Before the process of sanctification can even occur, a spirit of humility must be present within an individual’s heart. This humility is coupled with a right view of God. As J. C. Ryle explains in his book Holiness: “A right knowledge of Christ is essential to a right knowledge of sanctification as well as justification. He that follows after holiness will make no progress unless he gives to Christ His rightful place” (309).
When one recognizes the Almighty God for who He truly is, then our hearts and lives can begin to align more with God’s plans for us. The problem is most of us do not cry “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty.” Instead our cry is, “Give me, Fix it, Change him, is the God who serves me.” Leonard Ravenhill in his book Why Revival Tarries addresses this very issue:
We need a vision of a holy God. God is essentially holy. The cherubim and seraphim were not crying, “Omnipotent! Omnipotent is the Lord!” nor “Omnipresent! and Omniscient! Is the Lord,” but “Holy! Holy Holy!” This vast Hebrew concept needs to penetrate our souls again…To wait tremblingly before this thrice-holy One before we leave home for the day’s work would be a mighty soul-stimulant. He who fears God fears no man. He who kneels before God will stand in any situation. A daily glimpse at the Holy One would find us subdued by His omnipresence, staggered by His omnipotence, silenced by His omniscience, and solemnized by His holiness. His holiness would become our holiness (34).
Our daily walk on this earth would seem as though we were walking in the presence of God Almighty if we truly humbled ourselves before Him and walked in the path He had for us each day. This, however, requires a recognition of the God of the Bible and not the God we have created. Read the following passages paying particular attention to the holiness of God and the feet of those who are in His presence.
Do not come closer,” He said. “Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Then He continued, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Moses hid his face because he was afraid to look at God. Exodus 3:5-6
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a high and lofty throne, and His robe filled the temple. Seraphim were standing above Him; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another: Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of Hosts; His glory fills the whole earth. Isaiah 6:1-3
Within the presence of the Holy God, Moses took off his shoes and the seraphim covered their feet. What seems to be significant about this? R. C. Sproul in his book The Holiness of God pointed out that Moses’ feet were tied to earthly things. He continued by stating that the seraphim even had to cover their feet because they too were not holy as God was holy. As I read through his statements the situation with Jesus washing Simon Peter’s feet came to mind.
He came to Simon Peter, who asked Him, “Lord, are You going to wash my feet?”
Jesus answered him, “What I’m doing you don’t understand now, but afterward you will know.”
“You will never wash my feet—ever!” Peter said.
Jesus replied, “If I don’t wash you, you have no part with Me.”
Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, not only my feet, but also my hands and my head.”
“One who has bathed,” Jesus told him, “doesn’t need to wash anything except his feet, but he is completely clean.” John 13:6-10
With only sandals to cover their feet, and sometimes just barefoot, the people of that time accumulated a lot of dirt and dust on their feet. It was customary for the host to have his guest’s feet washed upon entering their home. So when none of the disciples took the responsibility of washing the feet of one another, Jesus took the humble position and began washing his disciple’s feet. While the importance of servanthood is quite evident in this passage, the idea that our feet need to be cleaned daily jumps off the page. This picture of continual daily washing of the feet reminded me of the continual washing and sanctification of our own souls that must occur if we are to be clean. We have not lost our salvation, but we do have to continue in the sanctification process God has ordained for us to go through. There is no escaping it. R. C. Sproul states it this way:
“God is inescapable. There is no place we can hide from Him. Not only does He penetrate every aspect of our lives, but He penetrates it in His majestic holiness. Therefore we must seek to understand what the holy is. We dare not seek to avoid it. There can be no worship, no spiritual growth, no true obedience without it. It defines our goals as Christians. God has declared, “Be holy, because I am holy” (Lev. 11:44) (17).
Can you imagine the joy Moses had when he walked away from the burning bush having stood on holy ground?
Can you image the joy the seraphim have continually proclaiming the holiness of God?
Can you image Peter’s joy having had his feet washed clean by our Lord and Savior?
Can you imagine your own joy when God Almighty washes your own pridefulness away?
Oh Lord wash our feet today and help us to walk throughout the day as though we are standing on holy ground. Sanctify us Lord Jesus so that our joy may be complete from the time we have spent with you.
If you have not already joined the Faith Steps Journey community, I would encourage you to do so. You will receive weekly updates straight to your mail box to ensure you do not miss any of the Joy of Sanctification posts. In addition, you will receive a free copy of Walk with God. A 4-day devotional to draw yo