My Faith Clothes

Since the pandemic was announced, I have been fortunate to be working remotely full-time. 80% of those who began working remotely responded in a company survey that they do not want to return to the office setting because they believe they are more productive working from home and have enjoyed countless savings. Savings such as purchasing vehicle fuel, maintenance, professional clothing not to mention having more personal time away from rush hours and commutes to the office. I have enjoyed these benefits, particularly not wearing cosmetics, wearing my comfortable clothes including my slippers.

Is telecommuting the wave of the future?

I remember when men were expected to wear business suits with ties and women similar business suits or dresses with hose stockings. When the office wear criteria were relaxed to various forms of business casual where there was the fear the workers would become too relaxed in their conduct and productivity. Now when telecommuters who may appear to be in business casual dress in video meetings, often they still wearing their comfortable clothing and slippers out of video range.

Faith Clothes

Christians attending church during the pandemic have also grown accustomed to online church sermons and listening to God’s Word in their pajamas and enjoying a cup of coffee or tea that was once reserved for the fellowship hall.

So, what is the danger of saving money in our commutes to the office and to church activities? After all productivity is higher and perhaps, we may have even heard more Sunday sermons than we had in the past.

“Brothers and sisters, you don’t need anyone to write to you about times and dates. You know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. When people say, “Everything is safe and sound!” Destruction will suddenly strike them. It will be as sudden as labor pains come to a pregnant woman. They won’t be able to escape. But, brothers and sisters, you don’t live in the dark. That day won’t take you by surprise as a thief would. You belong to the day and the light not to the night and the dark. Therefore, we must not fall asleep like other people, but we must stay awake and be sober. People who sleep, sleep at night; people who get drunk, get drunk at night. Since we belong to the day, we must be sober. We must put on faith and love as a breastplate and the hope of salvation as a helmet.” 1 Thessalonians 5:1-8 (GW)

The comfortable, sentimental Christian

If I become too comfortable in this new age and I forget to put on the breastplate of hope and love and the helmet of the hope of salvation – I may miss the voice of the Holy Spirit. It is the sense of warning and restraint that the Holy Spirit that comes to me in the most amazing and gentle ways. I cannot be half-dressed as in a video meeting and believe that slipping into my comfortable clothes yet seemingly appearing dressed in faith keeps me fully alert to the Holy Spirit’s direction.

Suppose God brings me to a crisis and I almost endure it, but not completely. He will undoubtedly engineer another crisis, but some of the intensity is lost. If I become evermore comfortable and sentimental in my clothes, I will have less discernment and surely more humiliation for not being properly dressed in my faith clothes. The knowledge and vision of God is dependent entirely of a pure heart. Once I stray from God’s light, I become a sentimental Christian whose testimony becomes lost.

home office

My Prayer

Dear God, today I put on the full armor to guard my life so that I may hear your gentle voice in all circumstances and crisis. I put on the belt of truth to protect against lies and deception. I put on the breastplate of righteousness to protect my heart from the temptations I battle. I put the gospel of peace on my feet, so I am ready to take your light wherever you send me this day even if I remain safe in my home. I choose to walk in the peace and freedom of your Spirit and not be overcome with fear and anxious thoughts. I take up your shield of faith that will extinguish all the darts and threats hurled my way. I believe in your power to protect me and I choose to wear the clothes of faith to trust in you. I put on the helmet of salvation, which covers my mind and thoughts, reminding me I am a child of the day, forgiven, set free, saved by the grace of Christ Jesus. I take up the sword of the Spirit, your very Word, which has the power to demolish the strongholds, alive, active, and sharper than any double-edged sword.

I ask for your help remembering to put on my full armor every day, for You give me that what I need to stand firm in this world. Forgive me God for the times I’ve been unprepared, too busy to care, or trying to fight and wrestle in our own strength.
Thank you that I never fight alone, for You are constantly at work on my behalf, shielding, protecting, strengthening, exposing deeds of darkness, bringing to light what needs to be known, covering me from the cruel attacks I face even when I am unaware. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Getting to know God

I have been writing in a journal since I was a young girl. I have kept a prayer journal over the last ten years to draw closer to God. Are you waiting for answers? Draw closer to God.

The Prayer Journals Facebook page provides prayer journal prompts and inspiration. Please join me there or on Twitter @prayerprompts.

God’s Blessings to You,

sheri-clear-glasses

Sheri

© 2016-2020 All Rights Reserved

If only…

Have you ever played that mind game with yourself, “If only….”? Maybe you have even played it with your closet friends talking aloud or seeing someone win the lottery on the nightly news.

If only, I lived there instead of here. If only, I had a million dollars I could follow my dream. If only, I were thin and beautiful like her I would have a lot of friends. If only, I were different than who I am now.

What it means to follow Jesus

There have been plenty of times, I played the “if only” game throughout my life. I wondered why God placed me in the most useless place or circumstance. As I measured myself against others, I would sigh and wonder when it would be my turn to be happy, to be at peace, or to feel fulfilled. It is so easy to fall into this “if only” game with social media showing us how much fun or how happy others seemingly are by their vacation, party photos, and joyous announcements.

The “if only” game is a trap we must avoid at all costs.

“From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.

Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.” Matthew 16:21-25 (GW)

Jesus never measured His life by how or where He was the greatest use. He did not think the way we do, but how God thinks. He never defended, argued back, or vindicated Himself because He knew God’s character and understood His purpose.

What then is my purpose where I am planted now?

“So I can guarantee that God’s angels are happy about one person who turns to God and changes the way he thinks and acts.” Luke 15:10 (GW)

I find it freeing in Jesus’ example of never defending or arguing about God’s character. He went about the purpose God put Him on earth to accomplish. He suffered and died for me to save me from my sins. Why must I complain? We never have to play the “if only” game with God. Christ accomplished our “if only.”

”If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”

So then, those who suffer according to God’s Will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.” 1 Peter 4:14-19 (GW)

I must never measure my life against another person. God is the director of my life. We each have our own place and purpose for the glory of God. When I refuse to play the “if only” game as a follower of Jesus, I am totally incapable of judging where I am to be. I satisfy His heart when I make others strong and mature in God.

mulberry tree

My Prayer

“I thank you, my Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, I pray that all my doings and life may please You. For into Your hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Your holy angel be with me, that no evil may have power over me. Amen.”

(Adapted from Martin Luther’s Morning Prayer)

Getting to know God

I have been writing in a journal since I was a young girl. I have kept a prayer journal over the last ten years to draw closer to God. Are you waiting for answers? Draw closer to God.

The Prayer Journals Facebook page provides prayer journal prompts and inspiration. Please join me there or on Twitter @prayerprompts.

God’s Blessings to You,

sheri-clear-glasses
Sheri

© 2016-2020 All Rights Reserved