Wether we are praying to God, going to church to Hear God’s word, or just carrying ourselves around all day — we tend to clothe ourselves with a garment of our own self imagined Christian character. We may think we are rich and clothed in Christian goodness when God actually sees us as poor and truly needy.
This is why God asks us to come before Him not as someone whose got thier “act together”, but to have that awareness that we are ever in need of Him. To be aware that we can have no self-conceived goodness of our own- that He is our only goodness . He asks us to come before Him as naked and needy.
Only then can we we receive His goodness – His garment over us.
We are reminded of Jesus’s parable of the Wedding Feast where there was one person found there amongst all the invited guests, who was not wearing the Wedding garment provided. They were wearing a garment of their own choosing- not the one God had provided for them to wear. In order to wear God’s Garment, they would have to “take off” their own garment, but they didn’t want to do that- They thought their own garment was good enough to wear.
When the Bridegroom came to the Feast and noticed this person was not wearing a wedding garment, He questioned him over this, but the person was speechless. He was made to leave, because only God’s wedding garment was required .
In this parable, the Weddng Garment represents God’s righteousness provided by the Holy Spirit. The garment the wedding guest was wearing was his own righteousness – which he thought was “good enough” to get in with.
All mankind’s righteousness- even the sweetest, most polite of us- is nothing but a “filthy rag” before God, and needs to go before God can give us His character .
When we read in the book of Genesis of Adam and Eve, both of them were always naked before God- they didn’t need to wear any clothing . God was thier clothing and they shared an intimate communion with Him. After they sinned by breaking that communion through listening to satan’s voice instead of God’s- instead of repenting and asking God to restore their spirits back to Him, they chose to find something to cover their shame. No longer did they want God’s Holiness to cover them, — they now sought some type of covering of their own choosing- so they picked some large plant leaves – which they thought were good enough to them.
When God came to the garden to find them, He saw them hiding and His heart was broken because He knew what had just happened. He knew that connection they shared with Him was now broken- and they were now trying to cover themselves with their own “self righteousness” to cover their shame. No one knows the hurt God felt- because He had created mankind to love Him out of our own free will while He could enjoy loving us back. Satan immediately sought a way to destroy that communion as part of His agenda to strike back at God through Beings God created.
God replaced their plant leaves with the furs of an innocent animal He killed. This was to signify that only through sacrifice and shed blood, could they present themselves before Him again. Only through Repenting, and depending on the sacrifice of Jesus – our sacrificial Lamb of God, can we face God again. By repenting of our sins, and asking Jesus to clothe us with His holiness, can we present ourselves before the Father again and enjoy that communion with our beloved Father in Heaven that Adam and Eve experienced before leaving Eden.
Salvation is an ongoing process where the Holy Spirit continues to reveal to us more and more about ourselves in need of being removed so that His character can replace what He reveals to us. Initially we see our gross sins- the obvious sins that even other people notice about us. He continues to reveal more about us throughout our lives. Not only our obvious sins, but even subtle conditions where our self- nature is exposed . The Holy Spirit seeks to deliver us from our conditions in our self- life that need to be removed and replaced with His Nature. Religious pride, vanity and self importance and other subtle aspects of the self-life all have to go just as much as our more obvious conditions, such as alcoholism, etc. As we continue on our walk with Jesus, He shows us through the Holy Spirit these inner conditions of the self-life and we continue to fall on our knees, and ask Him to deliver us from these more subtle conditions.
By doing so , we are coming before Him truly stripped of the righteousness of our own choosing, and with Love, He gently places on us His garment and character and takes away our shame.
Oh to allow Him to clothe us with Himself- to share in His Holiness and find ourselves in a more intimate deeper relationship with Him than ever before!