Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.” When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.” “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God. (Exodus 3:1-6 NIV)
I have read the passage above more times than I care to count. And every time I wondered why Moses had to take his shoes off. This morning was no exception. This piece was in my reading plan for today and when I read it, again I paused and wondered…. Why did God instruct Moses to take his shoes off. This morning was different though. This morning I actually waited for God to answer my question.
Why do we wear shoes? We wear shoes to protect our feet from the harsh environment. We wear shoes to meet social expectations – people will frown on us if we go to work with a suit and no shoes. We wear shoes to be fashionable and acceptable to other people. We wear shoes to be comfortable.
The shoes Moses had on his feet, represent our own plans and precautions. It represents the things we think up and do to protect ourselves. The things we do to impress other people. The things we do out of the fear of man, the things we do because of our comfort zones. And guess what – as long as we wear those shoes, we cannot fulfill the calling on our lives. We first have to get to a place where we are ready to take off our shoes and stand barefoot before God. Only then, can He take us on new path, to achieve what He has planned for us.
We cannot fulfill God’s plans while we cling to our comfort zones. We cannot fulfill God’s plans while social acceptance is more important to us than obedience to God. We cannot fulfill God’s plans while we are making our own plans. We will never achieve the greatness God has planned for us, as long as we hold on to our own dreams. Moses was willing to just look after the sheep of his father in law. God’s plan was much bigger. He had to look after the entire Israel. Our plans pale in comparison to God’s plans.
Take off your shoes today. Go to God barefoot, stripped of all your plans and expectations. Go with nothing. You will find yourself in a holy place with fresh revelation from God’s heart.