Then He said, "Do not come near here; remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground." Exodus 3:5 (NASB)
Our church is currently in a season of prayer and fasting. The primary focus of the prayers has been "repentance." The word repent means to "turn away." As we fast and confess the sins that the Holy Spirit reveals to us, we are so convicted, that it causes us to no longer desire the former things. I can personally say that there are things in my life that I never gave thought to that the Spirit of God is showing me the error of. Needless to say, there are drastic changes occurring in our congregation at every meeting. These are the results that transpire when humanity interacts with Divinity.
One such occurrence happened in an isolated area of land in the third chapter of Exodus. Moses is going about his regular activities by tending the flocks of his father-in-law, Jethro. It is at that time that God begins to speak to him after getting his attention via a bush that is on fire, yet never burns up. God tells Moses, "remove your sandals." Before Moses has time to ask why, Jehovah explains that the ground where Moses stands is "holy".
What caused that ground to become hallowed? The obvious conclusion would be the presence of God. Any other day and at any other time, it was just dirt. But, when Divinity showed up, the ordinary became sacred. Considering all that is going on in the passage, Moses did not seem to think twice about removing his shoes. His actions set a wonderful example for all that encounter the, "I AM."
In examining the text, the sandals represent anything that acts as a barrier between man and God's manifested presence. Those sandals could have been Moses' favorites, but in the presence of God they must go. God may never tell you to take off your shoes; however, as we are learning in our congregational prayers, He will ask you to remove other things. He has said, "remove your pride, arrogance and unforgiveness. Take away your, fornication, whoredom, and idolatry." Because the anointing is so great, compliance comes swiftly.
After Moses' encounter, he was ready to begin ministry. Our problems stem from the fact that we began ministry FIRST, Now we have to go backwards to remove the offending articles.
It is a common theme throughout scripture for God to tell the people to remove things that are not worthy of His presence. Yes, He could force them off, but the command has been to "sanctify yourselves." We see this in such passages as, Joshua 3:5, Leviticus 11:44 and 1 Samuel 16:5. When we remove the accursed thing, (Joshua 7:13) we find that graces flow freely in our midst.
God is calling for the Body of Christ to remove ANYTHING that serves as barriers to Him.
you return, O Israel, declares
to me you should return.
If you remove your detestable things from my presence,
and do not waver,
and if you swear, 'As the Lord lives,'
in truth, in justice, and in righteousness,
then nations shall bless themselves in him,
and in him shall they glory."
Jeremiah 4:1-2 (ESV)