“I’m in a clothing store with an older black man with grey hair. I’m trying on white shirts the man is picking out for me. The shirts are very modest. He picked one I liked then went off to help someone else. Now I’m in the dressing room looking at myself in the mirror. I was surprised to see that the shirt I had on had deep cleavage and was way sexier than the modest shirt I was given. Then I remembered I already had a white shirt like the one the old man gave me. I waited to ask him if I could get the sexy one instead.”
Old Man: God, Chief Shepherd
Clothing Store: Spiritual need
Shirt: Covering (to clothe ourselves in…)
Modest White Shirt: Humility, Righteous
Sexy White Shirt: Self Righteous, Flesh
When the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time. – 1 Peter 5:4
This was a self condition dream regarding the motives of my heart and personal agenda. I was struggling with being humble (spiritually modest) in a position God had me serving in. God allowed me to inspect myself as I looked in the mirror, and I liked what I saw.. but HE didn’t. The shirt with cleavage that I wanted to keep, screamed… Hey look at me! Look at what I have to offer! I’m qualified too! In real life I was moving in the flesh. I started out humble but somewhere along the way self righteousness crept in and God had to remind me to put that modest shirt back on! I’m definitely a work in progress. Clothing ourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience – Colossians 3:12 is the attire that pleases God.
Many of us are gifted and talented with the call of God on our lives, but we will go through seasons of humbling. You may have gifts and spiritual abilities that are amazing and will impact a populous of people, but a time will come when that anointed gift of yours will be overlooked. You may not be able to make full use of all your capabilities, you’ll sense that your bright light has been dimmed, and you’ll begin to question your giftedness. You might even say, “I’m not used to this!” Yeah, those are all blows to the ego but it’s necessary in order to keep us from being puffed up and prideful. God also uses those seasons to stretch us and move us out of our comfort zone to learn new things. It’s not about me or you. It’s about God, following his agenda, and focusing on doing good works (with the proper attitude) in whatever capacity the Lord has you serving at the time.
What is Good Works?
Good works is serving, giving to charity, and participating in positive acts that glorify God, AND will have a lasting effect in the earth long after you’re gone. If one person’s life is affected in a positive way as a result of a book you wrote, a song you recorded, or quality time spent with someone – then mission accomplished!! What if your good works result in ONE person’s salvation? The bible says the angels rejoice over one soul that comes to Christ – Luke 15:10.
Doing good works is great! But we ALL must be mindful of our motives behind them. Are they meant to produce fruit for God or for self? Is anyone truly benefiting from your work? Did God give the green light on whatever work you’re doing?
Our works will be Judged:
“Each one’s work will be clearly shown for what it is; for the day of judgment will disclose it, because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality and character and worth of each person’s work. If any person’s work which he has built on this foundation (Christianity), that is, any outcome of his effort remains and survives this test, he will receive a reward. But if any person’s work is burned up by the test, he will suffer the loss of his reward; yet he himself will be saved, but only as one who has barely escaped through fire.”
Don’t be the one who barely gets by. Start checking your motives. Clothe yourself in humility. Let 2017 be the year of doing good works for God. The bible says, “Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus.”