Freely Shared

CHAPTER SIXTEEN
Blessed Through Being Dressed Right
Isaiah 43:18-21 (KJV)
18 19 20 21

Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.

Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen. This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise.

Mark 2:21-22 (NIV)
No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. If he does, the new piece will pull away from the old, making the tear worse. And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, he pours new wine into new wineskins.
22 21

I propose that we have to be dressed right to be blessed right. And, that God is ready to do a new thing in our lives.

Old Testament
The Old Testament text setting is Babylon where God is preparing to release His people from captivity. In the book of Isaish, He's preparing to deliver them one more time. They had already experienced a deliverance from the bondage of Egypt. They have been delivered from captivity in Egypt but now He's getting ready to deliver them from Babylon. From Egypt, God had delivered them out of the hands of Pharaoh and brought them across the Red Sea. Under Joshua's ministry, God has led them across the Jordan River and has allowed them to defeat the Canaanites. They had conquered Jericho and Ai and even gone against the big giants of the Promised Land. But they messed up in the Promised Land. They had begun to worship heathen traditions. They set idol gods before Jehovah: gods of animals and snakes. They were doing everything against the law of God, even in the Promised Land.

Contemporary Setting
It's hard to believe that someone would do wrong in the Promised Land, isn't it? Well, not really, because we, too, have gone astray in the Promised Land. God has been good to us. God has brought us across our Red Seas and Jordan Rivers, but we have misbehaved in the Promised Land. God has brought us out of slavery in America, yet we messed up in the Promised Land. God has brought us out of the poverty of the rural land, yet we have blundered in the Promised Land. God has brought us out of the poverty of the ghettos of urban cities, but we have made mistakes in the Promised Land. We have moved from being uneducated to having educations, yet we have still messed up. But the good news is that God is still in the deliverance business. God is still a doctor in the delivery room, and we need some deliverance. We only have to be saved once, but we can get delivered from a whole lot of things. In our Old Testament text, God was ready to give, impart a new deliverance. God is ready today to grant a new deliverance in our lives. God said "Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it?" (Isaiah 43:19 — KJV).

Know Your Deliverance Need
Do we know what we need deliverance from? God says we really know. We may need deliverance from materialism. We may need deliverance from greediness. We may need deliverance from stinginess. God says, "Shall you not know it? (Isaiah 43:19). We may need deliverance from an argumentative spirit. It is

Freely Shared interesting when you meet somebody with an argumentative spirit. Whatever you say, they will have an argument for it. We may need deliverance from a holier-than-thou spirit. We may need deliverance from a self-righteous spirit. We may need deliverance from the dangerous spirit of pride. We may need deliverance from a spirit of addiction. We may need deliverance from a spirit of low self-esteem. We may need deliverance from a gossiping spirit. We may need deliverance from a criticizing spirit. We may need deliverance from a complaining spirit. Notice that we are dealing with a spirit, not an attitude. If it was an attitude, we could get help from a psychologist, psychiatrist, or therapist. But we can't take a spirit to a secular, medical doctor. We have to overcome a spirit with a more powerful spirit. There's only one spirit more powerful than the spirit of the devil, and that's the Holy Ghost spirit of God.

Dressed to Be Blessed
One thing is certain, we cannot be blessed right until we are dressed right. To be dressed right we have to pull off the old and put on the new. We cannot be delivered while we are still wearing the old self. God wants to do a new thing in our lives, but we need deliverance from the old. We need deliverance from the past. We need deliverance from the former things. We need deliverance from past hurts. We need deliverance from shame. We need deliverance from old behavior, and we need deliverance from old thinking. We need to be dressed in the new so we can be blessed in the new. Change is necessary for spiritual growth. We won't grow unless we're willing to change.

A New Testament Lesson
Jesus says that no man sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. If he does, the new piece will be pulled away from the old, making the tear even worse. We can't even put a new patch on an old suit. Jesus also says, no one pours new wine in an old skin. If he does, both the skin and the wine will be ruined. If we put some new wine in some old wineskins, the fermentation of the new will bubble and the old wineskin will tear apart. All of the wine will run out on the ground and be wasted.

