Recently I was invited to a church which was having a special Western theme that particular Sunday morning. ‘You can dress Western, if you’d like,” the pastor offered. My stick-in-the-mud side emerged immediately and I thought, ‘I’m not going to do that.” But after a bit I reasoned, ‘Why not? It would be fun.”
So I went shopping for a Western shirt. Finally found one that looked great””blue and black with cattle skulls drawn across the chest. When I put it on ”¦ wow! I felt ‘Roy Rogers-ish.” For you younger readers, Roy Rogers was King of the Cowboys way- back-when, just like Mickey Mantle was king of the baseball players. I flashed back to when my grandmother made me a little cowboy shirt, with cowboys all over it. I was probably five, back when cowboys were cowboys and they only kissed their girls and maybe their horse. I probably wouldn’t have made much of a cowboy because I didn’t have a horse. The one thing I could do well, though, was die. Back in those days cowboys DIED! ‘Tell my mama,”¦cough, cough”¦tell her I never meant to end up like this”¦ wheeze, wheeze”¦never meant to hurt heeeeeer”¦.ploof.” Now that’s dying! When we played cowboys, I had it down. I didn’t give many speeches but I could die as well as anyone. ‘Pow!” ‘Oooh!” our faithful cowboy got it in the gizzard. He crumples to the ground and rolls down a little incline and lays there, his life ebbing away. The heart of everyone nearby moves with pity. I even felt sorry for myself. You should have seen me. I was good. Today it’s not the same. Some poor imbecile gets blown up with a bazooka, blood covers the screen, body parts are strewn all around. They pick up what’s left and take it to the laboratory to do an in-depth autopsy. It’s realism, you see. What a bunch of garbage. A lot of good memories came back with my new cowboy shirt. Have you ever noticed that how you dress sometimes determines how you feel? Did you know that God has prescribed a certain dress code for his people? Listen to what Jesus told us:
‘And behold, I will send forth upon you what My Father has promised; but remain in the city [Jerusalem] until you are clothed with power from on high.” (Luke 24:, Amplified).
Whoa! Powerful clothes? What’s he talking about? Luke gets a bit more specific in his second book–Acts.
‘When they were together for the last time they asked, “Master, are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel now? Is this the time?” He told them, “You don’t get to know the time. Timing is the Father’s business. What you’ll get is the Holy Spirit. And when the Holy Spirit comes on you, you will be able to be my witnesses in Jerusalem, all over Judea and Samaria, even to the ends of the world. These were his last words.” (Acts 1:6-9, The Message)
That ‘clothing” is the infilling of the Holy Spirit. He gives us power to convincingly tell others about Jesus and His gift of eternal life. The first church exploded into the world like a holiday fireworks display and quickly spread in all directions. Something very similar has been happening these last years. People are praying and asking God for his ‘clothing.” Then when they receive it they’re going out to tell others about their marvelous Saviour. He’s changing lives. Jesus knew that we weren’t strong enough or convincing enough to do the job by ourselves so He gave us the Helper–His Holy Spirit–to fill us and use us. Clothed with His Spirit we work for Him and speak for Him and He confirms the truth of His Word. He loves this world and He wants to give eternal life to as many as possible. Better go get ‘dressed.” His clothing makes all the difference.