As almost all of us would have experienced in life, there are places with dress codes – golf clubs, schools, work places, and in all of these places, if we don’t abide by the dress code, we can’t access all that that particular place is offering.
Now at first it may sound discriminatory and exclusive, and opposite to the message of Christ’s acceptance and unconditional love for all of us, but hear me out when I say… Jesus has a dress code.
There’s a parable Jesus shares in the gospels about a great wedding feast, a feast that many are invited to, not just the social elite or friends of the wedding party, but to all people, the poor and the wealthy, the sick and the healthy, those that know the hosts and those that don’t. This feast is an image and representation of Heaven, and how all people are invited to come and join in the party. Although there’s one catch… Check out this scripture at the end of the parable:
“When the king entered and looked over the scene, he spotted a man who wasn’t properly dressed. He said to him, ‘Friend, how dare you come in here looking like that!’ The man was speechless. Then the king told his servants, ‘Get him out of here—fast.”
Matthew 22:11-12 MSG
This party had a dress code – and because of that, this man, couldn’t stay.
By now, some of you may be ready to throw stones, but this dress code, is not the dress code you may assume.
An unfortunate reality I have witnessed way to often is when people think for them to come to God, and access everything that He has in store for them, they need to be dressed with the right words, the right actions, the right past or the right family – they believe God’s dress code is perfection. This thinking is stopping people from experiencing all that God has for them.
The truth is: God’s dress code is Jesus Christ.
All we need to enter in and access God, is Christ’s covering around our lives. That way who we are, where we’ve come from and how much we earn makes no difference for us in coming to God. We’re all equal in this and have a personal invitation to the party. All we need is the covering and clothing of grace that Jesus has freely provided for us.
So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
Galatains 3:26-27 NIV
So my question is – what are you wearing?
Are you wearing the clothes of perfection that you’ve so carefully created?
Are you wearing the clothes of negativity that life that wrap around you?
Neither of these clothes are what God wants us to wear or be defined by. More so, these things only create a blockage between us and God.
As we are baptised, simply meaning – fully immersed in and covered by Jesus through our trust in Him, we clothe ourselves in the dress code of Heaven, priceless to us, yet bought at the highest price by God, so he could gift it to us freely.
Our job is this: put it on!
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Ephesians 4:22-24 NIV
We need to take off the old clothes of perfection and negativity and start wearing the new clothes of grace we’ve been given. This clip is such a profound image of this change…
I’ve discovered that we do this by changing and renewing our thinking.
Ultimately, we are clothed by our thoughts. We need to start seeing and believing about ourselves differently, aligning our thoughts with the truth of Christ found in scripture.
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he
Proverbs 23:7a NKJV
You have the power over your thoughts, don’t fall victim to them, thinking you have to bow to every bit of negativity or pressure to be perfect that tries to cover you. Each of us have the ability to take control and realign our thoughts. This takes discipline to master, but it will be your greatest victory as you begin to believe about yourself the way God believes about you.
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV
Hope this has helped!