...and change your clothes!
Soldiers give up the right to wear whatever they want. They wear what they are told to wear.
Colossians 3:12 (MSG), "So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline."
Last year, at the end of 24 hours of unbroken prayer and a three hour worship service with 150 students I had a vision of an Australian Aborigine standing by a large cross pointing at a rack of white robes beside him prompting me to change my clothes. That was strange. What was I doing seeing an Australian at a cross? I was in Ontario, Canada in a room full of singing students.
Now, that flukey thing may have been my imagination. But, at the time of that vision there were two students laying hands on me in prayer. I had been sitting at the back of the worship marathon, after midnight, minding my own business, sitting there praying silently. I began seeing something in my mind's eye. I said to myself, "No way! It can't be." I was getting a tour of the whole world... Europe, then Africa, Asia, then Australia. Very hard to explain!
Simultaneous to my doubt, two students walked up to me, laid hands on me and prayed there on my shoulders for an hour. They had no idea what was in my head. They just showed up and started praying for me. And they didn't leave until the moment the vision was over. While they stood there and prayed for me, the vision got more and more intense. Then I saw the Aborigine point to the white robes...
And to top it all off the girl leading worship said into the microphone (at the same time as this Aborigine showing me white robes in my 'vision'), "Jesus said that Solomon wasn't dressed like the lilies... but you know what, sometimes you have to change your clothes. You have to change your clothes."
At that moment, I said out loud to God, "Ok, I'll change my clothes." And in my imagination, or wherever I was, I put on a white robe from the Aborigine's rack... And seriously, I began to ascend the hill of the Lord. I have no idea how to explain what I began to see and experience. Honestly though, I think I saw the city of God... the size of a whole mountain range.
Then God said to Jacob, "Go up to Bethel and settle there, and build an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you were fleeing from your brother Esau." So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, "Get rid of the foreign gods you have with you, and purify yourselves and change your clothes."
But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy mixed with fear - hating even the clothing stained by corrupt flesh.