God is so good and He truly blesses us with SO much in our lives, but it is no secret that, because of this, the devil will often try and turn what God meant for good into evil. The aspect of this many people fail to consider is that he doesn't only do this through temptation and destruction. The enemy will also use forms of manipulation that would surprise many by creating an imitation of God's intended blessing that actually harms, rather than builds up.
A clear example of this that I found during my time with the Lord is in John chapter 19. In verses 1-3 it says:
So then Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him. And the soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe.Then they said, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they struck Him with their hands.
It may just look like a description of how Jesus was so horribly treated as He gave His life for us, but through it, God reveals how the devil works.
Let's start with the crown of thorns. A crown is something that is meant to be a gift, or a symbol to denote honor and royalty. Here, this God ordained conception of the crown is distorted and turned into a method to mock Jesus for claiming to be king, as well as hurt Him with each thorn that would pierce his skull...I know this sounds obvious, but bear with me...If we consider a crown to be a gift of honor and royalty, as it is defined, then let's consider some crowns that Jesus gives to us. He gives us Gifts and talents (singing, playing, drawing, speaking, etc.), love, joy, favor, etc. and we are meant to use all of these gifts, or for the sake of this devotion "crowns", to create heavenly crowns that one day, we can lay at Jesus' feet, giving back to Him. Sadly more often than not, the enemy takes this and twists it, just as he did to the crown of thorns in verse 2, to tear us down and try to eliminate the final product of glorifying God. Think I'm crazy? consider the times in your life when pride has been thrown into the mix and gifts and talents have produced envy, when love has been mutated into lust and produced sexual immorality, or when our fleshly desire for mere happiness has turned into dissatisfaction and a loss of God through the pursuit of the world. When God's crowns that were intended for blessing become satan's tools to institute a curse, damage is then done, and we feel the thorns of the twisted crown pierce our skull, just as Jesus' did.
The same can be said of the purple robe that the soldiers gave Jesus to wear as He was being prepared for slaughter. Purple is typically a color associated with royalty and righteousness, as is the image of a robe, stated in Isaiah 61:10:
I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
This clearly states that when we receive salvation, we are adorned as righteous priests! Still, the enemy used it as a tool to mock Jesus as the soldiers yelled "Hail King of the Jews!" and slapped Him. They were not only devaluing Jesus through appearance, but were also devaluing His very identity. This is exactly what the enemy tries to do with us. He takes the robes of righteousness given to us by the Father, that remind us of our true identity in Him, and causes people to mock us for being different or standing up for what is right as we walk in our righteous identity.
Why does this matter? Because when the enemy has distorted gifts, and created the stinging thorns attached to them, we become afraid of being hurt, and reject or at least be wary to receive any gifts from the Father. This keeps us in a powerless, deprived state where we cannot receive, and therefore become unable to give and shake the world around us for the kingdom of God. The same can be said when the enemy devalues our robes of righteousness. As he devalues them, he devalues our identity, and makes it seem like living a righteous, consecrated life isn't worth living if it involves embarrassment and pain. All in all, when we accept the mocking imitations placed in our life by the enemy, we allow him to change us into powerless, helpless, defeated, sorry excuses for Christians.
This HAS to stop, we must come to the realization that we are "a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light." (1 Peter 2:9) and should settle for nothing less than the best GOD has to offer, instead of the worst the devil has waiting. Just as someone who we would consider a "snob" (you can repent later. haha) would turn her nose up at knock-off brand clothing and accessories, we must learn to be spiritual "snobs" as well, turning down the fake "knock-off" version of what God intended and only accepting the real deal, designer Jesus. Although this real thing comes with a higher price, as we sacrifice the world's love and acceptance for God's, in the end it is still the better product.
in my mind, that's a good bargain :)