To give them … the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified. 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. –Isaiah 61:3, 10
You can face life (and eternity) much better with your clothes on.
Now that I have your attention, let’s talk about clothes. Spiritual clothes. For some reason, God gives several clothing analogies to help demonstrate His transforming work in us. While we may still struggle in this fallen world, He provides His clothing line as a cover, just as He covered Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. But He has definitely upgraded from fig leaves.
Garment of Praise
God exchanges our spirit of heaviness with His garment of praise. He offers it, but we have put it on.
When we’re under the spirit of heaviness, when despair, despondency, disappointment or disillusionment wrap us in their foul-smelling laundry, God opens His closet and pulls out a special garment. It is clean, smells meadowy fresh, is comfy, loose-fitting, and assures the wearer of a much lighter load.
God points to it and nods His approval, but we must choose to put it on. We must decide to praise Him — to sing the new song He has given (Psalm 40:3), to sing through the tears, knowing that joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5). Although our adverse or heartbreaking circumstances may not change, we can still don this garment and praise Him.
As long as we have breath, we can praise Him. And when we gasp our final earthly breath, His praise will then fill our heavenly lungs as we stroll streets of gold. Until then, we have His promised exchange of the garment of praise for whatever is troubling us. We just have to put it on.
Garments of Salvation
At our best and in our finest moments, we still fall short of God’s standard of holiness. We can’t be good enough and He can’t be bad enough for us to be comfortable around Him in our own clothes. Yet in His compassion and mercy, He made a way to get us properly clothed. At His customer service counter, God fully exchanges our filthy, tattered rags of self-righteousness (Isaiah 64:6) for His garments of salvation.
These garments cannot be bought, sold or traded on TV, eBay or the most mahoganied investment stock exchange. Though they are individually tailored for each person, one size fits all. This clothing line never fades, tears, or needs replacing. Once fitted and worn, we cannot remove them, nor will we want to.
Matter of fact, we can’t put them on by ourselves. Just as a parent helps clothe a small child, God Almighty, in His grace and undeserved favor, reaches down, puts His loving arms around each of us, and pulls our arms and legs through these amazing garments, stretching them smooth before His approving gaze.
God offers these garments to each person. Though we cannot clothe ourselves, He stands willing and ready to help us get dressed. All we have to do is ask.
Robe of Righteousness
We can be “trees of righteousness,” not because of any works of righteousness that we’ve done (Titus 3:5), but because God has planted us by the rivers of His water of life (Psalm 1:3) and clothed us in His righteousness.
Here again, we cannot dress ourselves in this clothing. After God covers us in His garments of salvation, He wraps the robe of His righteousness around us. We can’t earn it, we can’t sew private labels on it, we can’t even tailor it as we see fit. It is His righteousness and His alone.
He wraps us in this robe so we can stand before Him as a bride adorned for her bridegroom (Revelation 21:2), having no spot, wrinkle or blemish (Ephesians 5:27). He clothes us so we can live for Him redeemed and sanctified — and He is glorified.
So what are you waiting for? Get your clothes on!