My family and I aren't people who are going to move about our house in shoes. When we are most comfortable and in our natural habitat, you'll find us with bare feet. No socks are needed in our home! Nothing is worse than stepping onto a clod of mud when you're expecting the fluffy softness of carpet. If only the clod was strictly made of mud; the step can become downright painful when pebbles and sticks are wedged into the mud as well.
It's very easy to get frustrated at my dad over all the mud in the house. I suppose I get most angry when there is mud on the floor literally moments after the room has been vacuumed. I find myself wondering how in the world he can be so insensitive. Last Saturday I found myself dealing with that very frustration. I was alone in my room when I sensed the Holy Spirit tell me that I had been guilty of doing the very same thing.
Whoa! I never walk in places that are muddy and filthy, so I can't possibly be guilty of tracking dirt into anyone's home. Surely there was a mistake in this moment of conviction. But the nudging of my heart wouldn't go away.....and I soon began to understand that I AM guilty.
Our lives are lived daily in a sinful, filthy world. We attempt to keep ourselves as clean as possible from the world's influence, but still we are effected by the evil around us. When we fall into gross sin (what some would call BIG sin), we are very aware and quickly remedy the situation. But there are also those bits of sinfulness that cling to us without notice because we've become unaware of their presence. Issues of pride, materialism, unforgiveness, and anger have become trapped in the tread of our proverbial shoes. Like my dad, we don't realize that we're leaving a trail of filth, but still it remains. The only solution is to remove the shoes and deal with the muddy mess on the bottom.
Like Moses and Joshua, I believe that Christians around the world are being called into the most holy presence of God and instructed to remove their shoes in reverence of His holiness (see Exodus 3:5 and Joshua 5:15). As we come into the very presence of a living God, we become painfully aware of all of our sinfulness and begin to allow the Father to clean us thoroughly.
Jesus Himself walked this earth as a man and understands how powerfully the world attempts to influence us daily. Christ lived as a sinless man and has become our high priest, through whom we are able to find help as we strive to maintain the purity of His presence daily. Let the closing words of Hebrews 4 encourage you as you prepare to remove your muddy shoes in the presence of a holy God.
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are -- yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16, NIV)