Take Off Your Sandals

“Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian, and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. And Moses said, ‘I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.’ When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, ‘Moses, Moses!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ Then he said, ‘Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.'” Exodus 3:1-5

“When Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing before him with his drawn sword in his hand. And Joshua went to him and said to him, ‘Are you for us, or for our adversaries?’ And he said, ‘No; but I am the commander of the army of the Lord. Now I have come.’ And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped and said to him, ‘What does my lord say to his servant?’ And the commander of the Lord’s army said to Joshua, ‘Take off your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.’ And Joshua did so.” Joshua 5:13-15

A place of new calling. A life transition. A fresh beginning. Anointing for leadership. The point of embarking on new territory, taking a new assignment, preparing to conquer. Each is a pivotal moment and place with God, holy ground where He meets with us to undo any dependence on ourselves, any tie to self-interest, and any prejudice about what’s ahead.

Our God calls us to consecration. He knows and meets us as we are- unmasked, honest, free from device, pretense, and manipulation. He delights in confessed sin that He forgives, and broken and contrite hearts that He restores. (Exodus 19:10-11; Psalm 32:5; 51:1-10,17)

The Lord uses those who come unadorned, unfettered to old ways, ingrained habits, and stubborn mindsets. He disdains rebels who shrug Him off, who think themselves holy, too important for Him. He invites our “Here I am” in acknowledgement of His holiness and surrender to His sovereign authority. (Isaiah 65:2,5)

When we approach empty-handed, barefooted, clean and willing, He can fill us with His Spirit, our hands with divine bounty, our mouths with life-giving truth. He will direct our steps in the way we should go, bless our gifts and effort, and empower our will and courage to proceed. (Psalm 32:8; 81:10; Proverbs 3:5-7)

Are there crossroads in my life where I insist on my own way? Where am I unwilling to change, or redirect my endeavors when He calls me to do so? To what patterns and securities am I clinging, and where might He intend to reorient or retrain me?

Lord, may I remove my sandals of self-sufficiency to worship daily at Your footstool, rejoice in all You are, and get in step with Your program, all to the praise of Your glory. (Psalm 132:7-9)

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