Sunday, April 8, 2012

Holy Ground

Holy Ground
April 9, 2012
Exodus 3:5 "'Do not come any closer," God said. "Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.'"

Moses had an encounter with the Lord during the famous story of the burning bush. If you recall the story, Moses saw the bush burning on the mountain top but the bush was never consumed by the fire; it simply kept burning. Intrigued by the sight, Moses ventured up to the mountain top for an investigation. He saw the burning bush and the Lord spoke to him from within the fire. The Lord told Moses to take off his sandals because he was standing on holy ground. It is curious as to why the Lord would call that particular patch of soil and rock, "holy ground." If anything should have been considered holy, it would have been the bush, since it was so unique. But the soil, it didn't do anything special; it was just dirt. Why was it holy?

The Lord wanted Moses to understand that His presence was in that place. The Lord of the Heavens and the Earth was in that place and He wanted Moses to understand that the Lord's presence was holy. Holy is defined as being set apart. The Lord's presence is set apart, it is different from us or anyone else who might be considered important. It was the Lord's presence that made the location surrounding the burning bush holy; it was Moses' responsibility to respect that presence, to take off his shoes out of reverence. Taking off your shoes is a sign of submission in many cultures. If I take your shoes, it represents that you cannot go anywhere; you are submitted to the situation. The Lord wanted Moses to submit to His presence and realize that he was subservient to the Lord, especially during a conversation with the Most High God.

You and I, though we may go into a place of prayer with the Lord, a conversation with the Most High God, we may not always be so reverent. I am not suggesting that you should take your shoes off while you pray, but that your heart attitude should be one of submission and respect. When you enter into a time of prayer, you are entering the presence of the One True God; that is a holy place. But how often have you said a quick prayer out of memory or habit and done so in a flippant manner? As many times as I have prayed in my lifetime, I have certainly been guilty of this. The presence of the Lord is holy and we need to remember this.

There are a few things we should consider from the experience of the burning bush. Read again Moses' encounter with the Lord; Moses trembled with fear. When was the last time you trembled in the Lord's presence? Moses didn't speak until he was spoken to, and he came to the Lord ready to listen instead of talk. Again, these are things a few of us might fail at every time we enter the Lord's presence. I usually go into a time of prayer and begin speaking right away, which is definitely a sign of irreverence. If we go into prayer humbled by the Lord's power, then we might be a little bit more submissive and reverent during that time, maybe finally allowing the opportunity of hearing the Lord speak to us. In our reverence, we would be submitting to the Lord and His will during prayer, maybe finally getting an answer to our troubles.

If we take off our "shoes" during our time with the Lord then maybe our experience on holy ground would be different than the thousands of other times we have gone into prayer and left feeling unchanged.

Don't take my word for it; look it up: Exodus 3:2-6, Josh 5:15, Acts 7:30-34

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