A New Thing
It's the same when God gets ready to do a new thing— He starts a fermentation in our lives. Something starts bubbling up and the Holy Ghost begins working in our lives. If we do not have a new skin, the old one cannot hold that bubbling. That bubbling will go to waste and all that is new that God wants to bless us with will fall to the ground and be wasted. If we want to have a new thing, we need a new garment, we need new skin. We have to be dressed right to be blessed right.

Dress for Responsibility
First, we have to be dressed right in responsibility. If we are not dressed for the responsibility, that which is new will spill and our blessings will go down the drain.

Dress for Purpose
We have to be dressed right in His purpose. What is His purpose? There are five: worship, fellowship, discipleship, evangelism and ministry. If we are not fulfilling all five of these purposes, we are not dressed right and our blessings will go. We can be spiritual and not be spiritually mature. We are not spiritually mature until we are fulfilling the purposes of God. If we want to be blessed by God, we need to be spiritually mature. Some of us want to jump and shout but don't want to do anything else; and we call that spiritual. Unless we're fulfilling the fivefold purpose of the church, we are not dressed right in His purpose.

Dress in Aspiration
We need to be dressed right in aspiration. We need to want a blessing. God said in 1 Kings 8:17-19 (KJV), "And it was in the heart of David my father to build an house for the name of the Lord God of Israel. And the Lord said unto David my father, "Whereas it was in thine heart to build an house unto my name, thou didst well that it was in thine heart. Nevertheless thou shalt not build the house; but thy son that shall come forth out of thy loins, he shall build the house unto my name." David wanted to build the house. He had the aspiration to build the house, but he didn't build it. However, because he had aspired to build the house, his

Freely Shared son could fulfill the purpose. Some of us don't have the desire. Often we are not blessed because we lack the desire to be blessed. To be really blessed we must aspire to be blessed. God has promised us that He will give us the desire of our hearts. We must dress our heart with aspired clothing and be blessed. Personally, I desire every blessing God has for me. No matter how many, if the blessing has my name on it, my desire is to receive it.

Dressed Right in Relationships
We must be dressed right in our relationships, not only with God, but with man. Many of us still think we can have a right relationship with God and not be in right relationship with man. Too often we build our relationships on how others treat us rather than on how God treats us. We seem to think we should treat others as they treat us. No, we should treat others as God treats us. Do we want God to treat us according to what we deserve? God doesn't treat us according to what we deserve; why should we treat others according to what they deserve? Whatever they did to us, God said to treat them as He treats us. If we want to be blessed, we must pull off wrong relationships and put on the garment of right relationships.

Dress Only in New Things
We have to be dressed right in new things and not former things. We can't even consider the former things. The devil wants us to remember all the sins we have committed; he wants us to remember and feel guilty. But God says to consider not the former things. In fact, He says, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away" (2 Corinthians 5:17 — KJV). The shame is gone. The hurt is gone. The sin is gone. He has cast it into the sea of forgetfulness, never to be remembered. We have to tell ourselves, "I'm not going to talk about it anymore. I'm not going to rehearse it. I'm not going to believe it." God wants to bring a new thing into my life. God is able to present us faultless before the throne of grace with exceeding great joy. Because He is able, we can be able. If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature. Further, He said it will not end here because if we can be new down here, He'll make us new up there. The apostle John said in Revelation 21:1-5a (KJV): "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new."

Summary
God has a new thing for us. Like He did a new thing when He delivered His people from Babylon, He will do for us now. There is a fresh deliverance awaiting us. But God wants us to be dressed right. God wants us to realize and know for what things we need to be delivered. Knowing what we need to be delivered from helps us dress right for the blessing. Without question, if we want to be blessed we must 1) dress right for responsibility, 2) be dressed in His purpose, 3) be dressed right with aspiration, and 4) be dressed right in our relationships. We must pull off the old skin and put on the new and prepare to receive our blessing.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful