Worship on Sunday mornings at Hope UC Nashville creates an atmosphere in which the ability to “see” is unlocked for me. This Sunday we were singing the words, “Put off the spirit of heaviness and put on the garment of praise”. While Nat Clubb was leading us in this song, I saw a multi-colored coat being placed on the congregation. I immediately thought that looks like Joseph’s coat of many colors (Genesis 37). The Lord said, “The coat of many colors is the garment of praise.” Then the service continues and James Galbraith is preaching on the Power of Praise, at one point he said, “praise is vibrant, it is colorful, it is bright.” The Lord whispered, “The coat of many colors is the garment of praise.”
Now two days later I am praying Psalm 96 and verse 9 says, “Worship the Lord in holy atttire”, and the Holy Spirit says, “This is the garment of praise, the holy attire is the garment of praise, my people are to worship me in.” Praise is not fast, upbeat songs which are the prelude to the heaviness of worship, James told us, but praise is a weapon, because praise is knowing who our God is. This morning, the Lord added to James’ thoughts by saying, praise is Daniel 11:32 “The people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.” The people who are wearing the garment of praise, the multicolored coat, will do great exploits. What coat are you wearing, the spirit of heaviness or the garment of praise?
We get to choose what we wear. The spirit of heaviness is likened to the sackcloth and ashes that were worn when people were grieving, but the garment of praise is multicolored, it is vibrant, it is joy, and it makes people jealous. But we must wear it anyway, because it speaks of whose we are. After Isaiah prophesies what Jesus quotes in Luke 4:18 about captives going free, Isaiah 61:3 says about those free people, God is going, “To bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.” It’s time to wear our coat our Father gave us, for the garment of praise is what freedom looks like.