Luke 24:39,40 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as you see me have, and when he had thus spoken, he showed them his hands and his feet.
It’s funny to me in realizing that whatever God choses for me to write about and share with you, I end up living it or experiencing it in some peculiar way! In my last writing, I conveyed the importance of using our hands in service to the Lord. I also shared with you how God chose to meet a need that I had by using the hands of another to serve me! Well, believe it or not, this week I needed FEET! Or perhaps I should call them wheels! I had scheduled a very important meeting with the superintendent of my school district and the air suspension motor on my car finally gave up the ghost! The backend of my car was maybe five inches off of the ground. There was no way I was going to be able to drive it an hour to the meeting and then another hour back and on already rough roads! I would be bounced to death and probably damage my car. What would I do? My parents were out of town, Brian had to have his company car for work, and my in-laws are already down to one car and I could not ask them to be without. Remember, last writing I said that I wasn’t very good at asking for help? I decided the best way to solve my problem was to rent a car for the day! That was taking matters into my own hands and solving my own problem no matter how much it would cost me to rent! God had yet a different plan! As God always does, He proved Himself faithful to me, yet again! With much surprise, (why am I always surprised at how God works?) after I had already decided to rent and not bother anyone with my problem, my dear friend, surely prompted by the Father, offered her car! It was a double fold blessing! I didn’t have to rent and my time was spared, too! I giggled to myself as I drove to my meeting knowing that I was going to write you about FEET.
So what about feet? How does this little story relate?
Remember that extremities are defined as:
My friend was being the feet of Jesus to me! She gave what she had, without reserve, in service to me, through Him! And that is as it should be with Christians, to serve and love others with a willing heart, using hands, feet, words, or whatever means God provides for the moment.
Let’s take a closer look at our feet to discover spiritual truths about walking and running our race as a believer.
The Foot – It carries the whole of the weight – likewise; be the foot, carry one another’s burden.
Fun Foot Fact - Did you know that your foot contains 26 bones, 33 joints, more than 100 tendons, muscles, and ligaments, and a whopping 250,000 sweat glands? That may seem like a lot of anatomy in a relatively small package, but then again, your feet are charged with the very important task of supporting the entire body. How well do you help support the body of Christ? I implore you to think of others more highly than yourself. Be the feet of Christ and carry the Good News to the lost, walk with those who are going through a difficult season, or carry another's burden.
“Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2
The Toes – They provide balance – we must have a life of balance before we can properly be the feet of Jesus. (SCHEDULE) I just came across an interesting perspective that I thought I’d share. In order to have a spiritually balanced life it is recommended that one should SCHEDULE!
S - Spiritual planning calls us to not only focus on what is on our horizontal viewpoint (i.e. earthly) but also to look upward at the spiritual world (i.e. heavenly). Like the shape of the cross.
C – Christ Centered planning - Is He directing your steps?
H – use a “Helpful” planner – write times down! Plan time that is open – space to allow for ministry
E - Edify and encourage one another
D – Disciplines – habits of prayer, Bible study, meditating
U – Useful hints: think about your growth, helping others, you spiritual calling, getting enough sleep, sacrificing, resolving relational tension, and rest.
L – Limit your scheduling – Don’t be afraid to say no! Don’t take on someone’s else’s schedule, (ie David putting on the armor of King Saul) it’s not designed for you.
E – Elasticity – be flexible – change directions if necessary.
The Christian life demands much balance and we must think and act accordingly.
Fun Toe Fact - A reoccurring turf toe injury, where a toe is hyperextended, forced Jack Lambert (NFL Linebacker) to exit the league in 1984.
A simple sprang can put you on the sideline! Don't over extend!
Fun Foot Fact - The shape of the foot is no accident. It has many small bones, not because it’s weak, but because it’s strong, like a suspension bridge. Each of those pieces work together in unison to absorb shock, and spring back.
The Arch – Like a bridge, it provides strength. Are we strong in our beliefs? Are helping others cross the bridge from sin and death to new life? Are we strong enough to help support others?
Ephesians 6: 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.
Also when we “feed my sheep,” that also strengthens others as we teach, encourage, and admonish them. We are to build up or encourage one another, help make others strong. Read 1 Thess. 5:11
The Sole – It is the foundation with which to stand firm. It determines your posture! What is the condition of your “sole - soul?” Is it soft – can you feel every little discomfort from uneasy and rough roads, are there sharp rocks on your path causing feelings of woundedness, bruised, hurt, or brokenness?? Or, is my sole firm and calloused, able to walk through anything because the Lord works as your protector, keeping you from experiencing pain caused by hurtful words or actions imparted by others? Or, is it so calloused that nothing calls attention to it. Do I even care? Am I tender-hearted? Think about that one for a few minutes! What does a calloused soul mean to you?
11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.…
During our women’s summer Bible study at church this week, the scripture from Hebrews hit home for me! As I began to think about my blog topic, I realized that there is so much more to consider when writing about feet! Yes, this scripture is about a form of feet and what they do…RUN! (I told you God seems to always put me into some circumstance before I write about it!)
"Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." Hebrews 12: 1-3 ESV
There are times in life that I find myself running away from something, running to something other than God’s best for me, and there are times when I no longer run at all. I’m at a standstill…paralyzed! It’s hard to be mobile or run the race when our feet are in pain. Perhaps your heels are cracked or you have blisters. These represent those random occurrences of painful events (wounds) in our lives. You try to put a healing salve on them and they temporarily heal. But after a period of time, they seem to crack in the same place again or other blisters occur.
Maybe there is deep inner pain. I have struggled with plantar fasciitis for many years. Which, pretty much (when not taken care of early) is crippling. You don’t really notice it when you are busy on your feet all the time and never stopping. Once you finally rest or get "knocked off" of your feet, you realize that you should have not gotten yourself into this mess in the first place. Staying on your feet, busyness, not taking time for REST or HEALING is dangerous. You must take time to take care of your feet. When there is pain in my feet, I cannot concentrate on anything – I totally shut down! It’s hard to be mobile with hurting feet; likewise, it is hard to be mobile for service when we have a heavy or wounded heart. So I ask again, “What is the condition of your sole…(soul)? Does it affect your posture?
Look to Jesus, He is the perfecter of our faith. Perhaps your posture should be that of kneeling instead of limping along. Take your feet to a specialist! When my feet are equipped with support from my orthotics (metaphorically: standing on the Word of God), and surrounded by thick cushy socks (prayer from trusted friends), and enveloped by a snuggly fitted shoe (empowered by the Holy Spirit), I find that my race, my journey, my goal, my mission, and my means of service to others becomes one that is attainable, joyful, and purposeful. I must admit, there are times that I don’t feel like running, and the longer I stay off of my feet, the harder it is to get going. If you have struggled with plantar issues, you can relate!
Likewise, if I mope around, self-centered, and not intentional about God’s call or purpose for my life, I find myself as though my feet are stuck in mud. Everything gets messy! I need to be pulled out, cleaned up, and set on track yet again! Sometimes I need the nudge from a friend to push me along or help in pulling me out!
"He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; Many will see and fear And will trust in the LORD. How blessed is the man who has made the LORD his trust..." Psalm 40:2-4a
I want to leave you today encouraged. Run the race that He has laid out before you, keep your eyes on Jesus, and lay aside every weight that ties you up and pulls you down. And lastly, consider Jesus, who has endured so much. Consider Him so that you will not grow weary or lose heart.
God gave us 5 toes to help us walk and run. He gave me 5 points (one for each toe) to share with you.
1. Big Toe – Walk in the Spirit – It’s the most important thing to do.
For it you are walking in the Spirit, you need not worry about many things. Gal. 5:16-25
2. Walk NOT in the council of the ungodly – Ps.1
3. Walk in wisdom – Col.4:5
4. Walk the same way Jesus walked - I Jn. 2:6
5. Walk NOT alone – Ecc. 4: 9,10 Everyone needs another with whom they can journey and
Just my pondering: (a little Lagniappe)
I had this thought the other day. After Jesus' death on the cross and the resurrection, our sin is washed away and we are made white as snow if we trust Christ as Savior, making us ready to walk in step with Him, for service and Kingdom purposes. Pre-crucifixion, Jesus washed the disciples feet. They already "walked in step with Him" but He washed their feet...he prepared them to go...serve...minister...
And of course, He did this to set an example.
14 If I then, your Master and Rabbi, have washed your feet,
it is also your duty to wash one another’s feet.
15 For I have set you an example in order that
you may do what I have done to you. (John 13)
I believe that the example was not only an example of humility, or that we should literally wash one another's feet, but that we should serve one another, with no thought to our standing or position...no one is greater than another! (vs 16)
In the Old Testament tabernacle, we find a striking picture of this need for washing. Before entering the Holy Place to represent the people before God, the priest would first stop at the bronze alter where an innocent animal would be offered as a sacrifice for his own sin and for the sin of the people. Then he would move to a bronze basin – the laver – where he would wash his hands, returning to the laver throughout the day as he performed his sacred duties.
What can we learn from this cleansing ritual? Obviously, you and I do not always live up to our holy position and prospect. We live in a corrupt world; we inhabit a contaminated flesh; we have a way of getting our spiritual feet, hands, and clothes soiled from the temptations and rigors of the day. So we, too, when we come into God’s presence – though our sin has been blotted out by the blood of Christ – must come to the “laver” to wash our hands and feet of whatever may have defiled us, being purified by the pure “water” of His Word.
That is why, as I open His Word and begin to read, I often pray: “Lord, wash me with Your Word.”
So let us frequently ask the Holy Spirit – before and after reading the Scripture, and throughout the day – to apply His Word to our hearts, cleansing and purifying us of all sin. “Sanctify [us] in the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:17).
What has His Word revealed in your heart recently? Be quick to agree with Him, humbly confess any sin, appropriate His cleansing grace, and rise up to serve Him in the freedom and joy of a pure heart.
Walk to honor God, walk to serve your neighbor, walk to tell the Good News of Jesus Christ, walk with confidence that He who has begun a good work in you will be faithful to complete it! (Phil. 1:6)
Walking with you for His Kingdom purposes,
Resource for SCHEDULE: http://www.foundationsforfreedom.net/Topics/Disciple/Scheduling/Scheduling_intro_S.html
The Quiet Place by Nancy Leigh DeMoss (Cleansing Properties)
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