Though the economy is keeping many from dressing up as much this year for Halloween, I thought I would take the opportunity that this time of year brings to continue discussing an outline I have previously mentioned, coming from the Bible book of Romans, chapter 13. This is an outline I have used extensively over the years to help bring structure to the daily living in my home and help teach my children. It comes from the text of Romans 13:11-14 and is logical as well as easy to remember for applying to all of life. 1. Wake Up! (c.f. my 08-27-08 Blog, “WAKE UP!”); 2. Clean Up! (c.f. my 01-07-09 Blog, “CLEAN UP!”); and then, 3. Dress Up! (what this article is about); and what I will write about later: 4. Grow Up! Last year on this same date, I also wrote a challenging article you may wish to review: “What are Your Masks?” Whether or not you have ever taken part in some Halloween or Fall Festival celebration and dressed up in some costume, you would do well to further consider what it means to Dress UP!
The Hokies football team dressed up in a festive orange and maroon uniform last night, yet it wasn’t enough to help them overcome and win a tough game against a hungry North Carolina team. Wearing special clothing does help set an atmosphere, yet dressing up is clearly not enough to fully change the reality of any actions by the ones under the clothing. Clothes alone do not “make the man” as is sometimes said. Clothes only cover the body of the person who resides on the inside. It is the clothing or “dressing UP” of the immaterial aspect of our being that makes the real difference in the person. What you are “dressed in” on the inside will indeed be reflected in your attitude and often even through the physical clothes that you wear. Modesty is a subject that many do need to further consider and just as I discussed further in the “CLEAN UP!” Blog, there are many Scriptures to help give guidance there.
To help you make the true change that is best for your life and what will give you the ability to prevail, no matter what problem or tragedy you may face, you must first be spiritually awake. That does not mean that you simply have an interest in spiritual things, but that you have trusted in GOD’s spiritual healing through the Person of Jesus Christ. The healing of the sin stained and separated spirit will then help bring emotional healing and even have great physical benefits. We often have the correct order reversed and think we can change from the outside in, when everything has to actually work the other way and change from the inside out. No matter how you may try to clean up your life or dress up your body, you will have no ultimate success until you are spiritually awake in Christ.
When you are awake, you can better understand the principles of the Word of God and be able to effectively keep your life clean. You also then have a real choice of putting on or dressing up your mind with the “armor of light” (Romans 13:12; c.f. Ephesians 6:11ff too). The real dressing up is when you practically choose to put on the spiritual clothing that GOD gives to every person who places their faith in the Person and work (death, burial and resurrection) of Jesus Christ. When you trust in this Gospel—“good news”—you not only have forgiveness from sin, you have the righteousness of Jesus Christ! It is then your choice to dress UP in HIM! Apply this Truth from Romans 13:14:
“But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.”
Be certain to Dress UP! Dressing down in anything less will only bring harm, even eternally.