Throw Off the Old Coat                                      

Apr 8, 2024 | Blog

During a time of prayer and waiting on the Lord, I saw something like a vision of simply taking off a coat that I was wearing. The coat was filled with all kinds of clutter and negative ideas that I had about myself. And I was enabled to simply drop this coat off my shoulders and walk away from it. Then the Scripture came to me, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).[1] Usually, I am engaged in the idea of spiritual warfare when I read this verse. But during this connection with the Lord, I just focused on the first few words: “for our struggle is not against flesh and blood.”

Suddenly, it was real to me that I struggled with my own flesh and blood. This coat is the state of the natural man; it is the way that my mind works about me. We often face the same issues repeatedly. So it really is this feeling of struggling with the flesh: our humanity, our thinking, or things lodged in our spirits that must be dealt with. The sense that came to me in this encounter was that we are not to struggle with our problems. In fact, it is counterproductive because the more we focus on the flesh and try to deal with these issues by ourselves, the bigger they become.

It is like a story that my mentor used to tell about the little girl who said, “When the devil comes and knocks on the door, I don’t answer it. I ask Jesus to answer the door for me.” This is really the right way to focus. We cannot be in a wrestling match with our flesh, with the natural man and its issues. We simply take all that off like an old coat. The Spirit showed me that this big heavy coat was weighing me down. It was representative of all these issues of the flesh that we wrestle with. These are pictures in our own thinking, images and thoughts we create about ourselves that are not the mind of the Lord for us. We are no longer to walk as the Gentiles walk in the futility of their mind (Ephesians 4:17). That verse is very expressive of this coat; it is the futility of the mind. If you struggle with it, you are not going to win. You cannot do it yourself. Christ said, “The Son can do nothing of Himself” (John 5:19). Likewise, we can do nothing of ourselves, and we must stay in that position.

We have been saved by grace through faith, and even that is not of ourselves; it is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8). We learned Yeshua (Jesus) through grace, and we must go back to that foundation. It is not something we can do for ourselves, by ourselves, or with ourselves; it must be this simple process of grace in our lives. What does grace do? Grace just takes the coat off and drops it behind you. You do not focus on it or try to deal with it. You simply grab the coat by the lapels, pull it off your shoulders, and drop it behind you. That is grace! You do not have to work at it. You simply give it over to Yeshua to deal with. It is His issue, not yours.

[1] Unless stated otherwise, all Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible 1995 (NASB1995).


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