“Unbinding the Feet”

“How beautiful are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings (good news), that publisheth (proclaims) peace; that bringeth good tidings of good (good things), that publisheth (proclaims) salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!” Isaiah 52:7

So much is said in scripture about the “feet” and we know that this means not only the feet of the Body of Christ, as we are taught through these verses:

1st Corinthians 12:14-27: “For the body is not one member, but many.

If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; Is is not therefore of the body?

And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; Is it therefore not of the body?

If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing (how could it hear)? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling (how would it smell)?

But now, God hath set the members, every of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body (where would the body be)?

But now are they many members, yet but one body.

And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head unto the feet, I have no need of you. 

Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble (weak) are necessary.

And those members of the body, which we think are to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour: and our uncomely (unpresentable) parts have more abundant comeliness (modesty).

For our comely (presentable) parts have no need: but God hath tempered(composed) the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked.

That there should be no schism (division) in the body: but that the members should have the same care one for another. 

And whether (if) one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member is honoured, all the members rejoice with it.

Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular (individually). ”

There are many other mentions of the “feet” and so many beautiful scriptures concerning those, like Mary washing Jesus’ feet with her tears.

Jesus washing the disciples feet, much to the horror of Peter, he was viewing it carnally, his feet covered with dust and I am sure showing the years of wear of much walking and hard work, and he was embarrassed and downright horrified for Jesus to touch his feet.

Because again we try to “beautify” those things we consider “ugly” and try to twist those features into what is more “attractive” and more appealing. And this also happens spiritually. 

Broken, crippled feet are not going to be capable carrying the Gospel anywhere.

I am reminded of the stories of the now pretty much non-existent practice of foot binding.

So truly gruesome and disturbing, and yet somehow so perfect an explanation, such a mirror to exactly what many face spiritually.

First, this begins at a very early age, you could compare that to being a new convert, or you could compare it to be new in ministry, learning your calling.

But the feet are oiled and made as comfortable as possible, (some symbolism to be found there also) and once this has been accomplished, the toes one by one are literally broken and pushed sideways toward the middle of the foot, then the foot is also broken leaving only the big toe and the heel unbroken.

The feet are then bandaged tightly, ensuring all the broken bones are in their “correct” place to be reshaped.

Imagine the level of excruciating pain, even one toe, just being “stumped” or the pain of stepping on something sharp, imagine nine toes broken and both feet broken in the middle.

Also reminiscent of the verse that they “hurt his feet in fetters” referring to the enslavement of Joseph and the nails that were drove through the feet of Jesus. Spiritual feet are quite the same.

And this process, like the binding of spiritual feet is a long process, the feet being unwrapped, the bones re-broken, and wrapped again, even tighter and some trying to alleviate the pain would sneak and loosen the binding at the toes and when caught doing this, those performing the binding would quickly sew up the binding so that they had no way to loosen any part of these bindings.

And the entire “process” was for the purpose of making the “feet” more beautiful, more “acceptable” and to “conform” to the ideas of the time.

The shape of the foot was desired to resemble a lotus blossom, not ironically dedicated to pagan Buddhism.

What I can derive is that it started with concubines to the King and his twisted desire for a certain dance and suddenly, without these misshapen feet women were considered “less desirable” for marriage and so basically, if you wanted to fit in, be treated well, you allowed yourself to be subjected to this.

Sounds like ashes and thorns to me.  Each time the feet were unbound, re-broken, re-bandaged, while fluid and blood leaked out.

This was done in the name of “beauty”, sound beautiful to you? Ever feel like that in your Christian walk? 

You will be oiled, you will be comforted, you will be given beyond and above all you need providing that you keep those big ol’ feet  bound and conforming to the image of those that are acceptable.

And sure you eventually get past some of the pain and learn to walk, very slowly, not making any real strides, only the desired limited movement, but hey, you are still accepted.

“Feet” that were created to “run swiftly” bearing messages. “Feet” that were meant to “leap” as hinds feet converging on impossible mountains, “carrying” to those in the deep trenches the Gospel of freedom and deliverance.

And “feet” that were meant to “dance” for joy along side those that rejoice and as so many of the ladies whose natural feet were bound, those whose spiritual feet have been bound, find later that not only are they unable to leap, dance, much less run, they have now became absolutely crippled.

Good news/bad news, “Feet” can be unbound, but as with bringing back blood flow to anything that has been starved, it is going to hurt and it is going to hurt bad.

