Step Out of Your Shoes!
Moses was instructed to take off his shoes during his stunning encounter with God at the burning bush. [Exodus 3] Why was Moses asked to step out of his shoes? Holy Ground? Yes, but let’s examine this further.
God articulates what He has planned in His conversation with Moses. Nine times God uses “I” or “Me” to indicate what He is going to do. Moses must have thought that was great! “Lord. I am glad you have taken note of the hardship of your chosen people, and that you will now free them from Pharaoh and slavery in Egypt and bring them to the Land of Promise.”
Moses must have been very pleased…until he came to understand that the Lord was going to use him to accomplish His plan. It seems God was saying, “I will step into your shoes, and I will do all this in your shoes.” It was not, “I have a wonderful plan for your life.” It was, “I have a wonderful plan, and you are part of it.”
Similarly, Joshua, alone and vulnerable, was instructed to take off his shoes when the Commander of the Lord’s army instructed Joshua on how he was to take Jericho. Again, God was going to accomplish His plan in Joshua’s shoes. [Joshua 5-6]
Are you willing to take off your shoes and allow the Lord to step into them and use you to accomplish His plan?
There are other images of shoes and feet in scripture, such as “He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; He causes me to stand on the heights.” [Ps 18:33]
In other scriptures we discover the Lord keeps our feet from slipping, and He keeps us on the straight path. Romans 10:15 says, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
God can use you when you allow Him to step into your shoes. See options that are compelling for you at MissionNext.
Nelson is the generic Evangelical baby-boomer. Born in 1946, raised in the C&MA and attended Urbana ’67 in college. He holds an MS degree in Chemical Engineering and worked in R&D positions in American industry for 33 years. Nelson is an inventor with formal training in methods of creative problem-solving. He was a founding elder at Walnut Hill Community Church in Bethel, CT (1982) and served in many leadership capacities of what is now one of the largest Evangelical churches in New England. In 1998 Nelson founded the Finishers Project, now MissionNext, and serves in program development. Locally he attends a Torah study and is chairman of the sewer commission to serve among unchurched leaders.
This is a very insightful article. I’m glad to have found your blog. Keep posting articles that require thoughtful reflection. Best regards
Nine times God used “I” or “me” in Exodus 3 should be explained by the writer. God bless you all.
The point of the mention of God starting out the discussion with Moses with “I” or “me” is that all this was fine with Moses. When God tasked Moses with an assignment, he resisted. Moses did not what to get involved. But God was saying to him: You are part of my master plan. In the same way we are part of the Master’s plan to make disciples of the nations. Just like Moses, most among us in America, the Disney Land of the World, what to stay put. But instead our assignment is to “make disciples of the nations.” That is no small task. But we have a big God. God is able to use any of us to equip those in other nations to equip their own to expand the kingdom. We just have to be willing, even if, like Moses, we are reluctantly willing.
Yes, I am still at it. I turn 70 this Feb. and am still energized by all the work we are helping to do in the Kingdom. My focus is still in China with our BAM facility in Suzhou. I also have been assisting and advising our micro-finance group in Nairobi. We currently have over 1100 clients, mostly very poor women. We do it as a part of our holistic ministry effort, education (4500 kids in 6-7 schools) healthcare, and church planting. I am still frustrated at the greatest waste of human resources in how some retired Christians spend their time on the golf course, cruises etc. Keep up the good work!