Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded....John 13:3-5
When Jesus launched His ministry on earth, he laid aside His garments. That’s what ministry is all about. It requires you to lay aside your personal ambitions and visions of grandeur. True ministry is birthed when you are stripped down to your heart’s desire, when something inside says, “I want my life to count for God.” It is the kind of prayer that pleads, “O God, don’t let me try to impress anyone but the One to whom I give my life.” If you work in the Kingdom trying to bring souls to God, you need to be sure you’ve given yourself to the God you teach about.
Your garments are the personal agendas you have set for yourself. The Lord often uses trials to realign us with His plan. Everyone who finds real purpose will, sooner or later, go through some adversity that will cause them to let go of the temporal and cleave to the eternal. Job discusses this terrible stripping that seems to be characteristic of the call. He goes through a brief but painful period that yanks away everything that appeared to be important in his life. (see Job 19:14-20). His only shade beneath the blistering sun of adverse circumstances is the fact that he can only be stripped down to what he started with before. He can be stripped of the temporal but not of the eternal.
It is possible to lose your money, your health, your friends, and your social status. But these are mere imitations of life. It is your character, your class, and your Christianity that will survive.