I recently went to a Milwaukee Bucks game. I’m a Dallas Mavericks fan so I personally don’t own any Bucks gear, and out of principle, never will. But one thing that stood out to me was that to the onlooker, there was no room to doubt who the Bucks fans were. It was easy to identify them as fans by what they were wearing.
In the Old Testament, we meet a king who was identified by what he was wearing, but unfortunately, it almost cost him his life.
“So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah went ahead and attacked Ramoth Gilead. The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Wear my kingly robe; I’m going into battle disguised.” So the king of Israel entered the battle in disguise.
Meanwhile, the king of Aram had ordered his chariot commanders (there were thirty-two of them), “Don’t bother with anyone whether small or great; go after the king of Israel and him only.””
When the chariot commanders saw Jehoshaphat, they said, “There he is! The king of Israel!” and took after him. Jehoshaphat yelled out, and the chariot commanders realized they had the wrong man—it wasn’t the king of Israel after all. God intervened and they let him go. (2 Chronicles 18:28-32 MSG)
You can tell alot about a person by what they wear. Their interests and hobbies can often be assumed based solely on their attire. Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, was a victim of mistaken identity because of what he was wearing.
This led me to wonder what are we spiritually wearing as Christians? Are people able to identify us as followers of Jesus Christ? Do the people on our jobs or at our schools know that we have a relationship with Him? Is it radically obvious that we’ve had an encounter with Jesus?
Because Jehoshaphat has agreed to go into battle dressed as the king of Israel, he now has a target on his back. He is being mistaken as someone he is not, simply because of what he is wearing.
Many Christians have failed to intentionally distinguish themselves from the world, despite their relationship with Christ.
Many believers still dress like the world, listen to the same music as the world, watch the same shows as the world and wonder why they still have the same problems of the world. We have done very little to set ourselves apart as we’ve been instructed.
Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord. Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you (2 Corinthians 6:17)
Jehoshaphat is dressed just like Ahab so that’s who the enemy thinks he is!!!! For many of us, the struggles we go through year after year are because we haven’t taken the time to make a clear distinction between us and the world.
AND THE ENEMY CAN’T TELL US APART!!!
It saddens me to look out at God’s people and not see God’s abundance. It hurts my heart to see the people of God struggling in their finances and their marriages and their faith, to see people attend church week after week and not be transformed and renewed.
We’re supposed to live such abundant lives that we draw unbelievers to Jesus because they want what we have. But many unbelievers don’t want what we have because many Christians don’t have anything different from them.
We have the same bad attitude, the same gossip, the same speech, the same worries, the same credit card debt, the same bad marriage.
We have not heeded to Romans 12:2 and allowed our minds to be renewed by the word of God. We have equated the word of God to a book of suggestions. For many of us, the word of God is nothing more than a self help book. “A verse a day keeps the devil away!”
But the Bible is not a book of suggestions or advice. It is the living, breathing word from God on how we need to function and live as his children. But unfortunately, we have aligned ourselves with culture and customs and practices and people that are opposite of what we say we believe.
And like Jehoshaphat, when the enemy comes, when trials come, when the battles come, we handle them like the world because we’re dressed like them.
How do we get the right clothes to be prepared to live this life of faith?
We get them by reading our Bible, by praying in the Holy Spirit, by tithing, and serving. We clothe ourselves by fully following God with unwavering devotion and aligning ourselves with his word, regardless of what the culture is doing.
But when we clothe ourselves in the wrong things, we will not be prepared for the attack of the enemy.
Many believers have failed to progress from the point of their salvation into sanctification (the act of being set apart). They’ve accepted him as savior but haven’t submitted to him as Lord.
When we surrender our lives fully to Christ, we can’t help but to take off the things that cause us to look less like him. We start taking off the malice, envy, bitterness, wrath, anger, lying, and the old self.
We take off those old garments and we trade them in for a robe of righteousness, a garment of praise, and a crown of life. We make the decision that we are not going to misrepresent our father God, but will leave no room for doubt to the onlooker as to who we represent.
May your priest be clothed with your righteousness; may your faithful people sing for joy. (Psalm 132:9)