As you look through old clothing, you might find a pair of old shorts that are not even able to be donated. They are beyond salvageable. They are discolored. They are frayed. They have holes. The fabric is worn hard and perhaps stained. They are worthless.
God had Jeremiah take a linen belt, or for us to better understand, some linen shorts, and wear them without any washing. Then he was directed to take them off and hide them. When they were retrieved, they were worthless because they did not receive the proper care.
The people of God, which includes us today, are to cling to God. But like the people of this time, the people that went from clinging to God and His Law to burying themselves in idolatry and sin, we have a great problem with corruption that can take away our worth to the Kingdom. Thankfully, Jesus Christ can wash us and we become as white as snow. When we come to know Christ, we do not have to be a pair of old shorts. We are made new. We are forgiven. We are redeemed. We are restored.
God told me, “Go and buy yourself some linen shorts. Put them on and keep them on. Don’t even take them off to wash them.” So I bought the shorts as God directed and put them on. Then God told me, “Take the shorts that you bought and go straight to Perath and hide them there in a crack in the rock.” So I did what God told me and hid them at Perath. Next, after quite a long time, God told me, “Go back to Perath and get the linen shorts I told you to hide there.” So I went back to Perath and dug them out of the place where I had hidden them. The shorts by then had rotted and were worthless.
-Jeremiah 13:1-7 [MSG]
I heard of people who went from one job to a second job without having a moment to stop and shower. To be sure they did not start to smell a bit foul, they would douse themselves with cologne or perfume to cover up the fact that they did not have a chance to take a shower. The cover up may keep people from noticing that the person failed to shower; however, it does not take away from the fact that the person did not shower. The person is still dirty.
When we accept Christ we are washed by His blood—we are covered by His blood. But it’s not supposed to be a quick spray of cologne or perfume. It is supposed to be a true cleansing. It involves not only baptism but a constant relationship with Christ, becoming a new creation living out the purpose for which you were created.
Today, don’t spray on some cologne and pretend to be clean. Don’t try to take a short cut. There’s no short cut when it comes to God. You either are living in Christ or you are not. You decide.
“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” – 2 Corinthians 5:17 [NLT]