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Luke 10:3-4 Go! …Do not take… sandals.
I love to go barefoot in the summertime. I love sand between my toes. But going shoeless has a much deeper meaning.
Think about it. We wear shoes to protect our feet. Removing your shoes makes you vulnerable. Symbolically, biblical characters would remove their shoes in obedience to God. It demonstrated their willingness to give up their rights and to be vulnerable. It's like removing shoe leather that protects the heart. When we "go barefoot," we gain greater intimacy with God.
David wept when his son led a rebellion to take over the kingdom of Israel. When he walked out of his kingdom, his “head was covered, and he went barefoot.” (2 Sam. 15:30) David was guilty of adultery and murder. Therefore, he denied himself the right to fight for the throne. But because he gave up his rights, God promised David a kingdom that would never end.
Each of us has rights as citizens of our nations. We also have a right to food, water, clothing, family, and home. But when we hold too tightly to our rights, we often do so at the expense of a relationship with God and others.
Here's the thing. You cannot enjoy intimate relationships with anyone without giving up rights.
God gave us mothers as a perfect example. They deny their rights when they carry us in their bodies for nine months, suffer labor, and bleed. Then, when we are born, they wake up all hours to tend to our needs as helpless babies who can do nothing in return but smile and poop!
Denying rights is about winning and losing, but not the way you think. We may try to win by holding tightly to our rights, but then we lose real relationships. Suppose we refuse to relinquish our rights to comforts, privacy, time, money, and even the right to offer our opinion. Those who fail to give up their rights cannot enjoy being around people, including family, neighbors, and strangers seeking friendships.
Moses was told to take his shoes off when he met God at the burning bush (Exo. 3:1-10). When he obeyed, his feet were unprotected. He became vulnerable. He was told he stood on holy ground. It was a moment of intimate connection with a holy God.
What is intimacy? It's being close enough to hear the heart of another person. Moses came close enough to hear God share his breaking heart over the suffering children of Israel.
Going barefoot is a sign of a person who has given up their rights to become an intimate friend of God.
Jesus went barefoot. He gave up his rights more than any other. Jesus gave up the glories of heaven for less than a foxhole. Jesus because he laid down his life for us (John 10:17). Jesus came to show us the Father. When we give up our rights, we also help others to know God. Let’s go barefoot!