This morning, I was thinking about when Moses first saw the burning bush in Exodus 3. After calling to Moses, God then tells him, “Do not come near here; remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground” (3:5).
My usual reaction to this verse is something like, “Since God’s holy, when Moses took off his sandals, it was like leaving behind the dirt, the grime, the sin of the world.”
But this morning I was thinking about how the removal of the sandals removed the barrier between man and what is holy. With no sandals on his feet, Moses touched holy ground… with his bare skin.
God came to us in full holiness, but he came to us. Do we really understand the power in this? Jesus–God of God, light of light, the Holy One–came to us, removing all separation between our mortal selves and his immortality. He ripped the sandals off my feet and forced me to step into his holy ground, getting his holiness on me.
The second thing that struck me during my quiet time comes from the book of 1 Samuel. It’s a story I’ve read and re-read many times, one that has encouraged me on countless occasions. It’s the story of Jonathan and his armor-bearer, how they went and took out an entire garrison, just the two of them, with one sword between them. It’s a pretty sweet story, and you should definitely read it for yourself in 1 Samuel 14. (If you don’t like reading, you can always check out The Brick Testament’s version here.)
I noticed some new things this time around.
I noticed this time that Jonathan didn’t take as great a step of faith as I normally think. He didn’t tell his dad what he was doing, meaning he was only endangering himself and his armor-bearer. He didn’t attack the entire army, just a garrison (20 to 50 soldiers is my guess), so he wasn’t ticking offeverybody. He didn’t go straight up to attack them but instead snuck in strategically through the cliffs and crags. He didn’t even head in to attack right away but waited until God gave a pretty clear signal for them to go ahead. He wasn’t even really risking that much, just two lives; he had no family to support, no nation to rule, no army that could die if he made a wrong choice. It was a brave, praise-worthy, gutsy, daring, bold thing to do, but it was just one little, mustard-seed step of faith.
Faith is at different levels, and God loves any time we act in whatever level of faith we find ourselves. Maybe my trust level is at a level 9, not a 99. God rewards the 9, and he loves it. He wants to grow my faith level, so there will be some tension and discomfort, but he does not expect me to act like a level 99 when I’m only a level 9.
Now, check out how God rewards this small act of faith on Jonathan’s part: (1) his dad and the army with him get psyched and join the battle (14:20); (2) the Jews who had previously deserted to join the Philistines turn and join the battle on Israel’s side (14:21); and (3) the Jews who were hiding in caves for fear of their lives get up and run to join in the fight (14:22).
Three types of people are stirred back to action and right relationship with the people of God and the move of his Kingdom: those awake but merely watching and waiting; those living for the benefit of their own enemy; and those simply afraid.
I think of what God can do with one guy who takes a step of faith here in Bucureşti. What Christians would be stirred to action who have seen the trouble around them but simply stood about doing nothing, waiting for a miracle? How many believers would be released from sin and Satan’s oppression by one man’s obedience? What people would rise up with boldness and run from the shame of hiding?
I wanna take that step of faith that ignites the people around me. Lord, help me to be bold and obedient!
There was one other thing I spent a lot of time thinking about, but I can’t remember what it was, and it’s getting late. Good night!