One of the stories I love most in the bible is the story of Moses and the Burning Bush. This story represents so many things to me; The unfathomable creativity of God…a call to come higher in the walk with God…the beginning of the deliverance of the children of Israel.
One thing I could never wrap my head around was why God asked Moses to take off his sandals!
Do not come any closer, God said. “Take of your sandals for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Exodus 3:5
When people are asked to take off their shoes before coming into a house, it’s usually to prevent them from tracking dirt from outside around the clean house. But Moses was already outside, in the desert. I’m pretty sure the floor couldn’t have gotten any dirtier.
So I believe this was not about the physical ground. It was just the backside of the desert, there wasn’t anything special about the ground there. It was the presence of the Lord that made it holy.
So what was this whole “taking off shoes” business all about? What did it mean? Well, that’s what I would like to share with you today.
- The encounter with the burning bush was a significant turning point in Moses’ life. Prior to that, he had to run away from a place he had called home all his adult life (40 years!) to live in the middle of a desert land. To make matters worse, he was living under the roof of his Father-in-law. I’m sure you would agree that it had been a rough couple of years for Moses. In the middle of all the turmoil, the burning bush experience was where he discovered purpose, it was where he discovered what he had been born to do in his generation. It was the defining moment where he had to take a leap of faith and step out of his comfort zone.
Perhaps, there are some of us in a similar situation right now. The Lord is calling you to draw nearer and sink deeper into your relationship with him. Perhaps, you have discovered what God would have you do with your life. I guess it’s time to “take of your shoes.”
“Taking off your shoes” typifies stepping out from behind the protective walls that life has made you set up in your heart and yielding completely to God, allowing His Spirit to dominate your entire being. It means consecrating yourself for the master’s use, putting aside all the things (achievements, mistakes, faults, family background, e.t.c.) that are standing between you and your maker.
I would like to draw 3 comparisons between taking off your shoes physically and taking off your shoes spiritually to put things into perspective.
1. You can’t go anywhere as please: When you aren’t wearing shoes you can’t just step anywhere, right? You would avoid sharp objects like rocks or broken glass at all cost. In the same way, as we walk closer and deeper with God we can’t do as we please. There are certain places we shouldn’t be and certain things we shouldn’t do. Even as we make our decisions, we need to constantly consult the spirit of God to help us, so that we do not make costly mistakes.
3. You are more sensitive to the ground beneath you: You are able to feel the texture of the ground better when you aren’t wearing shoes. I feel this is one of the most important points. As we draw nearer to God, we become more sensitive to the spirit of God and more aware of the things that are going on around us so that we can stand in the gap and intercede for those that God has placed in our spheres of influence.
4. When you step on a sharp object, it hurts more: If we are injured while we aren’t wearing shoes it usually hurts more. So also, even as we draw nearer to God, more is expected of us and when we do the things that we used to do before the Holy Spirit convicts us deeply. Even then let us be quick to repent and come back to the feet of the Father.
There will always be a limit to how close we can come to God until we “take off our shoes.” But I believe that the Lord is calling us to come up higher in our walk with Him in this year. Perhaps, the prospects look scary and illogical. Perhaps we have gotten quite comfortable where we are and we don’t want other people to look at us like we are crazy. But remember the same God who has called you is able to keep you.
“11 For He will give His angels charge concerning you, To guard you in all your ways. 12 They will bear you up in their hands, That you do not strike your foot against a stone.” Psalm 91:11-12
Just imagine what would have happened to the children of Isreal, if Moses had been stubborn and refused to take off shoes. We all have a debt we owe our generation, a debt that can only be paid adequately if we “take off our shoes”, draw nearer to our maker and walk in the calling of God for our lives.
Thank you for reading, I hope you’ve been blessed.
Written By: Ayowade Adeleye (through the revelation and inspiration of the Holy Spirit).