24 Weeks Past the Cross (My New Clothes)
By Terrie C
Today I noticed that my spiritual clothing has changed! Some of the changes in my wardrobe, I was aware of, and some have been a complete surprise! It’s been 24 weeks since I walked away from the cross. The first thing I did was shrug off the “robe” across my shoulders that I was taught belonged to Jesus. Turns out, his yoke was far heavier than the claims made by the writers of what became commonly known as the “new” testament. Turns out, that robe was a banner of my own idolatry! It was white, with his bloodstains on it. I found that it was a solid wall between myself and the One True God of Israel, who shares His glory with none! It’s no wonder I wasn’t seeing anything progressing in my prayer life…they were getting caught in the coat of someone who wasn’t God!
The “Jesus glasses” came off next, and I began to read the Tanak (“Old” Testament”) while looking through a new lens, the Lens of Torah. As I read through the lens of a sojourner who has joined herself to Israel, to the God of Israel and to His Torah, Scriptures began falling into place for me. Things that didn’t make sense before now seep into my spirit with grace and ease! I didn’t need to “believe on” anything, or take anything “in faith”. It’s all right there, clearly spelled out!
I began chipping away at the “armor of God” that I was taught about from my uncomfortable position on a pew. I had always pitied Job, thinking that somehow this righteous man neglected to wear his armor, or that it didn’t protect him as the writing of Ephesians promised it would! I understand now that Job’s calamity was allowed by God, and orchestrated to have guidelines. There is no lion that can devour us without the expressed consent of our Creator! Now THAT makes sense! What power or entity is bigger than Him or more potent than His will? Spoiler alert… None! There is none like Him and None that can stand against Him. My life and my number of days are in His hands! Not in the hands of a hungry “devil” and not associated with how much of a “prayer warrior” I am!
The past that I used to wear began falling off me, too, like a cheap polyester pantsuit. Knowing that every calamity came from God (or at the very least, was allowed by God) taught me that I can be thankful for that past, and for the ability to survive many grave situations because of what I learned back there. When I’m placed in a difficult situation now, it’s the skills and strategies I learned in my past that help me to overcome obstacles and be thankful things aren’t worse. Because friends, things could always be worse. My survival skills and instincts will also come in very handy when the stuff hits the fan for us on a national level. I’m thankful for the hard, hard life I’ve endured.
The undergarments of my own self-worth fell in a pile around me, too. For years, I’ve been tainted by the “NT” teachings saying I, and no one else was good. Not one is righteous, they said, except Jesus. Funny, isn’t it, how many were called righteous in the Tanak? This doctrine from the “NT” left me with an uneasy thing that an innocent one could be punished for my sin. What kind of God does that? At my worst atheist self, I would have never beat my son for my daughter being disobedient to me! How does this even make sense? I was taught that for a sinful Israel to return to a perfect God after her “adultery” her second husband to die. WHAT? Were they saying that my bridegroom, Jesus, who is my brother (according to their teachings) had to due so I could marry my Father? “Take it on faith” they told me…on faith. “But preacher man, I see right there in Torah that I can not marry my Father, OR my brother!” Surely this analogy in Tanak is a parable! Take it on faith, my ear! Take it on how it was written in Torah! It was with the falling off of my “Christian clothing” that I finally found myself as naked as the day I was born (without sin) before The Father. Faithful as He is, He is reclothing me!
Like God sewed skins for Adam and Eve to wear, likewise God is revamping my wardrobe! My undergarments are now the unique talents He has bestowed upon me, and every character trait that I possess. Those garments, along with the knowledge that if I had no purpose here today, God would not have called me awake this morning, give me the foundation to go out and shine His Light. The polyester suit of my past has been replaced with the fabric of reaching out to others who still struggle with what I endured, or who are still enduring it. My outfit gives them hope, encourages them and points them to The Father. My “armor” is now the things I wear that illustrate my place in His Kingdom. His words, His promises, and His Statutes that I walk in. I love wrapping my hair, it is a reminder to me me that He alone is my covering! The colorful wraps remind me of the feminine aspects of identity. I have some fun with costume jewelry, and even a splash of make-up to enhance the modest styles I wear. After all, I am a daughter of The King!
That old bloodstained robe has been replaced by a scarf-like garment that holds my four Tzitzit on its four corners. Sometimes I drape it across my shoulders, and sometimes I tie it around my waist. Scripture says to wear these fringes as a reminder to fix our eyes on Him instead of on the worldly lusts. These tassels remind me that I, alone, am responsible for my actions, repentance and atonement before my God, who is my Judge. I don’t wear them for others to notice me. In fact, they are quite small. But I know they’re there, and I look at them all day, most aware of the blue thread in them, which represents God’s commandments.
My new style of clothing will never go out of fashion for the timeless God in whose name I now “get dressed” every day! How’s your wardrobe looking? Let our Heavenly Father speak to you about it, and see if you make some changes, too! All in all, I have to admit that at 51 years of age, I finally like who I see in the mirror! I have a wrinkle here and a wrinkle there, but my eyes are adorned with God’s Light, and my smile is genuine. I, daughter of The King, am at peace now…and it shows! I am now covered by YHVH Nissi, the God who is my Banner! “See” you next week, and until then, know that you are in my prayers!