On this Labor Day weekend, I am challenging you to not stop working, but actually get dressed for work. (If you are interested in the history of our National Labor Day, see my “What is Labor Day” blog from September 2021.)
I once knew a man, who each morning would prepare himself and dutifully walk out the front door of his home to work. He did this even after He was fired from his job, just to fool his wife. He was dressed for work and pretended to be going off to work, but the truth was, he was neither.
Could that be an accurate description of many believers today? Being dressed and pretending it’s for the Lord and then pretending to be doing His work?
Here’s where this challenge comes from –
But you, dress yourself for work; arise, and say to them everything that I command you.”Jeremiah 1:17 ESV
Another, translation makes it even clearer –
But you – up on your feet and get dressed for work! Stand up and say your piece. Say exactly what I tell you to say. Don’t pull your punches or I’ll pull you out of the line up.”Jeremiah 1:17 The Message paraphrase
The context of these Jeremiah verses is the beginning of a 50 year period in which Jeremiah spoke to Israel of their shameful and persistent sins. God had called this man, Jeremiah before he was even born, Jeremiah 1:5 to speak God’s words, even though Jeremiah claimed to not know how to speak or what to even say. Jeremiah 1:6-10
Jeremiah’s nation was headed for judgement because it had forsaken the Lord.
And I will declare my judgments against them, for all their evil in forsaking me. They have made offerings to other gods and worshipped the works of their own hands.”Jeremiah 1:16 ESV
Then, turning on a dime, we find the next verse – BUT YOU – DRESS YOURSELF FOR WORK.
It is in the darkest days, the seemingly most hopeless and discouraging situations that the challenge comes – Up on your feet! Stand up and say your piece. Speak out and tell my Word. Don’t pull any punches. Tell things God’s way. Even when no one else is, or living it, or even desiring it. You, and me, are to dress ourself and get to work. He has put His Word in our heart and on our lips.
I find it interesting that the Message paraphrase says, “don’t pull your punches”.
According to Quora, the root of this phrase comes from a boxer who pretends to punch, makes it look believable, but without full force. The boxer begins to retract his fist right before the punch has connected, therefore it looks like a punch but is severely weakened. Punching with full power begins in the feet and hips and is literally like throwing a punch.
In other words, my amplified translation would read like this,
“But you believers, stand your ground, Ephesiams 6:14, set yourself (like Daniel) and throw your punches – aka = say what I tell you, what My Word says. Do not pull back your powerful punch (Word), or withhold My Word in any given situation. Tell them everything that I tell you.”
You see, in these days, pretending to be dressed and pretending to be doing God’s work will not cut it. You might be able to fool others but you cannot fool God.
“Stand firm. Let nothing move you. Give yourselves to the work of the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:58
“Present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed.” 2 Timothy 2:15
“God will not forget your work and love you have shown Him.” Hebrews 6:10
Some of you have things, conversations or assignments that you have been putting off – not giving yourself to fully. It is time to speak out and stand up.
So, my friend, on this Labor Day 2022, in the spiritual realm, it is time to get dressed and get to work.
Go with God,