First you have to accept that they are your “feet” (take spiritually) and use this as a comfort verse, knowing that your calling, and your gift is what God wants you to have, whether that looks unattractive or unacceptable to anyone else, should be of no matter because we answer to God.

1st Corinthians 12;11,13 : “But ALL these worketh that one and selfsame Spirit, dividing (distributing) to every man severally (individually) AS HE WILL

For by ONE SPIRIT we are ALL baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free, and have ALL been made to drink into ONE SPIRIT.”

Understanding that gives us the courage and boldness to undertake that painful unbinding, and if someone only accepts part of you, or makes you feel that you belong… if you forfeit the very part of you that identifies you in Christ, then it is time to rethink those relationships and the price of those bound feet, they make look pretty fitting in to their delicate little shoes but underneath those wrappings is rot and decay and decay and infection that could one day end up in the blood.

Sometimes the feet will heal, they will always be scarred and much more will be involved as the undergo the “restoration” process but once you realized that you are being crippled, you can either continue to allow that process or you can take off those bandages, deal with patching up the wounds and maybe in time learn to walk again. In the physical binding reversal can takes years and as far as spiritually, we know Jesus heals all of our spiritual wounds, as in our armor. 

Ephesians 6:15: And your feet shod with the preparation of Gospel of peace.

We are Jesus’ children, daughters, and we make up the Bride of the Lamb.

And Jesus has some shoes of His choosing that He’d like His children to wear.

Song of Solomon 7:1a: “How beautiful are thy feet with shoes, O Princes daughter!…”

Psalm 45:13-15: “The king’s daughter is all glorious within; her clothing is of wrought gold (symbolic of the Word of God).

She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework (robes of many colors): the virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee.

With gladness and rejoicing  SHALL THEY BE BROUGHT: they shall be brought into the king’s palace.

Jesus Christ, our King, our King who does not hurt us and only binds our wounds, not our “feet”.

Our “feet”that He has freed from snares, traps, and pits from the enemy. And we are taught that where His Spirit is there is freedom, so don’t let anyone or anything bind you and the calling He has placed on your life.

Φλογιζω NBJ 2019

Trying to handle the high places

“A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet upon Shigionoth.

O Lord, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O Lord, revive thy work in the midst of years, in the midst of years make known; in wrath remember mercy.

God came from Teman, and the Holy One from Mount Paran, Selah. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise. 

And his brightness was as the light; he had horns coming from his hand (rays flashing from his hand); and there was the hiding of his power (his power hidden). 

Before him went the pestilence, and burning coals went forth at his feet.

He stood, and measured the earth: he beheld, and drove asunder the nations; and the everlasting mountains were scattered, the perpetual hills did bow:  his ways are everlasting. 

I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction, and the curtains of the land of Midian did tremble.

Was the Lord displeased against the rivers? was thine anger against the rivers/ was thy wrath against the sea, that thou didst ride upon thine horses and thy chariots of salvation

Thy bow was made quite naked  (bare), according to the oaths of the tribes, (oaths were sworn over your arrows) even thy word. Selah. Thou didst cleave the earth with rivers. 

The mountains saw thee, and the trembled: the overflowing of the water passed by: the deep uttered his voice, and lifted up his hands on high.

The sun and moon stood still in their habitation: at the light of thine arrows they went, and at the shining of thy glittering spear.

Thou didst march through the land in indignation, thou didst thresh the heathen in anger. 

Thou wentest forth for the salvation of thy people, even for salvation with thine anointed; thou woundest the head out of the house of the wicked, by discovering the foundation unto the neckSelah.

Thou didst strike through with his staves (his own arrows) the head of his villages: they came out as a whirlwind to scatter me: their rejoicing was as to devour the poor secretly. 

Thou didst walk through the sea with thine horses, through the heap of great waters. When I heard, my belly (body) trembled; my lips quivered at thy voice: rottenness entered into my bones, and I trembled in myself, that I might rest in the day of trouble: when he cometh up into the people, he will invade them with his troops.  

Although the fig tree shall NOT blossom, NEITHER shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive SHALL FAIL, and the fields shall yield NO meat (food); the flock shall be CUT OFF from the fold, and there shall be NO herd in the stalls: 

YET WILL I REJOICE IN THE LORD, I WILL JOY IN THE GOD OF MY SALVATION. 

THE LORD GOD  (YHWH Adonai) IS MY STRENGTH, AND HE WILL MAKE MY FEET LIKE HIND’S (deer) FEET, AND HE WILL MAKE ME TO WALK UPON MINE HIGH PLACES… ” Habakkuk 3

Nothing quite like to “high places”, ever think about WHERE they really are?

