barefoot in a storeI remember that as a young child in Ohio, during the summer we would drive down south to see relatives in Eastern Kentucky, the foothills of Appalachia, where my siblings and I would witness something we found appalling. People from that area would actually shop at the stores in town barefoot and many men were shirtless. Coming from the North, we just thought it was so uncouth. But years later, that part of Kentucky became more civilized. The stores no longer allowed people in without proper attire. Everywhere we turned, places of business had one simple sign displayed at their doors– “No shirt. No shoes. No service.”

Spiritually speaking, there are many who approach God’s kingdom with the mentality that God doesn’t care about our spiritual attire. “God said, ‘Come as you are,'” they will tell you. Unfortunately, many of them assume the “come as you are” part means God is a Universalist who just lets anyone into a relationship with him without requiring them to change their sinful habits. Actually, the “come as you are” clause is God letting us know we cannot clean ourselves up from our own sins. When we come as we are, there is also a sign displayed, “No shirt. No shoes. No service.” God is inviting us to humbly approach him in repentance through his door, the Lord Jesus, so he can then wash us in his word with the blood of Jesus in order for us to have the proper spiritual hygiene to put on the proper spiritual attire required to be welcomed into the intimate services of his inner court. This is alluded to in these scriptures:

Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Ps. 51:6-7

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. Isa. 1:18

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me … to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness… Isa. 61:1,3

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels. Isa. 61:10

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. … having your loins girt about with truth… having on the breastplate of righteousness… your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace… the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Eph. 6:11, 14-17

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. … If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:7,9

Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment…  Rev. 3:4-5

And to her [the wife of Christ, the church] was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. Rev. 19:8

 

Advertisements