A barrier is defined as “a circumstance or obstacle that keeps people or things apart or prevents communication or progress; something immaterial that impedes [stops] or separates” (Merriam-Webster Online).
Exodus 3:5 (AMP) God said, Do not come near; put your shoes off your feet, for the place on which you stand is holy ground.
“Not All Barriers are Sinful”
What did Moses have on his feet? Shoes. Simply that.
Yes, the shoes can figuratively represent sin and wrong doing but let us be simple-minded for a moment and just look at appearances. See the barrier (shoes) for what it is……footwear.
What is sinful or so bad about footwear (shoes)?
Not all barriers are sinful. BUT they may hinder (stop) us from having personal contact with God.
Let’s examine the scripture. Why would God have a problem with Moses’ shoes? Why would He need to tell Moses to take them off? What was God’s reason for commanding Moses to take off the shoes?
God asked Moses to take off the shoes so that his feet could have unhindered (feet to dirt/grass) contact with the ‘holy’ ground. Why was this plot of ground holy? Leviticus 11:44 “… for I am holy…” Where God is, IS holy. So God was saying, “take off your shoes for I am here; let nothing stop you from directly touching Me.”
On one hand, shoes protect our feet from stepping and injuring ourselves on rusting nails, sharp stones/sticks, broken glass or metal, and harmful insects. Shoes are barriers to harmful and potentially deadly elements.
On the other hand, in the case of Moses, the shoes were a barrier having a more intimate moment with God.
PLEASE NOTE: God was already talking to Moses, meaning that there was already an established relationship.
In our lives, there are other barriers. These are good and well but they are/may be preventing us from having a more intimate relationship with God.
These can be: school/getting an education, work, owing our own homes/cars, children, relationships… all these can be an obstacle which prevents us from progressing in our relationship with God.
Nothing is wrong with getting your degree but do you spend ALL your time ensuring you get the degree than talking WITH and not TO God?
Nothing is sinful about work, of course not. But do you religiously go to work on time each day while you always end up being late for church services? So late that you miss your chance to offer praise and worship?
These barriers may not cause us to sin or take us out of the presence of God. However, they do prevent us from having a more meaningful and more personal/genuine contact with God.
What are your non-sinful barriers?
Prayer: Have Your way, Most Holy God. Speak to our hearts and show us where we have allowed the good things in life to be a barrier in our relationship with You. Help us to take them off and have intimate and real contact with You for today and the rest of our lives. In the name of Jesus, amen.