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Take Off Your Sandals

In Exodus 3:5 Moses was at the mountain of Horeb which was known as the mountain of God. God appeared to Moses in a fire from a burning bush that was not consumed by the fire. This got Moses’ attention and he heard the Lord call to him, “Moses, remove your sandals from your feet, for the place that you are standing is holy ground.” God was asking Moses to give up his right to serve and live his own way and to now live life according to God’s ways.

Moses was called to be a deliverer and lead God’s people out of Egypt into freedom for He had seen and heard their cries. Moses was

obedient and fulfilled what God had asked him to do. Then God asked Joshua to take Moses’ place after his death since Joshua was called by God to lead the people across the Jordan into the Promised Land. The Lord said to Joshua, “Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you, just as I spoke to Moses.” (Joshua 1:3) One day after Joshua had crossed the river Jordan and the Israelites were living in the land of Canaan by Jericho he happened to look up and see a man standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked him if he was for their adversaries. “He said, "No, rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the Lord." And Joshua fell on his face to the ground, and bowed down, and said to him. "What has my Lord to say to his servant?" The captain of the Lord of host said to Joshua, "Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy." And Joshua did so.” (Joshua 5:14-15)

Joshua, like Moses, was called to give up his right to his life and to lead the people into battle God's way. This meant Joshua was to let the Lord of host lead in all the battles. Joshua needed to trust in the Lord that He would go before them to defeat their enemies in the Promised Land. We too need to trust the Lord in the daily spiritual battles we face today and be bold and courageous like Joshua and Moses. God may be asking some of us to give up the way we think we should serve and live for Him. We need to take off our shoes and put on His shoes that fit the calling God has given us.

Think about Ruth and Boaz in Ruth 4:5-8. Boaz received the right to marry Ruth when her closest relative gave up the right to Naomi's land and all that belonged to her husband Elimelech and their two sons. “ ... Boaz said, "On the day you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you must also acquire Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of the deceased, in order to raise up a name of the deceased on his inheritance.” The closest relative said, "I cannot redeem it for myself." Now the custom in those days was to remove your sandal and give it to another to attest to the exchange of land. Boaz was able to redeem Ruth because her closet relative gave Boaz his shoe and gave up his right to Naomi’s land.

Jesus Christ is our Redeemer and He has purchased us with His blood. Jesus said in Luke 14:33 we must forsake all to be His disciple. In this transformed life He has given us we must surrender our pride and all self sufficiency; for a contrite heart God will never despise. God has commanded us to put on His whole armour so that we may be able to resist and stand our ground in these evil days (Ephesians 6:13). This includes putting on the right shoes to walk this holy life. This wonderful armour is our protection which helps us keep our position, and live in the delegated power and authority He has given each one of us. We have given our lives to the call of God. The prodigal son in Luke 15:22 received his new shoes when he came to his senses and came back to his father. God is calling us to come and take off our shoes in exchange for His shoes so that we will fulfill His purpose and plan for our lives in our nation of Canada. He is our Lord and Saviour and He is our peace.

- Pastor Carol McLean

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