I don’t buy many dry clean only garments these days, since I’m no longer working in a corporate workplace where suits are the dress code. To be honest, on top of the fact that it gets expensive to maintain something you wear really often, I sweat a lot! No offense to those who prefer or who must wear formal clothing on a regular basis…but I just flat-out like the concept of stuff that can handle going into the soapy water and taking a good scrubbing as often as it needs it. And while I don’t doubt that all those chemicals do the trick too, I’m just a wash-and-wear kind of gal. My needs are pretty simple, so goes my choice of apparel (smile).
I’m so glad that God’s grace provides for us a good washing when we need cleansed from being out in that dirty world. We can’t wrap ourselves in plastic and walk around to keep our clothes clean, and we can’t be out there without being exposed to some things that need scrubbed off of us when we come back into His presence. We can live a holy life among a lost world, and we can persevere not to allow the influence of darkness stain our garments; but in truth, each day we stand before the Lord in need of new mercies. We hear and see things that can bend our thinking and tarnish our purity. Even in times when we’ve not sinned, our spirit can still pick up the stale odor of the world from just having passed through it—kind of like walking through a shroud of cigarette smoke outside the grocery store (a personal pet peeve of mine!).
God has made provisions for our continual cleaning and re-cleaning. He knows that we’ll encounter constant challenges to our faith, constant pressures to compromise, subtle foxes spoiling our vines from beneath where we don’t always see them. Jesus prayed that to the Father about this very thing ON OUR BEHALF! He said, “I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one.” (John 17:15 NLT) He knew that we need to remain here to be His influence in the earth, and that special provisions would need to be made in order to keep us holy in spite of our surroundings.
Our Lord is the master of cleaning our dirty laundry. He can lift any stain, press out any wrinkle, and remove any lingering odor of unrighteousness. He paid an awful price to make possible this holiness we can so freely wear, and He did it not just for our benefit…He intends to present Himself with a perfect, flawless Bride, and she’s not going to have one speck of soil on her wedding garment! When we allow Him to use the soap of grace, applied against the washboard of loving discipline, and rinsed in the water of the Word, we come out as pure, forgiven, and sanctified as if we’d never been dirty in the first place. New mercies every single morning!
Don’t dodge the washtub today, and don’t wear those stinky clothes another moment. You’re not doing anyone a favor by trying to get one more day’s wear out of them! Step into His presence, receive His forgiveness, and experience the clean of the one true High-Efficiency Washer—Jesus!
“…Christ loved the church and gave himself for her. He did this to make her holy by washing her in a bath of water with the word. He did this to present himself with a splendid church, one without any sort of stain or wrinkle on her clothes, but rather one that is holy and blameless. (Ephesians 5:25-27 CEB)
©2012 Lisa Crum