When Moses heard the voice of God come from the burning bush, he was surprised at what God asked him to do: “Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground” (Exodus 3:5). God tells every Christian today the same thing He told Moses: “There is only one ground upon which you can approach Me and that is holy ground. You can have no confidence in your flesh because no flesh will stand in My presence.”
Why did God focus on shoes in the Exodus passage? What does that have to do with putting off the flesh? Our feet are tender parts of our body and shoes are a protection of our flesh. They protect us from the elements, from stones, from snakes, from filth and dust, from the hot pavement.
So to Moses, God was using an everyday, ordinary thing to teach a spiritual lesson, just as Jesus did later using coins, pearls, camels and mustard seeds. God was saying, “Moses, you wear protective garb to keep your flesh from injury but no amount of fleshly protection will be able to keep you. Where I am about to send you will require a miracle of deliverance.”
Where was God sending Moses? Into Egypt — that den of iniquity — to face a hardened dictator. Moses had to put aside all reliance on his flesh: his meekness, zeal and humility. All his abilities would be worthless unless God sanctified them. Moses had to put his total trust in God’s name and power.
Indeed, Moses faced all kinds of tests and trials. He was about to lead some three million people into the desert where there was no place to buy food or no place to obtain water. He would have to depend wholly on God for everything!
God would ask the same question to us as He asked Moses. Are we willing to put down our own abilities and ambitions and trust wholly in Him? Will we put all our confidence in Him instead of in our own gifts and plans?