Then He said, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground. ” Moreover He said, “I am the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. ” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God.
When worshipers or visitors come to many religious shrines in the Middle East, it is required of them to remove their shoes and leave them outside. The dirt and grime that accumulate on the soles of their shoes are not allowed inside a holy site. People there show their reverence and awe by removing anything impure before coming into the presence of the one they worship.
That is why God told Moses, “Take off your shoes, for this is holy ground.” Wherever God is, whether in a burning bush or a stained glass cathedral, it is holy ground. It is a place of wonder and even ter ror, unsuited for anything polluted or dirty.
When we come into God’s presence to worship, we, too, are treading on holy ground. In Western culture we would not likely remove our shoes, but we do need to clean our minds. Pollutants from televi sion, magazines and elsewhere quickly build up a film of dirt. If left unchecked, they produce a layer of dirty residue that defiles our hearts and minds. The filth of this world has no place in the presence of a pure and holy God.
Our visits to God’s house are a good reminder to clean out any dirt that may have accumulated in our lives. Rather than drag these defilers onto holy ground, we need to confess them and be cleansed. Let’s treat any place we encounter the awesome God as holy ground and act accordingly.
A CLEANSED MIND IS THE MOST APPROPRIATE THING YOU CAN WEAR TO CHURCH