The Christian life is all based on what Jesus has done for us at the Cross. There is nothing that we can do to win our salvation or to achieve righteousness. He has done it all for us. However, there is a part that we need to play in appropriating each aspect of the Cross for ourselves. Some Christians wait for everything to fall into their lap and become passive in their faith, and then they wonder why God appears not to be at work in their lives!
In today’s verses from Isaiah, Zion is exhorted to wake up and become active in various ways. As God’s people we could also take on the challenge of these words. First of all we need to clothe ourselves with strength, recognising that our strength comes from the Lord and that we need to do everything through His power and not our own. Then the command is to put on garments of splendour. There are many references to spiritual garments in the Bible – garments of salvation, a garment of praise, a robe of righteousness, royal robes. Jesus provides these for us, but we need to remove our filthy rags and receive our new garments by faith, putting them on and wearing them. It can be an important part of our healing to consciously step out of the old cloaks of despair, failure and wounding, and to put on the new clean garments which Jesus has provided for us.
The last part of the reference exhorts us to free ourselves from the chains that bind us. Only Jesus can free us from captivity to the enemy and his power over our lives. Only Jesus can break the chains of slavery to fear, addiction and other bondages in our lives. But we then have to walk free from the chains and not allow ourselves to come under the yoke of slavery again.
Perhaps God is exhorting some of you today to “Rise up” and to “Shake off the dust” of past failures, bondages, despair and hopelessness, to walk in the freedom that Jesus has won for you, and to clothe yourselves with the garments of salvation that Jesus has for you.
Prayer: Lord, please forgive me for the times when I have been passive and have not entered fully into all that You have for me. I choose now to rise up and receive the royal robes that You have given me, and to walk in freedom from the chains that You have broken off my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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