This is addressed to Christian ladies who are longing to reflect the image of Jesus fully, to be clothed in His robe of righteousness, and to make diligent preparation for His soon coming. If that is your desire, I pray that the following message will find an answering response in your heart.
Jesus, our King loves His princess daughters, you and me, with abounding, incomprehensible love. His desire is to prepare us to be His precious daughters, fit for His heavenly kingdom. He is longing to grant us the power to overcome all sin and worldliness, so we can be holy vessels, filled with His Spirit. He needs our permission and cooperation, so that, as we submit to Him, His will can be carried out in us.
We live in a corrupt and degenerate age. Sin and rebellion against God's principles have become so commonplace that we tend to become numb and blinded to the wickedness of this world. But Jesus, in His great love for us, has sent us a personal message, straight to our hearts. After warning us of our dangerous, casual and calloused state of mind, He makes an appeal:
I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Revelation 3:18, 19
This loving message is sent to you and me, dear sister, to help us get ready for His soon coming. We have a desperate need for the spiritual enrichment and enlightenment that Jesus offers us. We can never participate in the wedding feast without His white raiment, for it is the required wedding attire.
This robe of righteousness, the righteousness of Christ, is freely offered to all, but it must be purchased at a great price. The price is death to self, so that Christ may live in us. It is a painful and difficult price that will require a great struggle. But, Oh, what a marvelous reward we will receive—His glorious robe! If we die to self, we will be eager and willing to wear His robe of righteousness.
With the divine eye salve, we can see that the symbolism of a spiritual robe that covers our shameful nakedness also relates to our physical bodies. As soon as sin entered the world, humanity had a problem with clothing their bodies. Without guidance from God, they were incapable of making right choices. So it is with us today.
Our sin problems lies deep in our hearts. We naturally want to make our own choices. But our choices are based on pride, selfishness, lust, and other sins. Sin perverts our desires and tastes. Sin drives us to do things that are displeasing to God.
The carnal mind is in rebellion to God. God calls His children to overcome the world, which is the mindset of ungodly society. God provides power to overcome the corruption of worldly lusts. The problem of semi nakedness in society is directly related to the sin of lust. In God's counsel to His church in these last days, God desires to open our blind eyes to the reality that it is shameful for women to parade in public places in various stages of nakedness. In these last days, the depravity of humanity has fallen to an all-time low.
Because immodesty it is so prevalent in our society, we scarcely notice it. But our dear brothers in the Lord notice it. It is perhaps one of their greatest struggles in day to day life as they endeavor to keep their thoughts pure and holy before the Lord. They don't need to pursue pornography or go to prostitutes to be faced with obscene glimpses of partial nakedness of women. If they have occasion to walk down the street, or enter a place of business, they are accosted with blatant views of sensuality that require them to wage a continual warfare against temptation, especially in the summertime. Ask any Christian brother if this is in fact the case.
As women, we have a different battle, and it is no less trying or intense. It requires total commitment and willingness to die to self on a daily, hourly basis. As godly men must keep their minds pure and holy by the indwelling power of the Spirit, so godly women must do the same. Do we know what our battle is? Our struggle is not in the looking, but in being the object of the looking.
Natural man lusts after women. Jesus tell us it is a sin for a man to look upon a woman and lust after her in his heart. He doesn't even need to do anything, but just entertain an impure thought in his heart to commit sin. With half-naked women all around him in public settings, that's not an easy task. In fact, only those men who are abiding in Christ the very moment they see an immodestly dressed women will be able to keep from sin. All the other men who are not clinging to Christ will let that lustful thought defile their mind.
As women, we need to recognize that we have a natural, sinful desire to elicit lust in men. It's built into our carnal natures, just as lust is built into man's carnal nature. We naturally want to tantalize, tease and seduce men. That may be difficult to admit, but that's part of our blindness that Jesus declares is our Laodician condition. We don't want to admit that we have that evil tendency.
But, dear sisters, it's so obviously the case with us! No doubt you have felt yourself rise up in rebellion when the topic of modest dressing comes up. How dare they tell us what we should wear! It takes a huge internal struggle before most of us are willing to consider a more modest wardrobe than is our personal preference and practice. We want to attract attention to ourselves….it's our nature!
It is this self-nature that Jesus came to rescue us from, because it is deadly. He wants us to lay down our longings, our desires to be admired in a sensual or prideful way. He wants us to lay aside our vanity, our self-focus. He want us to surrender our impure hearts that long to expose our shameful nakedness.
A supernatural conversion experience is the miracle that God does in our hearts that enables us to be willing to submit to His Spirit. Without this conversion, a call for modesty is often met with a violent reaction. Imposing rules of dress on the unconverted stirs up vigorous resistance. It is not productive to dictate to one another in this area. The Holy Spirit appeals to the heart, and the surrendered heart listens.
