DEVOTIONAL PAGE - "Brethren, I have written a letter unto you" (Hebrews 13:22).

August 19, 2019

 

Naked?

My Dear Friend,

     Jesus bluntly informed the Laodiceans they were spiritually "naked" (Rev. 3:17) and this was a "shame" (3:18). They were stunned and embarassed. But things are quite different today.

     Our culture celebrates nakedness - at our beaches, in our magazines, on our TVs, in our movies, on the Internet. This is one of many signs telling us we are in a Laodicean condition spiritually. And perhaps literally.

     The Laodiceans were spiritually naked because they were carnally minded, lived for fleshly (worldly) purposes, namely, materialism and pleasure, and may also have been practicing the immoral "worship" (fornication) of the local temples with their friends, neighbors, and business associates - trusting, of course, that Jesus wouldn't mind. But He did mind, and said so.

     Biblically, nakedness speaks of several things. After drinking too much wine, Noah, though a saint, became drunk and in his stupor, naked. Thus, drunkenness - including intoxication with any kind of worldliness - is nakedness.

     Peter was "naked" (barechested and clothed only with a loincloth) when Jesus surprised him one morning (Jn. 21:1-17). His impatience with Christ's plan had moved him to a self-led return, if only temporarily, to his former occupation. Thus, his nakedness represents being self-led.

     Isaac and Rebekah may have been naked when from his elevated palace Abimelech spied them "sporting" in what they thought was their private courtyard. If so, their nakedness represents foolish or unwise actions.

     Bathsheba was naked - bathing in plain sight of David's palace - when, well, you know the story. As inexcusable as David's sin was, did Bathsheba's decision to expose herself in the line of his sight also contribute to his initial meltdown of lust (though not his further sins). If so, her nakedness may represent Christian women exposing too much of themselves before men, thus tempting them unnecessarily, say, like sunbathing in skimpy bikinis?

     Before God's eyes - and this is what really counts - nakedness occurs when He looks down upon our thoughts, motives, conversations, and actions and does not see Jesus' righteousness consistently manifested. That alone is the "robe of righteousness" He wants to see covering us.

     When spiritually naked, our reasoning leads and the Spirit waits. We walk in our old ways and ignore God's ways. We indulge our bodies and starve our spirits. We live for the "things that are in the world" (1 Jn. 1:15) and forget "those things which are above" (Col. 3:1). We have insatiable hunger for politics, sports, entertainment, and gossip and none for the Bible, prayer, worship, and ministry. When Jesus looks on us in this condition He is grieved. Our "flesh," or old, unredeemed nature, is showing - to Him and others all around. We're naked and, like the Laodiceans, unaware of it.

     Michael Brown said sometimes when the late Leonard Ravenhill would emerge from prayer, anguished, he would exclaim, "Mike, the bride is naked and she doesn't know it." This testimony from such a deeply spiritual man of God and prayer is telling. In the Spirit Ravenhill saw and shared Jesus' grief over the carnal condition of His people. His people in our generation. In this last, Laodicean generation!

     In this sexually crazed world, the partying pagan public is crying, "Let's get naked!" But above us another One, with pierced brow, back, hands, and feet, is calling us, "Let's get clothed!"

     Jesus wants his bride clothed with God's Word. With prayer. With obedience. With Christ's love. With His humility. With faithfulness. With fellowship. With the generous support of evangelism, missions, and Bible distribution. With enduring patience in long, challenging tests. With cross-bearing - without self-pity! With sacrificial worship. With sharing the gospel whenever we can. With preparing for Jesus' appearing. That's quite a wardrobe and it's time we start wearing it!

Getting dressed,

Greg Hinnant
Greg Hinnant Ministries

       Greg Hinnant Ministries
PO Box 788, High Point, NC 27261
1-336-882-1645