Often, patterns come in pieces. Separated from one another, they don’t make sense. A rectangular skirt, for instance, can have templates more befitting boot lining than a garment to wear. But when those filmy pieces of pattern paper have their shape transferred to the fabric and the fabric conforms to the directions, then beautiful clothing emerges. The same is true in the spirit. Patterns don’t always look like something important to follow. Consequently, shortcuts are tempting. Consider the details of the ark. Separately, pitch, gopher wood, hay and oats didn’t look like something to preserve Noah’s family. Together, as God’s pattern unfolded, a mighty, waterproof zoo and vessel of salvation emerged. God’s pattern for our lives is sometimes presented in a similar fashion. We may get an over-all vision of what His plan is, but then, we must work with that plan, piece by piece. Pieces which don’t look like they fit with the purpose. Scriptures scattered throughout the Bible. Trials. Correction. Faith. Apart, they don’t look like much, but together, they become what God’s pattern said they could be all along. When we live out what God has said, we are tracing the pattern of His promises in our lives and stitching together the vision of what he declared is possible.
Patterns that transform a solid to a print hold the same principle of repetition of the original. Something, a stripe or a cluster of flowers for instance, was laid down and then repeated until an entire surface was covered in its particular design. In the spirit, God gives specific instructions and He expects them to be repeated in actuality. God Himself used patterns, doing such things as sacrificing an animal to cover Adam and Eve’s nakedness, then repeating the process for us, as our shame was covered with Jesus’ shed blood. We are asked to do no less. In Romans, Paul talks about the pattern presented through the Gospel. Just as Jesus died, was buried, and rose again, so we repeat the pattern in our lives through repentance, baptism, and Spirit life. God laid down the pattern throughout the Old Testament with symbols and signs. Then, Jesus fulfilled them. Now we follow His example. The first 39 books of the bible funneled to Jesus. Multiplication followed, a repeat of the pattern.
Timothy specified that Jesus’ longsuffering was a pattern to believers. His life was ours to replicate. Paul told us to follow him as he followed Christ. Titus declared we need a pattern of good works--in our uncorrupt doctrine, in our sincerity, and in our speech. In other words, we are to repeat the process of the original pattern. Not to do so would contaminate the doctrines set forth by the Apostles, which were set in motion by Jesus. Both motive and word would grow off plumb, not at all like Jesus’ design. The pattern must be replicated.
Following the pattern is important if we want our wedding garments to be pristine robes of righteousness. Otherwise, they'll be a tangled mess of fabric and thread that says we’ve jiggered things on our own.
Tip/Tidbit: Today, see if you are repeating what the Apostles did to follow Jesus' instructions about salvation and Christian living. Follow the pattern, and you're sure to become the beautiful masterpiece you were meant to be.