There is no saving merit in dressing right or in eating right or in upholding any godly standard. A woman can cover herself from head to toe, and still be filled with evil desires and motives. She can be deceived into thinking herself worthy of God's grace because of her modest attire. This is not true godliness.
Godly standards are God's ideal for His children, not in order to be saved, but because we have been saved. They are ideals to aim towards, through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. God's grace changes our attitudes and desires, and motivates us to change our behavior. When we are tuned into God's will, God's high and holy standards will not cause us to rise up in rebellion, but will find us willing to move forward step by step in fulfilling His will.
Godly women want their brothers in Christ to be pure in heart. We want our pastors, church elders, spiritual leaders, our Christian fathers, brothers, husbands, and sons to overcome their fornication, immorality and adultery. We want them to be faithful and pure.
Likewise, godly men want their Christian sisters to be chaste and modest. They want us to appropriately cover our bodies, so that we will not be a stumbling block to them, hindering their quest for purity. It is difficult enough for our brothers in the world. Especially at church should their eyes have a rest from the shameful immodesty that accosts them in public.
We cannot serve two masters. We cannot pander to our natural desires, and please the Lord at the same time. We cannot idolize fashion, and love God with all our hearts. One has got to go. And let's pray that God will win out in our hearts.
Consider this. If Jesus were to literally clothe you with a shining white robe that covers your entire body, down to your feet, would you want to hike it up a bit to show off your legs? Would you want to bare your shoulders, and perhaps pull down the neckline so you could show some cleavage? Would you want to bind the robe tightly about you so that you could reveal the curves of your breasts and buttocks? Or would you be satisfied to let the righteousness of Christ clothe you in such a way that His beauty could shine from your radiant face?
These are some difficult questions we must ask ourselves. Are we clothing ourselves physically so that people can sense that we have on Christ's robe of righteousness, or are we clothing ourselves in such a way that we are causing our brothers to struggle with impure thoughts?
Are we dressing in such a way that our Christian sisters struggle with the sin of coveting our fashions, or the desire to follow our vain, prideful, immodest attire? Are we showing our younger sisters what it looks like to be pure in heart? Are we teaching our young men how godly women should appear?
Perhaps your particular issue might not be a desire to flaunt your body. Perhaps it is simply the desire to fit it with the crowd, to be acceptable and admired. We may abhor the thought of being different. Our natural hearts want to look like the world and act like the world so the world will love us. But what does Jesus say? “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” John 15:19
Perhaps comfort or convenience is the primary factor in your choice of dress. We need to remember that the narrow way is not always comfortable or convenient. We cannot afford to let self-interest dictate our choices in anything. The Lord will guide us in making choices to dress for modesty as well as for health, simplicity, durability, and appropriateness.
What is appropriate attire for a Christian woman? If we are not careful, we could become so influenced by society that we dress just like the women of the world. “And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart.” Prov. 7:10. There are many articles of clothing commonly worn by worldly women that Christian woman should never wear in public. If we consult fashion, we will surly displease the Lord in how we dress. There is a better way. We are fortunate that there of styles of dress that can be worn that are very modest and still acceptable to society.
Skimpy clothing reveals impure desire in the heart. Tight clothing of any type reveals areas of the body that need to be disguised. The breasts, buttocks, crotch and thighs, even when covered with material, should be shielded so that there is nothing that would draw the attention to these areas. Tight tops and pants, as commonly worn by women reveal the form of a woman's private areas. A women's body shape should not be revealed in a suggestive way. Seeking after God's beauty will lead us to cover most of our skin, and loosely cover our bodies. We need to consider many factors such as modest design, material, and color.
In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; 1 Tim. 2:9
In the above text, by reading the meaning of the Greek words for shamefacedness and sobriety, we learn that women are admonished to dress with reverence and respect for others, with self-control. While self leads us to consider our carnal desires, self-control leads us to subdue those desires. God wants us to consider our influence on others as we choose our clothing.
Dressing for Jesus will not make us unattractive, because we will radiate with the beauty of holiness. It will be a different kind of beauty than the world appreciates. We can't have both the admiration of the world and the beauty of holiness. To be admired by God may mean that we are looked down on or ridiculed by the world. Whose approbation is more important to us?
God wants us to be holy. Without holiness we will never see Him. Without purity in heart, we will never see Him. Listen to this loving entreaty from our Father. In this appeal to our hearts, He is speaking to us sisters about our attire. He doesn't want us to be linked up with the world in how we dress. He wants us to be separate from the world:
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them ; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing ; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” 2 Cor. 6:14-18
As sisters, we have a privilege that men don't have in our society. We have the privilege of dressing in such a way that we are instantly recognized as godly, Christian women. Our modest appearance, along with our demeanor, can be a powerful witness for Jesus wherever we go. Our brothers don't have that same opportunity that we have. They generally need to say something before someone recognizes their stand for Jesus.
