Sunday, March 20, 2016

Standing on Holy Ground

UV 1704/10000 Standing on Holy Ground
• And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.
Exodus 3 v 5

The angel of the Lord warned Moses as he approached not to come any nearer as he was standing on holy ground. The presence of the Lord in any place or vocation makes that place or vocation holy ground We need to come before the awesome presence of the Lord with reverence. When we realize that we are always filled with the immanent presence of the One called Immanuel, we should always offer our lives and our bodies as a living sacrifice, our words and our works should be worthy of being a sacrifice consecrated to the Lord. In the law revealed to Moses, no animal could touch holy ground like the mountain on which Moses communed with the Lord. There were clear boundaries between man, animal and God. Taking off the shoes is a symbol of the inadequacy of anything man-made before the Lord. We need to come before Him without any pretence, with complete sincerity and devotion. We stand naked and exposed before Him even as our feet are naked without shoes. The shoes are also made from leather that is obtained by tearing it off the flesh of horses and other such animals with a tough hide. It was in contact with blood. The shoes are to be removed as a sign that we are entering His presence not on the merits of our own flesh and blood but the shed blood of Jesus that was sacrificed once and for all humanity. By the grace of Jesus we can enter the presence of the Lord boldly not as sinners but as redeemed children of the Lord. Hereafter, whatever we touch is not only holy or sacred and dedicated to the Lord but it is redeemed. The ground we stand on is not only holy but it is redeemed from the curse that the Lord had put on it when Adam first sinned. We can now draw near to the Lord such that He is closer to us than our own skin.

We cannot come before the Lord with any veneer of status or a sense of our own identity apart from Him. Our shoes are a symbol of anything extraneous that interferes with our deep oneness and intimacy with the Lord. Moses did not present before the Lord any claim to fame, any title, any achievement or ability that he had. He came before the Lord a broken and humble man with no high ambition. We too need to come before the Lord with a sense of our brokenness, our emptiness and a consciousness of God’s power, mercy and grace that can fill us even as we empty ourselves of sin, vanity and pride.

Our lives, our professions, our families are the holy ground on which we stand. Do we stand for the Lord in these places and situations? Do we submit ourselves completely in these places for the Lord to act in us and through us to fulfil His greater purpose or are we engrossed and lost in the wilderness of pursuing our own desires, dreams and ambitions? The removal of shoes from the feet in response to the command was an act of submission. Submission is a sign of total love, obedience and trust of the Lord. Every morning after I finish my meditation on an uni-verse I lie flat on my face as a sign of submitting my entire day, family, life and work to the Lord.

Prateep V Philip

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