“Put on the Lord Jesus Christ…” (from Romans 13:14)
Today, I wanted to follow up on the thoughts from yesterday’s post. This is really too important an issue to treat as a passing thought.
Yesterday, we talked about the “dress-up box” – and how the things we see in children (when it comes to playing as dressed-up characters) is what we need to see in us.
I am reminded that Jesus was rather adamant about the fact that unless we “become like little children, (we) will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3)
This means so many things, but at it’s heart is this very thought of the ability to “make believe” that you are actually someone else. Adults don’t often dress up and play to their hearts content (unless it’s Halloween). Somewhere along the way, it seems we have forgotten the importance of imagination.
I can remember, as a child, playing as a imaginary character… and I was so “into” that character that I would spend hours delving into all the aspects of that character. My imagination was leading me to a depth of connection and understanding that could only happen because I was BEing that character. What began as “pretend” ended up being “real” (at least, in my own mind).
God has given us humans so many amazing capacities. But one we so often neglect (or push aside, so we don’t appear childish) is our imagination.
Do you see the heart of God in the apostle’s words… “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ.” It is an invitation to let your imagination go – and make believe that you are actually Jesus to your world. This would be utter nonsense except for one thing… The God of Heaven is actually asking you to do this! Why? Because it is how His children learn the depth of the character of Jesus. It is how they learn to incorporate His life into their own. It is HOW the new you is unleashed!
Years ago I remember being profoundly impacted by a book that was based upon a very simple premise. The story revolved around the people of a church congregation who were challenged to precede every action by first asking themselves a simple question: What would Jesus do? The book tells the story of how each life (and the surrounding community) was transformed by living life as Jesus would live life. The book is “In His Steps,” by Charles Sheldon – and has sold over 60 million copies.
Okay. I know that little question is cliché – and way overused. But it is based on a sound Biblical principle. Those who “put on the Lord Jesus Christ” begin acting like Him, talking like Him, living like Him – and changing their world… just like Him.
Those who act in movies and plays will tell you that one of the most crucial things that an actor can do is to put him/herself “in character.” What starts out as pretending to be someone, ends up feeling like you have actually become that someone. This leads to powerful and memorable performances on stage and screen.
It is no different in the arena of real life. What this world so desperately needs is an encounter with Jesus. And God’s plan is that every one of His children would be able to give a powerful and memorable performance – as the Living Christ, in every corner of the world.
But it can only happen when we put ourselves “in Character.” When we “put on the Lord Jesus Christ” and live our lives to love, serve, and give… just as He did.
Prayer focus: God, may my heart desire to “put on the Lord Jesus” each and every day.