We’re heading into Summer and that means a lot of us (not really me) will go shoeless. I know a lot of people find it freeing. I guess I see their point but I rarely slip off my shoes…basically bedtime, in the shower and in a pool. But I always admire those people who seem to be able to walk shoe-free over any terrain with bare feet.
They could walk on grass, pebbled path, sun beaten beaches, twig riddled forest paths…or hot coals. Me, shoeless…I find the first lost Lego in about 10 seconds. I like shoes on and tied tight and double knotted. Ask my wife and kids. If tying the kids’ shoes when they were younger they’d need a heavy duty bolt cutter to get them off. Maybe I want my shoes secure. I simply want to walk knowing I won’t step on or into anything, is that such a bad thing to have no concern that when I walked around I wouldn’t harm my soles?
God knows we need footwear. Though I doubt we needed it until AFTER the Fall of Man. I think the padding of our feet was sufficient enough to walk on the silken grass or beachy sands in the cool of the day with God. A sneaky snake and bite of the fruit and next thing you know Adam and Eve are stepping on thorns and thistles.
What about having “For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.” (Eph 6:15)? Shoes off or shoes on? Do you walk bare-footed in your soul? Or do you need up-tight double knotted security? That’s not easy for us to figure out. We should already know God wants us to spend time with Him but most times in our hurry hurry rush rush world God gets the “quick prayer” we offer to get about our lives. When we REALLY take time with God…not out of desperation or sense of obligation, but in pure communion with the Father, we need to approach Him in humble awe of His holiness (which the “quick prayer” seldom gives us time to contemplate). Funny thing is, when we approach God acknowledging His holiness, He invites us to REST in and with Him. Imagine, “kick off your shoes and sit a spell on my porch swing”. The feeling to even come to God as unworthy stranger is replaced with an invitation to practically sit on your Daddy’s lap. I know some struggle to recognize that tenderness of God. A fearful heart melts with acceptance.
Fears of approach-ment to relieved tears in encroachment, going beyond where you may have place a limit to God.
Moses got such an invite from God at the burning bush:
Then He said, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.” (Exodus 3:5)
God wasn’t trying to reprimand Moses, but to invite him to hear from God the game plan for Israel. Now understand, Moses didn’t and couldn’t look upon God. And at first Moses was afraid but Moses wanted to look upon God. But because God is God and as mankind cannot look upon Him Moses hid his face but the fear faded (not the “fear of God”, as in respect of His Glory, that remained as it should for us) as Moses listened to the game plans of God.
See, it’s funny how there are times in scripture where God told people to “take off your shoes” always followed up with the conditions of the ground…it was HOLY GROUND. Priests carry the vessels of the tabernacle were to do so bare-footed. Priests in the Temple were to perform their tasks bare-footed. Actually Holy Ground? Presence of God more like it. But where God is…it is HOLY. Where we meet God…He welcomes us…onto His Holy Ground…His presence. Take a moment, think on that. Dwell on that. HIS PRESENCE. Don’t read on until that concept sinks in. Do you have a prayer closet or a place of prayer? Do you take off your shoes? Where you meet God…is there a different posture recognizing just Who you are with? When we recognize, acknowledge and honor God for who He is…HOLY…we also find our loving Father.
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30
Are you facing a battle and taking it to God in prayer? Why is it in our Christian walk we are often waiting for “the other shoe to drop” than to wait on the Lord? Think of Joshua before the destruction of Jericho:
And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, “Are You for us or for our adversaries?” So He said, “No, but as Commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, “What does my Lord say to His servant?” Then the Commander of the Lord’s army said to Joshua, “Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy.” And Joshua did so. (Joshua 5:13-15)
In the very next chapter we hear God’s game plan for the battle…talk about some crazy plans. A city fell from plans given at a barefoot meeting with God.
When I first heard the quote from John Pantry I realized God desires me to meet with Him. But when I thought about taking off the shoes I got blown away because for that time with God I am on Holy Ground and the world simply fades away. I don’t have to worry about the world. God wants me to come to Him with the right heart so He can give His game plan to me. I can almost believe we will all be barefoot in the Kingdom of God. We will feel the dew on the morning grass or feel the sand embrace our feet as we walk around. We’ll have no fear of snakes slithering around because I know the cunning one has had his head crushed (Gen 3:15) by the One we will walk with…the One Who’s feet bore the nails at Calvary. The very One, the Rose of Sharon, who took those thorns stepped on by Adam and Eve and wore them as a crown as He gave His life for us.
Afterwards we can pick the shoes back up to continue on our journey. What a better way to prepare than to spend time in His presence. We’ll have time to lace those shoe up and be about our Father’s business, He’s always be waiting for you to kick them off later.
Maybe true security will be best found barefooted and not bound tight and double knotted after all…that would be great for the soul!
Slip off your shoes…