Contending for the faith | Making Disciples | Equipping the Saints for Ministry


By Jeannette Haley

Feet are one of the most important parts of the body, and probably one of the
most neglected. That is, until they begin to develop painful problems which
serves to remind us just how badly we need our feet!

Just think how tired, sore and dirty people’s feet were in Jesus’ day. Most of
them had to walk barefoot, or wear in sandals made of leather and rope
everywhere they went, and that included our LORD and His disciples. In a
household that had servants, it was the lowliest servant that had the job of
washing feet, so when Jesus knelt down to wash the feet of His disciples, it was
an act of great humility. Here was the Creator of all lowering Himself before His
own created beings to perform this lowliest of services to those whom He loved,
including the one who would betray Him. He tells us, “And this is my
commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you” John 15:12. The
lesson is, if we truly love God, and one another, then we will take care to never
exalt ourselves over others, ignore their basic needs, (either physically or
spiritually) and to, if possible, serve and care for them and their concerns as we
do for ourselves.

“Foot washing” today is fulfilled through obedience to Romans 12:10 “Be
kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one
another.” Whenever we prefer another over ourselves, we are fulfilling Jesus’
commandment to humble ourselves (as in foot washing) as an example to others
in the Body of Christ. All service to others in the name of the Lord must be done
for His glory in love and true humility as our “necessary service” no matter how
great, or how small it may be. In Micah 6:8 we read, “He hath shewed thee, O
man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and
to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God”. This “walking with our God” is
not only with our physical feet as we seek to carry out His will for our lives in this
world, but also “walking with God” in our hearts. After all, our feet can only
physically walk where they are instructed to go by the mind, but they aren’t
needed to walk with the Lord in our hearts.

Some may ask, “Just what does it mean to walk with God?” Lauren
McKeithen wrote, “The word ‘walk’ is the biblical expression for ‘fellowship and
obedience with God that results in divine favor.’ It refers to the manner of life a
person is living in nearness to God. Ephesians 4:1 says, ‘I, therefore, the
prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith
ye are called.’ This means let our ways of life match what we claim to be; our
behavior witnesses our profession. The Bible has much to say about walking with
God.” If we are to truly walk with God through this visible world, then our hearts
must first be prepared to walk with Him in the unseen world of the Spirit. Enoch is
a good example: “And Enoch walked with God…” Genesis 5:22a; 24a. Another is
Noah, a great-grandson of Enoch, who “was a just man and perfect in his
generations, and Noah walked with God” Genesis 6:9.

Perhaps others, as I once did, mentally picture Enoch walking with God
through a lush, green landscape among majestic trees that are rooted beside

babbling brooks. In our mind’s eye we can almost “see” Enoch and God strolling
together by still waters, every day of Enoch’s life for 300 years until “God took
him.” We could perhaps envy such a seemingly idyllic, carefree lifestyle, but in
reality, we all know that our days on this earth are filled with challenges, troubles
and sorrow. (See Job 14.) Enoch surely had to labor in order to live and care for
his family, but the key is, he was walking with God in his heart.

“By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not
found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this
testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please him:
for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of
them that diligently seek him” Hebrews 11:5,6. The translation of Enoch so that
he “should not see death” was a miraculous event that leaves us mystified as to
the how, when, and where of it—especially since there are no records from
eyewitnesses. But notice, the keyword is “faith.” Faith that pleases God truly
believes that He is who He says He is–the great “I AM THAT I AM” which was
the faith of Enoch. Therefore, he also believed with his whole heart that he would
be rewarded if he diligently sought for Him. Keep in mind, Enoch didn’t have the
written Word in his hands as you and I have, yet he knew Living Word and knew
that God would reward him.

Because Enoch’s faith and obedience resulted in a special fellowship of
sweet communion with God, he was shown things to come as evidenced by
Jude, who wrote in his epistle, “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam,
prophesied of these, [the ungodly] saying, Behold the Lord cometh with ten
thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all that are ungodly among
them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all
their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him” Jude 14.
We all know that in order to “walk” with anyone there must be agreement with
one another. Enoch walked with God because he was in full agreement with Him.
“Can two walk together, except they be agreed” Amos 3:3? The question is, how
often do you and I disagree with God? How much do we take for granted that
God will always “be there for us,” even when we choose to walk contrary to Him
in our thoughts, attitudes and decisions? We ask for His will to be done in our
personal lives, or in the lives of others, our community, nation or world and then
when He answers in ways we don’t understand or like, we disagree with Him.
When we disagree with God, we are showing lack of faith in His character, His
wisdom and His ways because, after all, we think we know how things should be
done to get the results we wanted. Bottom line, a person who wants their own
way all the time is one who desires to be god of their life, calling the shots, while
pursuing the “pleasures of this world.” Sadly, our biggest idol can be ourselves,
and we know that God will have no other gods before Him.

Galatians 5:16 tells us, “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not
fulfil the lust of the flesh.” If we refuse to humble ourselves, trust and obey, and
walk with the LORD in our hearts, not only will our wayward hearts lead us
astray, but Satan will take advantage of us. It doesn’t matter how many times a
week our physical feet may carry us into some church or religious meeting, if in our heart we are not walking with God in the Spirit, we are still walking in the vanity of our own mind.

To walk with God in agreement is the prerequisite to true repentance. It is
turning from our old way of thinking, doing and being, while coming to a place of
utter and complete surrender to the Lordship of Christ. It is receiving Jesus as
the only Way, the only Truth and the only Life and the only way to the Father. To
walk with God means being dead to the world, and the world dead to us. (See
Galatians 6:14.) The Apostle Paul declared, “I am crucified with Christ:
nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live
in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself
for me.”

The truth is, we must count the cost. The Bible is clear that there is a price to
pay. You don’t hear this preached today, but it is a basic principle in the Word of
God. Every soul born into this world is on an “auction block” with the devil on one
side bidding against God who is on the other side. God, of course, is the highest
bidder, having given His only begotten Son to redeem us; nevertheless, each
individual is still free to choose who will ultimately be his/her master. The cost to
follow Jesus boils down to anybody, or anything, such as family, friends, or
possessions, that would come between us or Him. We must be willing to forsake
all for Him.

One of the greatest turning points in my Christian life came when I learned
that we can know God for ourselves. I mean, really know God. It’s one thing to
know about God, but it is an entirely different thing to personally know Him. The
Bible assures us that we can know God, for in order to walk with Him, we must
know Him. We read in Jeremiah 29:13, “And you shall seek me, and find me,
when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” James 4:8 says, “Draw nigh to
God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify
your hearts, ye double minded.” Psalm 73:28 tells us, “But it is good for me to
draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, That I may declare all thy
works.” “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our
hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure
water” Hebrews 10:22. The last part of this verse is a reference to water Baptism
which is an identification of our life with His death, burial and resurrection. The
Apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the Philippians, “That I may know him, and the
power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made
conformable unto his death.” Jesus said, “If a man love me he will keep my
words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our
abode with him” John 14:23. Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd, and know my
sheep, and am known of mine.” Jesus’ sheep not only know Him, but they know
His voice.

Bottom line, walking with Jesus is the only way to know and receive the love
of the truth, which leads to eternal life. What “footless” way could this world ever
offer that is more wonderful, pleasant, joyful, or satisfying than walking in our
hearts on the straight and narrow way with the LORD Jesus Christ Himself?