Have you ever been in a situation where you couldn’t wait to get changed into different clothes because the ones you were wearing had become smelly and dirty? The stench and filth were annoying, not just you but probably others around you, as well. They were beginning to falsely define you.
Recently, I was reminded by a visiting speaker about the blind man Bartimaeus in Mark 10. He heard that Jesus had come to town and began shouting out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me! Jesus, Son of David have mercy on me!” David means, beloved or friend. Bartimaeus was literally shouting out, “Jesus, son of Beloved, Friend, have mercy on me!” Jesus called for him to come. Bartimaeus threw off his cloak, jumped up and went. Because he was blind, he had to beg. His cloak had defined him as a beggar year after year. Jesus, who is Beloved and Friend personified heard Bartimaeus’ cry for mercy and welcomed him. Turning to Jesus for mercy unhindered by his cloak brought a miracle of freedom for Bartimaeus. He left a “seeing man”, no longer needing to beg.
I wonder what cloaks we end up wearing in life. Cloaks which can cause blindness to various areas. Cloaks which hinder us from moving forward. Cloaks which are preventing that miracle of freedom in our lives.
Is it a cloak of
Fear? Insecurity? Failure? Fatigue? Disappointment? Confusion? Loneliness? Addiction?
Have we allowed these cloaks to define who we are? Have we become blind to God’s desires and purposes for our lives?
Like Bartimaeus, we need to turn to Jesus, the Beloved of all beloveds, the Friend of all friends and cry out, “Have mercy on us!” In desperation we can then throw off those cloaks which falsely define us and run to Him. The One who says “come!”.
As we turn to Him and run the veil will be removed from our eyes and we will begin to see with his eyes (2 Corinthians 3:18). As we run to Him, He will want to dress us with the clothing of salvation and drape us with a robe of righteousness (Isaiah 61:10). As we run to Him, He will want to renew the joy of our salvation (Psalm 51).
Leaving the other cloaks behind which define us as blind beggars we can put on the garment of praise. The only garment worth wearing, which will bring us into the very throne room of our Father. There we can receive grace and mercy in our time of need (Hebrews 4:14-16). There in that throne room we will be defined by HIM and HIM alone.
Psalm 22:3 says that the Father inhabits the praises of his people. Putting on the garment of praise invites Father God into the “now” of our lives and gives Him permission to work. Praise opens the door for the Father to do what He does best. Reveal Himself. Love and transform His children. Praise breaks chains and releases the Father’s glory. Praise allows the Father to love us into right thinking and right living.
Paul and Silas were chained in prison late one night. They began to sing and their chains fell off (Acts 16:25). They weren’t focused on their chains. They were focused on the One who is God regardless of what they were facing. The One who is faithful. The One who never changes. The One who is always there.
The power of praise cannot be underestimated. David knew that power. He learned it. He cultivated it. He chose it. It became a part of who he was. Even when he sheltered under the wings of his mighty God, he knew the power of praising.
“Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise you! I will praise you as long as I live, lifting up my hands to you in prayer. You satisfy me more than the richest feast. I will praise you with songs of joy. I lie awake thinking of you, meditating on you through the night. Because you are my helper, I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your strong right hand holds me securely.” (Psalm 63:3-8)
Have courage to throw off the cloak which defines you as a blind beggar and put on the garment of praise which will define you as a seeing child of the King, an heir. The Father will enter your world and surprise you.
Be encouraged and blessed!