Change of Raiment (I)
“And he answered and spoke unto those that stood before him, saying, ‘Take away the filthy garments from him.’ And unto him he said, ’Behold, I have caused your iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.’” (Zechariah 3:4, 21st Century King James Version).
This is the key Bible verse for our “Come and See” devotional today.
This verse was taken from the Biblical account of the vision of Zechariah concerning the spiritual status of Joshua, who was the high priest. Joshua’s appearance had been changed because his rich priestly robe had been replaced with filthy garments. The enemy was present to ensure that this situation remain unchanged (Zechariah 3:1-10).
The Bible records that the Lord rebuked Satan and a directive was given by an angel for the filthy clothes to be removed and replaced with a dignifying garment. Thus: “And I said, Let them put a clean turban on his head. So they put a clean turban on his head, and they put the clothes on him. And the Angel of the Lord stood by.” (Zechariah 3:5, New King James Version).
We should note carefully that this account is actually a metaphor and the term ‘filthy garments’ actually refers to Joshua’s mental outlook and represented shame, loss of spiritual authority and position; thus, although Joshua was still performing his priestly role, he was actually dry spiritually and had lost his spiritual identity.
Sadly, many of us who are chosen by God to praise the Most High are in the same situation as Joshua the high priest. One reason our cloth of honour could be removed is through sin. The Bible refers to Joshua the high priest and states: “then the Angel of the Lord admonished Joshua, saying, ‘“Thus says the Lord of hosts: If you will walk in My ways, And if you will keep My command, Then you shall also judge My house.’” (Zechariah 3:7a, New King James Version).
We should know that we are saved by God’s Grace and it is this Grace that enables us to function in our callings. However, the Grace of God is not permanent but can be sustained through a lifestyle of holiness. We must be dead to sin and alive in God as reiterated by Apostle Paul in the book of Romans 6 verses 1-2 (New King James Version) “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?
A life of holiness cannot be compromised. Regardless of how highly placed we may be, the only way to keep our spiritual apparel in good condition is to stay away from evil. This brings to mind the sad account of Sampson who became weak and helpless when Holy Spirit left him due to his lifestyle of sin and carelessness. He was stripped naked and made to work for his enemies (read Judges 16)
The opportunity granted to Joshua the high priest is still available to every one of us through genuine repentance, and the Lord and His angel will rebuke the devil for your sake. The devil will flee at the Lord’s rebuke and your current raiment of shame and inability will be replaced with honour, and your stagnation will be replaced with progress. “One thousand shall flee at the rebuke of one; at the rebuke of five shall ye flee: till ye be left as a beacon upon the top of a mountain, and as an ensign on an hill.” (Isaiah 30:17, 21st Century King James Version).
Let us pray: “Father, I repent of my known and unknown sins before you today. By your grace and mercy, let my iniquities pass before you and restore my spiritual authority,” in Jesus’ Mighty Name, Amen.
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