Friday, August 23, 2013


(From chapter "Summit meetings with God"

I would be fastidiously careful about selecting my wardrobe if I were scheduled to have an audience with royalty or be invited to meet with the president or some other important person. The Word of God gives me some explicit instructions about protocol when showing up for my summit meetings with the Lord.

What is appropriate? Shall I wear the "spirit of heaviness"? Or the "garment of praise"? (Isaiah 61:3) What is more fitting for such an illustrious occasion? The former seems too weighty for the rarefied atmosphere at my summit. 
Sometimes I do start to approach the Lord with a spirit of heaviness because of discouragement, physical weariness, or emotional pressures and stress. I join the Psalmist to question myself, “Why are you cast down (in despair, sunk down), O my soul (my inner self), and why have you become disturbed (disquieted, moaning) within me?” And then I answer myself with assurance and trust: “Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him for the help of His presence” (Psalm 42:5 combining words from several translations).

I am to “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise” (Psalm 100:4). At the gate the Lord has provided a changing room where I can “put on the garment of praise.” He hands me a “garland (ornament or diadem) of beauty in exchange for ashes” and anoints me with “the oil of gladness instead of mourning” (Isaiah 61:3).

This change of apparel allows me to enter His royal presence with eager singing instead of sighing, with a light step instead of reluctantly dragging my feet. Properly attired, my summit meetings with God then become a time of refreshing and restoration reviving my drooping spirit.


What shall I wear today, Lord?
I have a closet full of clothes
but I don't know what I'll face.
What appointments lie ahead?
Shall I wear blue denim or lace?

I just can't decide.
Lord, will You choose
 my proper outfit?
I'm sure You will provide
whatever is in vogue and classy.
It will be fine with me
I know I'll be a hit.

Well, thanks—I guess.
What You chose does match:
military helmet and boots
all in camouflage
coordinating accessories
a belt of truth—
but a sword to use?

I can't really say
that I expected armor!
Something lighter perhaps
chic and trendy
even chosen in haste
would have been
more to my taste.

But You know best
what I will meet
in the marketplace
and on the street
that needs a shield
breastplate and sword
out on the field
of my day.

I feel secure now.
Come what may
I'll wear Your battle gear
more proudly than mink or sable
because this ensemble carries
Your designer label!

(Ephesians 6:10-18)

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