They are the roads, valleys, paths, and foreboding cliffs that loom in the distance of this life.

And I love this prophets prayer because he remembers the power and majesty of the Lord.

He remembers that all of nature was created by him and bends to his eternal will.

He remembers that the moon and sun in all their brilliance stand still at his command. He remembers that all of creation declares his glory and shouts his praise and that all are held in the power of his hand.

He remembers God mighty display of sovereign rule over all the enemies of his people. He remembers that his word is those arrows that shoot forth and that we are to pray that word over all our troubles.

And YET he remembers in all things that even though things shall fail, even as Jesus cursed the fig tree and it did not bring forth, that all things of this life CAN and WILL sometimes fail, fall apart, or simply die on the vine, for whatever reason, that through it ALL  God is sovereign.

Through times of weakness, sickness, and lack spiritually, psychically, and even financially, and those high places of our lives are found there.

The high places of suffering, pain, regret, and absolute unfruitfulness no matter how hard we have tried or how much we have toiled that soil sometimes the ground seems so hard and unyielding that it refuses to let anything take root.

Could be we are just bad “farmers’ or could be a ground that wasn’t ours to farm. But as the prophet prayed, that he MIGHT REST during these troubles, these times, he gave us the secret to navigating those “high places”.

Not looking at those things that loom, set to swallow up, not looking down over those cliffs that we have just climbed, but looking to the author and finisher of our faith and looking to his JOY, the joy we can have in him, and the joy he TOLD us in his word to PRAY FOR. Adonai, LORD, MASTER of ALL, and HE IS.

And basically what he is saying is that EVEN when all these things go wrong, everything runs amok, that God is still God and that anything we are going through that he has allowed and has allowed to continue in our lives is for  a higher purpose, we are being led through those places and He is teaching us how to navigate those mountains, not painfully and clumsily, as we may be at the moment, but as agile hinds, that can leap effortlessly from peak to peak, because they have been created with that ability and that is what he wants to create in us.

That is why the prophet could have peace and DEVELOP this attitude, and he did develop while he was musing the thought, because he goes from horrifying fear, fear so strong that he trembled to the realization that it is all in God’s hands.

We say that, we declare that, but it is a wee different when IT IS ALL in his hands and we are truly helpless in our own efforts. We KNOW that we are, and we should be, but there are times that we are proven out on that.

Job 23:10: “But he KNOWETH the way that I take; when he hath tried me I shall come forth as gold.” 

Sometimes the hardest art of the journey comes in letting the realization set in that our plans are just that.. OUR plans and God never told us to make those, actually he said that he knows HIS PLANS for us, which of course are to give us HOPE and a future.

Sometimes the brook dries up and the ravens quit feeding us because it is time to go, like it or not, and times that we must go, and times that we are forced to go, such as Hagar, whom I love and if you have never read her story check it out EL ROI… wells in wilderness  if ANY human ever had a reason to complain, it was her, and even though she THOUGHT she had been thrown into the desert with her child to die, God showed her just how close he always is.

Now about that WAY spoken of by Job, just WHOSE way is it again?

2 Samuel 22:34-37: “As for God, his WAY is perfect; the word of the Lord is tried (proven); he is a buckler to all that trust in him.

For who is God, save (except it is) the Lord? and who is a rock, save (except for) our God? 

God is my strength and power: and HE MAKETH my WAY perfect (straight in him). He maketh my feet like hind’s feet:  and SETTETH me UPON MY HIGH PLACES. 

He teacheth my hands to war; so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms. 

THOU HAST ALSO GIVEN ME THE SHIELD OF THY SALVATION: AND THY GENTLENESS HATH MADE ME GREAT.

THOU HAST ENLARGED MY STEPS UNDER ME; SO MY FEET DID NOT SLIP.”

There is it… we may think we are climbing these mountains, that we are suffering these journeys but the reality is that as long as we may our best effort to follow him as he leads, he is doing a work within us and while he is doing that work, we have a promise, that he will NOT let us fall, and even when we feel that our feet are sliding and slipping, we are PROMISED that those steps are actually being DIVINELY enlarged as we walk that journey, in his gentleness and mercy, he is enlarging the way under us, even as we step, so that we will not fall through whatever crevice that we may happen up on. And our truest joy will be found there, in that blessed peace.

Love & peace till next time!

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NB 2018