What do Acts 7:33, Exodus 3:5 and Joshua 5:15 have in common? In each, the Lord says …
“Take off your shoes. The place where you’re standing is holy ground!”
Taking off your shoes is important for three reasons.
1. Stopping what you’re doing – Being inconvenienced is necessary. You have to sit down to take your shoes off. That means pausing . . . stopping your push for progress. None of these events happened at bedside or bedtime, so the men involved were going to have to put their shoes back on. More importantly, it required acknowledging God AND obeying God. It meant you had to believe what you were hearing and Who you were hearing it from. And you had to demonstrate your belief by doing something the world would think was stupid.
2. Dropping your guard – Remove your protection . . . take off your shoes and you won’t run off, at least not quickly. There’s nothing hard left between the rocky ground of your circumstances and the tender soles of your feet. Between the tender soul of your heart and the tender heart of God.
3. God is present – When God chooses to speak to you . . . to bring you into His presence so He can let you know something important, you’ll always remember the place it happened. It may mean nothing to anyone else, but for you it’s ‘holy ground’. Always will be. The Old Testament Jews built altars at those places so they (and their descendants) would never forget what God said or did there.
The back yard of our first home here in Roswell Georgia was ‘holy ground’. That’s where I first met God. Oh, He’d been around me for a long time, protecting me, convicting me, calling me. I’d just shut Him out – until that night 31 years ago when His love overtook me and I surrendered. “I believe in you Jesus” I said. “I accept your forgiveness. I’m yours . . . no matter what. It’s you and me God, you and me. From here on out . . . no matter what happens . . . it’s you and me.”
John Lynch describes his ‘holy ground’ experience:
“Suddenly, conversation with God starts with one, inaudible, but loudly perceived word:
It’s my impetus to move forward. I have no idea into what. I only know it’s time to tell God what I now believe.
In the last few weeks I’ve thought about where it would happen – the moment I’d tell him I’m all in. Should I go into a church? Maybe go up Camelback Mountain and shout it into the night air. Now the moment has come and I’m sitting on a thrift store mattress in this dingy, bare, lonely guesthouse, which floods each time it rains. It’s the perfect place to represent the end of things. The end of my running from Him, the end of self-protection, of self-destruction, the end of fear, of pretending to be the victim of what I have mostly caused.”
Awakening: I have never been more authentically real than the moment I ask God in. It must overwhelm Him to have His love finally received.”1
Holy ground. In a dingy guesthouse. In a backyard.
Where’s your ‘holy ground’? Can you remember when and where you received His love for the first time in an authentic, grown-up way? If you can’t remember, your “Now” moment may be ahead instead of behind.
Question: What holds you back from going ‘all in’? Will you respond when He says “Now”? Will you take your shoes off? Tell us here.
1. On My Worst Day – John Lynch, CrossSection, San Clemente, CA, 2013, page 67
ACTIVATE THE MEN IN YOUR CHURCH
Small group mentoring can help you engage your men, build your core group of leaders, and transform your church. Our free resources equip you with all the tools you need to launch a sustainable mentoring program.