Lift Not Thy Heel

feet

As I was driving home from church this evening, a song played on the radio.

I’ve probable heard this song a hundred times before. Today, however, for the first time, I listened to the lyrics of the chorus which said:

“I try to be so tough
But I’m just not strong enough
I can’t do this alone, God I need You to hold on to me
I try to be good enough
But I’m nothing without Your love
Savior, please keep saving me”.

Instantly, I was transported to a passage in John that I’ve been meditating on for the past 2 days, and the Lord revealed an amazing message to me.

Christians are currently observing Passion Week. This is the commemoration of the life of Jesus from Palm Sunday, when he rode on a donkey into Jerusalem, and the people received him with joy, while waving palm fronds as they shouted “Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.” Until Good Friday, or the day of Christ’s Crucifixion.

It is a week of sober reflection. When Christians reflect on the messages of the Washing of the feet; The Last Supper: Christ’s Betrayal; Christ being presented before Pilate; Christ’s condemnation at the hands of those who demanded His crucifixion; Christ’s scourging; Christ’s journey, with His cross on His back to Golgotha; Christ’s Crucifixion.

The passage that the message of this song took me to is one that concerning the Ceremony of the Washing of the Disciple’s feet.

John 13:3-10

“Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.”

There is a very spiritual significance to the ceremony that we need to be aware of.

In Genesis 3: 14-15, when God laid out the curses to the serpent, Eve and Adam, something very pivotal happened.

And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

The reference to the heel of man in Genesis, when enimity between man and Satan was established; is not an arbitrary coincidence to Christ’s statement about Judas Iscariot’s betrayal in John 13:18 when He said:

 I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.

Satan’s goal for man in the Garden of Eden is no different from Satan’s goal for man today.

Satan wants to use man to offend God.

Satan caused Adam and Eve to disobey God in the Garden.
Satan entered Judas Iscariot to betray Jesus to the High Priests.

That is why Jesus did not say “Judas lifted his hand against me.” He said “he has lifted his heel against me”.

The same heel that God referenced in the curse that Satan will forever seek an opportunity to bruise.

The struggle: Satan bruising our heel, and we bruising his head: is a life long struggle.
It is the struggle of we desiring to follow Christ, and Satan strategizibg to cause us to turn from Him.

When Satan succeeds in bruising our heel, it is in that moment; in those instances that we – ALL OF US- raise our heel against Jesus Christ.

It is then, that we act in ways that are contrary to Christ; His teaching; His love.
It is in those moments that our hearts are turned from Christ.

When we don’t act in God’s love, when we act, think, speak in ways that are contrary to GOD’S LOVE, we lift our heel against Christ.

But Praise be to God! Christ brought us Hope!!!

In that ceremony of the washing of the disciples feet that He washes the bruise of Satan from our heels! He told Peter, in verse 8 of John 13 “ Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.”

In Love, the Messiah; the King of Kings humbled Himself, took a basin of water, and washed the feet of His disciples.

It was an act of love; of caring; of protection, of selflessness.

It was required. It is required. Because the curse is life long; the struggle is life long; therefore, the deliverance must also be life long. That is why Jesus instructed in John 13:14-17

 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.

For those who think that being a Christian; being saved; “knowing Christ” automatically does this, the scripture begs to differ. For Christ said in verse 10 of John 13, after Peter asked Him to wash not only his feet but his head and hands also:

Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit.

Meaning: He that lives in Christ is already washed in the Blood that washes us clean. However, since Satan and man are at enimity, he will always be on the attack. He will always look for an opportunity to cause us to offend God. To offend Christ. Therefore, we, as fellow disciples; as sojourners of the same cross; we must love one another. Because in love, we are unified. Hence, there is no opportunity for Satan to come in and use any one of us against each other in any way because we are actively keeping each other with and in the Love of God.

When we offend each other, we do not act in love.
When we do not act in love, we offend Christ.
When we offend Christ, we offend God.

It’s really that simple.

So, Christ instructs us to love one another. As brethren, love one another.

Not the false love of Judas Iscariot, where he was in the company of Christ, yet he betrayed him with a kiss for 30 pieces of silver.

Instead, with the love that is not self-seeking.
Love that is patient.
Love that does not repay evil for evil.
Love that forgives the worst of offenses.
Love that doesn’t abuse, ridicule or put down it’s neighbor.
Love that shows mercy when it isn’t deserved.
Love that takes insult, when one doesn’t deserve it.
Love that thinks of others more highly than itself.
Love that is compassionate to the suffering of another.
Love that encourages another at the needed time.
Love that corrects with kindness, not cruelty.
Love that is not easily angered.
Love that does not feed malice.
Love that loves peace.
Love that is it’s brethren’s keeper.

Love that exemplifies the love that Jesus showed to His disciples.

The entire message is as message of Love. Because God is Love. Because Love covers a multitude of sins.

As the song that I referenced earlier stated, “ I’m not tough enough; I’m not strong enough; I’m not good enough. I can’t do it on my own.”

The “Wall of Will” can never defeat the manipulations of Satan. Things that we are not susceptible to; things that are not out weakness; have a very small likelihood of causing us to slip. However, the things that are our weaknesses, it is there that the enemy attacks. Believe this: our “will” is no match for the schemes of Satan. The greatest deceiver and schemer of all time! He will prowl around like a lion until we are at our weakest and/or are distracted by other things like life’s distractions and focusing on our “will”. Then, he will pounce.The sooner we understand this, the faster we can focus on what we need to focus on. Also, when we make it about our will and our resolve alone to “do it right”, many of the actions that are birthed by that focus on will and resolve, will fail at the attributes of Love.

Jesus did not instruct us – followers of Christ – to wash our own feet. He instructed us to wash one another’s feet. For one reason, and it is the only reason that matters:

John 13:34-35

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

In addition, to this new commandment, He further reminds:

If ye love me, keep my commandments. (John 14:15)

He was referring to the commandment of Love.

Resolve and will alone can be broken. However, Love; God’s Love, lasts forever.

Our resolve and will should be to grow, live, and walk in God’s Love.

May the blessings and deliverance of this Holy week mold us for Christ’s use. Amen

As always, share your thoughts that you might encourage your brethren.

In Christ.

The handmaid at His feet.

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2 Responses to Lift Not Thy Heel

  1. Esaias says:

    The profundity of what is shared here, I fear, may be lost in the simplicity of the presentation. Yet the simplifying of such a complex truth is exactly what makes this message so special. Judas lifting up his heel against Jesus; that is he accepted in himself the kingdom of Satan – as did Eve and Adam in the Garden – and therein lifted up the venom, vitriol and rebellion of Satan to contend with the righteousness and legitimacy of Christ.

    Jesus, on the other hand, on bended knees – did I mention this was the Christ? – washed the feet of his disciples to erase that very sting of Satan and thereby exonerate these men of their inherited sin. Two rather diverse behaviors and two completely contradictory goals- the former to kill, steal and destroy, the latter, to heal, revive and restore.

    The message, therefore, is this- when I act, think, feel, react and respond to my neighbor with anything contrary to the latter attributes, then I act in consonance with the former attributes and make myself a disciple of Judas in the lifting of my heel. However when I meet betrayal with forgiveness, hurt with mercy, selfishness with generosity, abandonment with remembrance, anger with temperament, impatience with patience, and intolerance with acceptance, ONLY then do I obey Christ and wash the feet of my brethren.

    Now some will say, “This is hard.” So did many of his followers who complained, “This is a hard teaching.” And departed from following Christ. To you, then, I ask, as Jesus did the twelve, “You do not want to leave me, too, do you?”

    Like

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