But as women, we can actually witness for Jesus by just walking down the street! Imagine that, a walking testimony of the power of God in our lives. By our modest dress, we show that we have denied our selfish desires to attract ungodly attention to our selves, and taken up the cross, and followed Jesus. We have sacrificed our rights to follow worldly fashions and practices. We have surrendered our carnal hearts that crave vanity and prideful admiration. We are willing to wear the robe of Christ's righteousness, so that the shame of our nakedness does not appear.
There is a powerful message in the following verses.
And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Matthew 6:28-30
In the Greek, Take ye thought means to be anxious, seeking to promote one's interest.
Jesus is telling us not to seek to promote our own interest in our dress, but to trust in Him, for He will clothe us. Are we willing to let Jesus clothe us, instead of seeking after our selfish interests in the way we dress? If we are willing, He will provide us with the clothing that will glorify Him. He will even work a miracle, if need be, to provide us with modest clothing. Do we trust Him, that He will keep His Word?
God wants His daughters to let go of their obsession with goddess of fashion, which is worshipped by the world. While He wants us to dress with orderliness, cleanliness and refined taste, we should break free from fashion's dictates through the power of the gospel. Vanity, pride, self-exaltation and desire for admiration should not be our motive in choosing our apparel.
There is need for us to study the spiritual principles of modesty. Only with a surrendered, willing heart will such a study be fruitful unto holiness. Only with our rebellious tendencies subdued by the powerful grace of Jesus can we overcome by the blood of the Lamb.
Inspiration may not spell out all the details to describe a godly wardrobe, but we have the Holy Spirit, who will guide all those who are willing to be taught. But if we resist and rebel, and argue in favor of our carnal desires, God will not force us to change our ways. We may wear whatever we desire. But what a tragedy to miss out on the wedding feast, because we are found without our wedding garment!
Jesus is longing to prepare us for the heavenly wedding ceremony. His robe of righteousness will not cover our defilement. Only as we respond to the promptings of the Holy Spirit can we purify our souls in obedience to the truth.
Sanctification is a progressive work. Our modesty and purity needs to be increasing and deepening every day. We dare not let the lure of fashion or our carnal hearts pull us backward, deeper into the decadence of the world. We should be more modest today than we were yesterday, and even more so tomorrow. Each day we need to let the Spirit call us to come up higher, closer to the heart of God. We must let the grace of God purge the love of the world out of our hearts so that the love of God can flourish there.
Wherever we are in our style of dressing and adorning our mortal bodies, we all need a deeper surrender to God. Don't be overwhelmed, thinking you must reach the highest standard immediately; a willing heart is all that God asks of us. He will lead us step by step. But let us not linger; let us begin at once to open our hearts so Jesus can purge out the unfruitful works of wickedness. Let us allow Him to do a complete work in our hearts, so that the glory of God can shine forth unhindered.
As you consider your commitment to Jesus, and let Him speak to your heart, so that your rebellious, carnal self will not dictate how you choose to dress. When you treasure God's golden faith and love in your heart, it will drive out your self-love. Let Jesus anoint your eyes with divine eye salve so you can see how blind you have been. Accept the robe of Christ's righteousness to cover the shame of your nakedness. Open the door and invite Jesus in, and let Him take you to your closet. He will open your eyes and show you your nakedness. He will help you remove all the clothing that follows the immoral fashions of the world. He will put the desire in your heart to clothe yourself in such a way that you are recognized as His daughter. Step by step, allow Him to lead you in this direction. The important thing to Jesus is that we have a willing heart, so He can lead us deeper into His will.
What a joy this surrender to your Lord will bring to your heart! How thrilling the experience will be when people approach you with the desire to learn more about your Savior, because they recognize by your appearance that you belong to Him. You will walk down the street conscious of the robe of righteousness that is covering you, because His presence is with you. No evil minded men will be leering at you, but those men who are longing for pure minds will appreciate you and bless you. The influence that you spread abroad by your modest appearance will help to lighten the world with the glory of God. You will be as an angel proclaiming the 3 angels messages to the world, saying, Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment is come!
Oh, if all of our Christian sisters could catch the vision of how powerful our influence would be as we allow our appearance to show forth God's glory! What a revival would be seen in our churches. How the godly men would rejoice! How the angels in heaven would rejoice! And how the love of Jesus would shine from us as His faithful and pure Church. May God open our eyes to our desperate need to be covered with His spotless robe, that the shame of our nakedness does not appear!