This is something I've been struggling with but found great encouragement last night and wanted to share for those of you that might be struggling with as well. It blessed me, may it do the same for you.
When I put on a pair of shoes, it usually means I intend to go somewhere. I have direction; I have a purpose. If I put on shoes, I have a plan to do something.
Lately, I've been struggling with where exactly my shoes should go next. I stand here and look at all the opportunities in front of me. They are vast, and many are bright. Others are darkened, clouded, and the path unsure. Others are more bright and bustling then I had hoped for, too much for my tastes.
My biggest problem is I think too much. Before I do anything I analyze how it works and why on earth I'd even want to do it. I weigh the risks and benefits and then, and only then, make my decision. I have logic and I have follow through. Logic is the arch enemy of faith. No, logic is not bad, too much of it drives faith into the water. The substance of things hoped for and evidence of things not seen becomes "analyze everything and don't believe it till you see it." I frustrate myself. My shoes want to have the route mapped out first.
Last night though, I found encouragement in the story of Moses and the burning bush in Exodus. Moses is minding his daily business and sees this bush burning. He is curious, so he says to himself, 'I'm going to go over here and see what on earth is going on' (paraphrased). God notices that He has Moses' attention so He calls to Moses. Moses responds, "Here am I." The next line in this script is what caught my eye:
And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet , for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.
So many meanings carried in that one sentence all pointing to the glory of God. The one I applied to me, "Jessica, take off your shoes, you are dealing with Me now. Don't come to Me with an agenda. I am God. I love you. I have a plan for you. I have a purpose for you, but you have to get rid of your own plans, purposes, and intentions first." Ouch.
Along with being logical, I am selfish (aren't we all). If logic is the arch enemy of faith, selfishness is the arch enemy of obedience, and pride, which I know is mixed in there somewhere, is the arch enemy of service. All in all, I'm not scoring too well.
Take off your shoes.
I love the rest of this story because God tells Moses what He wants him to do and Moses isn't exceedingly thrilled. I could tell you what my reaction would be/is: "Ahem, excuse me, I'm sorry but I really think You have the wrong person." Which, if you really focus on the majesty and the sovereignty of God, is a very foolish thing to say. I know I say it... alot.
Further into the story of Moses: Exodus 4. Moses is to go before Pharoah and give the "let My people go" speech. AFTER, talk about being thick-headed, after God shows Moses all these miracles, Moses is afraid to speak. God has changed a piece of wood into a snake and back again. He has given Moses a two minute bout with leprosy and tells him of a third miracle if Moses should need it.
You would think, if you were Moses, that that would be enough. To know that you have the power of an Almighty God behind you would be enough to go blazing into Pharoah's palace without fear and demand that he release the children of God. Yet, Moses' response is, "But God I'm not a good speaker." So, God reminds Moses of exactly Who it is that is calling him.
And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD? Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.
I call these Almighty two-by-fours because I know sometimes I just don't get it and I need to get hit with one.
Moses still doesn't get it and asks God to use someone else! Next verse:
And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses
and God picks Aaron.
Not a good spot for Moses. Not a good spot at all. I tremble to think how many times I have been in the same spot though. If God wants something done, it will get done; that's how it is. We can choose to be vessels for His power or we can choose to run our own course and miss out on the blessing of being used.
It's time to take off our shoes.