Friday, October 16, 2009

Robes Of Victory ...

How about if you put on the white Robes of Righteousness for me? What’s that, you don’t have them readily available in your closet yet? No worries, I know exactly what the problem is. Simply speaking they don’t belong to you yet; you can’t make them, you can’t buy them, you have to have them given to you by the singular maker of these Robes. The only Being worthy of creating the Robes of Righteousness, is the only one who can make you ready to wear them.

Just like everything else in the entire plan of Salvation God enacted, even our final set of clothing will be a gift from Him. The last set of clothes we will ever wear will be literal Robes made of light (Yes, I’m sure most people think “white” robes, but light includes a great many more colors than just that. I may prefer polka dots for example). I am certain these final coverings will be functional as well as practical. And best of all, like any other clothing we wear, they represent something. They represent VICTORY. Not ours, but His.

This is the reason why you can’t explain HOW the sin leaves you when it does. It is because you are NOT doing the work of removal, Christ is. He knows, because He does it. He does it FOR you. He does not need your help in this process, He needs your permission. And likewise with the Robes He intends to give you that symbolize victory, the victories will all be His, though you may well be the main benefactor of each one. As each sin is removed from your life, you experience an ever rising sensation of freedom, liberation, and joy. It is Christ doing the work of removal, but you enjoying what He has done FOR you. His victory - For you.

Notice scripture never asks you to make the Robes. Scripture never puts a price on them that you can pay. Christ paid it in blood. You can’t steal them, or fake wearing them. No counterfeit knockoffs here, only original designer models made as uniquely as snowflakes, retinal scans, DNA, or fingerprints. No two are alike, and yet each one has meaning. Just like the rest of His creations – no two are alike and each one has a special and unique purpose. Our final Robes will come with a few accessories, like a new unique name, a ring, a crown, and even a harp we will somehow know how to play. Sorry no mention of halo’s I can find anywhere, nor of clouds from what I can see.

The city itself is described as being about 360 miles square, or should I say cubed, as it is as high as it is wide. I imagine, God the Father sits on His throne at the city’s pinnacle, though I wonder how often He sits there and how often He is personally engaged elsewhere. The 12 pearl gates to the city bare 12 different names, and the foundation is layered on 12 different gemstones. The streets are made of Gold, and perhaps as U2 puts it, have no names. As we walk these streets of gold, we realize that Heaven sees our most sought after jewelry, as mere concrete. Worth no more than the gravel that accompanies our earthly streets of today, or the mud along the trails of yesteryear. But Heaven sure puts a premium on its citizens.

In addition to our clothing and accessories, we are each to have a mansion. Given our 21st century understanding of architecture in large cities, I would aptly rename this … a penthouse apartment. More than enough for any single individual while taking advantage of the height dimensions of the city as well. My guess is that we will store whatever belongings we acquire or build in Heaven in our homes there. But I would also guess the number of those belongings will be sparse, as the real interest in eternity will be in the people who surround us. Each one will have a unique story about how Jesus saved them from the evil in their lives. While unfallen angels have the advantage of never having had the cancer of evil, they also cannot understand the feeling of having been cured of it either. In this scripture states even the angels will bend their wings in awe of the love of our Creator.

It is poignant that while we wear Robes of His Righteousness the wounds in His hands, side, and feet will remain with Him for eternity. It is why we so often cast down our crowns at His feet as He alone is worthy. We know we wear only His gifts – nothing have we earned. We reap the benefits of His love, not of our efforts. Love alone redeemed us. Love alone saved us. And it is Love we will study throughout eternity ever mindful of the scars He carries that mark our freedom.

There will be no competition in Heaven regarding the style, originality, fabric, rareness, or uniqueness of our clothing. Each one will have what is perfectly suited to them, perfectly created by our Lord, for each individual. And I imagine like all human beings share certain characteristics with no two exactly alike, our clothing will be much the same. It will share commonality and practicality but still allow for the uniqueness of each person, each individual. And yet once there, I doubt we ever give it a second thought.

How often here on earth we put value in things that have no real value. How often do women lament over having just the right thing to wear to that special occasion. They want to look just right, and they are hoping their clothing will help them accomplish this goal. Net result: an entire fashion industry that fosters pride, and competition, and a hunger that simply cannot be satisfied on this earth. How much time, money, and expense have gone into trying to make women look their best here on planet earth. While in heaven our bodies are regenerated into the perfection God intended, removing the effects that evil left us scarred with. Perfect skin, perfect hair, perfect nails, perfect weight, perfect health, and perfect clothing. I suppose having achieved perfection it will be quite easy not to ever give it a second thought again, though I recon the death of pride may have more to do with that, than simply achieving the goals of perfection.

It is funny that Love is also much like humanity. It shares broad characteristics, but is uniquely applied. I believe that while we will all love everyone we encounter in the new world, there will still be a place for unique applications of love. I believe we will still honor the relationships we have with our parents, our siblings, our children, our spouses (post adjustments made by God), and our friends. Having a special love does not negate other types of love. Nor is it impossible to have more than one kind of special love. For instance, we love all of our children equally (in terms of volume), but differently because of the personalities of each one. I do not believe that relationships and models we have here will simply become null and void in heaven. Love is universal, yet love is unique, just like each of us.

I hope to one day wear the Robes my Lord has prepared for me. It will be my honor, to take on clothing that marks His victories on my behalf. I pray only that He conquers ALL the carnal nature in me, perfectly submits my will to His own, and in so doing, saves me completely both from evil and from me. I know there is no other way I can ever wear those Robes …

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