phrase, “you can’t cry over spilled milk”, in this case spilled wine.
I think about the garments Jesus was wearing while being beaten and hung on the cross. The red stain was not wine, but His blood shed for us. He willingly obeyed the Lord going to the cross to save us and give us eternity. Each droplet of blood was for us. After His death and resurrection, Jesus promised the Holy Spirit to inhabit believers while we are on earth helping us to walk in His righteousness.
Living this life on earth is difficult for believers and non-believers. We have an enemy that finds our weaknesses and as believers we allow our hearts to be spiritually stained. This can happen easily. We don’t desire it, but the enemy can bump us ever so slightly, staining our hearts.
Most mornings when I awake, I throw off the covers, stretch out my arms, and say, “Good Morning, Lord. It’s me, Jan. Please fill me with up with Your Holy Spirit.” After my remarks, I feel as though I am spiritually dressed in my beautiful white robe of righteousness.
“I am overwhelmed with joy in the LORD my God! For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness.”
Isaiah 61:10 (NLT)
Heading towards my office for some time with the Lord, sometimes a bump happens and the enemy stains my garment of righteousness, spilling his ways upon me. Allow me to name a few of those spills.
- When I have a disagreement with my husband and I won’t back down, I put my mind on self.
- When phone calls that I should ignore interrupt the early morning, busyness distracts me.
- When I think I need to minister to a friend, my husband, or a family member before setting my heart right with the Lord, I get muddled and confused.
- When I open my computer to texts, emails, and the internet, I become curious and feel pressured to read.
- Many times, I sit down at my computer with great intentions, but my eyes avert to an article, and it doesn’t end with that one article – it leads to another and another.
I even have a sticky note stuck to my computer with these words written on them: “Do not go to the computer until you have met with Me.” Excuses may sound good, but nothing is worthy of missed times with Him.
My husband left on a mission trip for two weeks, and I decided that would be a good time to fast. This fast wasn’t food; instead, I would fast from anything that wasn’t God-related.
The fast went like this: I started each day with quietness before the Lord and I had no time limit. I watched no TV aside from Christian programs. I read no magazines or books unless they were Christian based. It could be a fiction book, but it had to be God-centered. I listened to no radio unless it was a Christian station. I especially allowed no internet reading. In talking, emailing, or texting with friends, I put these restrictions around my conversations: I only spoke about positive, praiseworthy things or things to pray about, without getting into specifics of news or gossip. My friends had been informed of my fast and were wonderful in cooperating with my desires.
A precious song I sang as a child echoed during my fast. “Be careful little eyes what you see / Be careful little eyes what you see / There’s a Father up above / And He’s looking down in love / So, be careful little eyes what you see.” This song repeats the same chorus, cautioning us about what our ears hear, what our hands do, where our feet walk, and what our mouth speaks.
During this fast, I surrounded myself as much as I could in the positive world of Jesus, cocooned by the Holy Spirit.
When my husband returned home, I was so “high” spiritually I could barely contain myself. He witnessed a remarkable difference in all areas of my life and told me I looked radiant.
“Those who look to him are radiant with joy . . .”
I wish I could live Holy Spirit-cocooned all the time, but the enemy has different ideas. We live in a fallen world and distractions from God come our way. We must persist and rely on His power of overcoming this soiled heart until that day when we will be in eternity and forever unsoiled. If it helps, picture the stained garments of Jesus and remember what He did and gave to us in order to walk in the white robe of righteousness.
Lord, I desire to live in the fullness of a spiritual life as a believer in You. Yet sometimes the enemy bumps, spills, and stains me with ungodly thoughts and actions. Many times, I feel Paul’s words, “I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate” Romans 7:15 (NLT). I ask daily, “Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me”
Psalm 51:10(KJV). As I wait on You, Lord, I will keep my heart from being stained because of the precious blood of Jesus. I will decide to have a heart full of joy in Your presence. Amen.