Take Off Your Shoes

Michele and I owned a mobile home when we were students at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. The church I was later called to had a parsonage so we sold the mobile home to a precious Korean family.

We noticed when we were showing them the trailer that they always took their shoes off when entering. We wore our shoes inside. The carpet was old and worn out anyway. Plus, it wasn’t our custom to take off our shoes.

After selling the trailer and transferring the title, I needed to go back to pick up some mail that had been delivered there.

Michele said, “Take off your shoes if you go in.”

I said, “I’m not going to do that. That’s silly. I’ve walked on that carpet more than 500 times in my shoes. It’s no different now.”

Michele said, “It’s their carpet now. Take off your shoes.”

When I got there, I found racks out on the deck. Every pair of shoes that family owned were on those racks. So, I took off my shoes.

Taking off the shoes in God’s presence reminds us they have dirt and dust on them, and the place and presence of God are not to be defiled. This symbolic action points to the powerful reality of God’s presence.

God is not someone you can be “chummy” with. One of the glaring limitations of many modern expressions of the Christian faith is that God is domesticated, reduced to a good friend next door – or “the man upstairs” who is always there to attend not only to our needs but to our wants. Inevitably, this God is pictured as the One who guarantees success and happiness.

The relationship God demands with His people is expressed in covenant,

"For I am the LORD your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy." Leviticus 11:44

The Bible tells us that when Moses was confronted with God’s holiness, he hid his face, realizing his own sinfulness and God’s holiness. 

Then He said, "Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground." And He said, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. Exodus 3:5-6

God’s holiness is most revealed in His word. Spend time in God’s word today, and keep moving forward!