In the midst of a society that seems to grow more hedonistic and perverse on a daily basis, I have at times become radically self-protective in an effort to avoid being stained by what I see around me. In fact, in an effort to protect myself and my family from the rising tide of wickedness in our culture, I have been guilty at times of allowing my God-given discernment to morph into judgment and condemnation. Almost without realizing it, I can paint myself into my own personal legalistic corner and wonder why none of my unbelieving acquaintances sense the love of Jesus in me enough to join me in that tight corner!
Somehow, I forget that my own judgments and efforts to pursue holiness do not defeat darkness. Instead, the glory, goodness, and love of Father God are the weapons Jesus used (and still uses) to dismantle wickedness. The Blood of Jesus shed on the cross is a powerful expression of His love and His heart to redeem me from the darkness resident in my own soul. If God’s love, light, and goodness defeated wickedness and sin on the cross, surely those same weapons are equally powerful today!
Paul assures in Galatians 3:26-27 that those who are baptized have “put on” Christ, that believers are clothed (or mantled) in Jesus Christ Himself, which includes all He is! Isaiah 61 :10 also speaks of being clothed in Him: “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.” My task is to remember who God is — His goodness, kindness, righteousness, mercy, love, holiness, light, and glory — and to literally clothe myself in Him. His character trumps all the powers of darkness that could ever stand against me. His power and Presence in me and on me are capable of transforming the people around me and even the city where I live.
It doesn’t matter how difficult the challenges are or how dark the darkness. Jesus is far greater than any darkness I will ever confront. I am learning to put on Christ and to remember the One Who clothes me with salvation, righteousness, and glory. He will use me to dismantle structures of darkness and to defeat whatever spiritual adversaries I may face. His goodness will touch the hearts of those I meet as I trust all my conversations to Him. Father, help me to remember that You mantle me with Your goodness and that Your Presence in and on me is more than able to dismantle the enemy! I want grow in my awareness of Your nearness and Your all-powerful love!