For church information contact Marv Walker ~ 706 468-6990


Take Your Sandals Off

Moses was tending his sheep when he saw a bush that burned but was not consumed. When he went to examine it further the voice of God Himself sounded...

Then He said, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.” (Exodus 3:5 NKJV)

While we think of sandals as footwear, sandals can be anything that comes between us and God.

Paul writes to Timothy...

but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. (I Timothy 3:15 NKJV)

In I Corinthians 14 Paul speaks of proper behavior in church and sums it up with...

Let all things be done decently and in order. (I Corinthians 14:40 NKJV)

Consider...

I once saw an episode of Dharma And Greg where Dharma's mother was very ill in the hospital and free spirit child of Hippie parents Dharma ended up in a convertible to whatever belief you may have chapel seeking comfort. A Native American spirit appears and in the course of their conversation she tells the spirit she tells the "Great Spirit" everything.

The spirit replies, "You are in the presence of the Great Spirit and you do all the talking?"

I saw a sign in front of a Methodist church that identified the church at the top and in the "message" area in large letters it said, WANTED: Piano player." And it included something along the lines of, "Call Joe Smith at 555 555-5555." This essentially says, "We are not really interested in whether you agree with us religiously or not, or even whether you are an atheist or not, all we are interested in is how well you play the piano."

I saw an advertisement for people interested in forming a "Spiritual Mimes" performance group to go around to churches and put on performances. Imagine, a group that doesn't speak forming to not speak to churches.

I read on a Baptist church's Facebook page where it was posted that two of the members "were filled with the Spirit" and it was something to see them climbing over the pews.

Mega-churches all have one thing in common, they produce emotions through spectacular occurrences and entertainment and are usually anchored on one person or currently popular activism.

I quote from an article I came across a few years back...

"Ed Dobson is not afraid of dying. It’s the getting there that really scares him.

A former pastor, onetime Christian Right operative and an icon among religious leaders, Dobson has Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. When he was diagnosed, doctors gave him 3 to 5 years to live.

That was 11 years ago.

“I am a tad happy to be talking to you right now,” joked Dobson, whose voice has deteriorated since his preaching days, in a phone interview. Speaking with him feels like being exposed to a brief moment of clarity. He speaks slowly, but with an understated confidence and authority.

As pastor at Calvary Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, a position he held for 18 years, Dobson would regularly preach to 5,000 people or more on Sundays. Back then, Dobson said he looked at himself as a man filled with lessons, proverbs and, most of all, answers.

After retirement six years ago, the massive crowds went away.

Why did the massive crowds go away?

Could it be because of their sandals?

While we think of sandals as footwear, sandals can be anything that comes between us and God.

Then He said, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.” (Exodus 3:5 NKJV)

Feelings can easily be sandals that come between us and God. The massive crowds left because they focused on their feelings rather than on God. They left the church because they felt they weren't getting what they needed from a man. They relied on their feelings.

Doing whatever feels good, or is an emotional accessory, or is not authorized by God, while worshiping Him comes between you and Him.

There is no greater story of redemption in the Bible than the story of Saul in Acts 7:54-58, the stoning of Stephen, the first martyr, how he watched over the clothes of those who were stoning him. Then in Acts 8 we see how he turned persecuting the church into an art form. When he ran out of victims in Jerusalem he then branched out into other cities. In Acts 9, Jesus appears to him on the road to Damascus and Saul finds out the very Jesus whose disciples he was putting into prison, who he knew had been crucified and killed, was alive. Not only was Jesus alive but he had chosen Saul to be one of his apostles.

From then on Saul became one Jesus' greatest servants working for Jesus with the same zeal he spent working against the church.

Then Paul, looking earnestly at the council, said, “Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.” (Acts 23:1 NKJV)

Notice what he said, “I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.”

When he was a murderer and persecutor of the church, he FELT he was doing right. Yet, he was wrong, as wrong as he could be right up until Jesus appeared to him and told him he was wrong. Immediately he then began to do what Jesus told him to do.

Did he feel in his heart he was right? Yes. Was he? No.

The lesson here is that feelings are not dependable. They can change on the spur of the moment. Nowhere are feelings relied on more than religiously; “it feels right, therefore it must be right.” The Bible warns against following feelings and we are to examine our feelings with the Word.

Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified. (Acts 13:5 NKJV)

How do we examine ourselves? Where is the magnifying glass? John 17:17...

Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. (John 17:17 NKJV)

We are set aside for a special purpose, sanctified, made just, by the Word of God, the teachings of Christ.

What if we go outside of the teaching of Christ?

Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. (II John 9 NKJV)

Ever notice Satan doesn't run down the Scriptures? He simply says, “Well, that may be true, but what do you think about this...?”

The denominational world feels all the different religious divisions are just all one big church. Surely somewhere you can find sandals that feel good.

The Bible says otherwise.

10 Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 11 For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you. 12 Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.” 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? (I Corinthians 1:10-13 NKJV)

If Paul was writing today he would be writing...

10 Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 11 For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you. 12 Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Luther (Lutheran),” or “I am of Smyth (Baptist),” or “I am of Wesley (Methodist),” or “I am of Smith (Latter Day Saints/ Mormon).” 13 Is Christ divided? Was Luther (or any other denominational founder) crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Booth (Salvation Army)? (I Corinthians 1:10-13 - paraphrased by Marv Walker)

Friends, throw your sandals off. Shun anything and everything not found in, or based on, the Word of God that is coming between you and God.

If we can be of assistance in any way, feel free to contact us.

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For Further Information Contact Marv Walker 706 468-6990
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