by Harriett Ford
I will rejoice greatly in the LORD; my soul will exult in my God; for He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. Isaiah 61: 10 NKJV
The tearful bride stifled a sob as she glanced down at the muddy spot soiling her beautiful wedding gown. Rivulets of rain on the shuttle’s windshield smeared the view of the church ahead where her groom waited.
What a heartbreak. After all the weeks of preparation, fittings, alterations, no bride wants to walk down the aisle in a soiled gown. I longed to put my arms around her.
I thought of my own wedding gown. My mom was a fantastic seamstress and sewed most of my school clothes, prom dresses, and even my beautiful wedding gown. She always looked for a certain fabric blend of two materials that remained wrinkle-free.
One of my favorite gowns had a red-velvet bodice and a white organza skirt. It is still hanging in my closet these many years since I first wore it as a teenage girl. The fabric has remained free of wrinkles, because it is blended with polyester. Amazingly, it is also free of spots. Why is that amazing? Because I also slipped and fell into a rain puddle the night I wore it. My undergarments and full-skirted petticoat were soaked, but the lovely skirt spread over top of them somehow shed the water droplets.
I still sometimes run my fingers over the skirt, enjoying the smooth feel of it and remembering the love with which it was stitched. Mom enjoyed dressing me in the finest she could design.
It’s very easy to lose peace when striving to make myself a garment without spot or wrinkle. I cannot imagine the shame of meeting Jesus with a soiled garment. Before I knew Him, there were spots on the fabric of my heart. I was very aware I could not erase those sins, no matter how hard I tried. But when I believed in Jesus, He dressed me in a garment of righteousness that had nothing to do with anything I had accomplished.
I have often puzzled on the meaning of two passages in the Mosaic Law which forbid the wearing of different types of fabric; that is, the wearing of blended fabrics—those woven from two different materials (Leviticus 19: 19).
In my own human logic, I would think the blending of fabrics would make them stronger. But the Law foreshadowed the new, princely garment of righteousness He would dress us in after Jesus paid for our sin. It would not be a blend of our work and His. Our righteousness comes from Christ alone. “May [I] be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God …” (Philippians 3:9 NASB).
I don’t have to earn God’s favor by struggling to remove my spots and wrinkles. Through faith, I now wear the righteousness of God. And I will be wearing that garment to the throne of Grace and the wedding supper of the Lamb.
If you have believed in Jesus, you can live in sweet peace, knowing that your Lord has already dressed you in the finest garment He could design.
Harriet’s book, Faith Says What God Says, is an intensive prayer and word medication for renewing the spirit of the mind, enabling you to receive healing from the Word.
Join the conversation: Do you ever catch yourself going back to trying to earn God’s favor?