Did you realize that Jesus, in the upper room before His death, cleansed all the disciples’ feet. By all I mean even Judas’ – the betrayer. Jesus, however, made it clear that not all of the disciples had been cleansed. “Those who have had a bath (cleansing of the spirit) need only to wash their feet (to remove the sins of the world from them); their whole body is clean. And, you are clean, though not every one of you.” John 13:10. When Judas left the room with clean feet that’s all he had, clean feet. Feet that would then be sullied the minute he walked out into the world.
By all accounts Judas seemed like a loyal follower in the eyes of the other disciples. He had all the same benefits of following in the Lord’s footsteps. The same teachings. The same experiences with miracles and blessings. But he never surrendered his life over to Jesus. He kept one or even one and half of his feet in the world and with the devil. He mistrusted God’s Word. He thought he knew better. He lived in fear of what the world would do to him if he fully submitted to Jesus.
Contrast that with Peter. I realized today that Peter is the “Martha” of the disciples. Always headstrong and trying to control each situation. He also thought he knew better. However, in his heart he loved and trusted the Lord. He accepted admonishment and the teachings of Jesus. He, as my BSGs (Bible Study Girls) love to say, was making imperfect progress. He had a foot and a half in for God. Until God helped him pull in the rest of him.
I had a couple of encounters with Christian women recently who were counseled to “run to God, for His arms are wide open.” I was so saddened by their responses which included, “How” and “It’s too late for me.” The first reminds me of how, as Christians, we absolutely must share our testimony. We must do the work God makes clear to us in His Word. By enveloping us in His teachings, submitting every single thought, worry, fear, joy, to Him through prayer and petition we will come into His arms. God gives to those who ask. Judas had everything available to him. But he never submitted. He never asked for God to change his heart.
The second response makes me cry. It is never too late in God’s holy timeframe. I’ve been talking with my BSGs and other friends about banging on God’s door. Demanding to let us in. Pleading for his intercession. Not just lukewarm praying. An all-out assault. He has promised His love to us. “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come and eat with that person, and they with me.” Rev 3:20. We need to stop letting satan whisper falsehoods in our ears — you aren’t worthy, you aren’t good enough, it’s too late. Take back our lives and put them safely in God’s arms by speaking the Truth of God’s promises. Promises that are clearly and consistently written out for us in the Bible. Revelations continues with: “To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne.” Rev 3:21
Sisters and brothers, God is not a passive “spiritual being.” He is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent in our lives. He is powerful and that makes you powerful. We can no longer see and hear His blessings and let them roll off our backs like Judas. We need to take what is rightfully ours and plant it deep inside us. We will struggle like Peter. But our love for the Lord will work for our good. So that when we walk out into that dirty world we stay clean, we stay in His arms.