Get Your Feet Wet
“Take a step of faith…” “Make that leap for God…” “Just put one foot in front of the other…” “Remember, every great journey begins with a single step…”
Are you tired of the clichés yet? We have all heard, and maybe even repeated, statements such as these. They may be great one-liners for a Facebook post or a Sunday sermon, but they are actually counterproductive because they sound overly simplistic and lack real substance. What does it mean “to put one foot in front of the other?” I was taught to do that as a toddler!
Now that I’ve expressed my feelings about clichés, I’m going to add another one-liner to the list, but then frame it with a scriptural context in hopes that you might consider it as legitimate counsel for your life. Here it is: “You need to get your feet wet!” Why do I say that? Here are some reasons:
1. Get Your Feet Wet to Witness God’s Power
“And it came to pass, when the people removed from their tents, to pass over Jordan, and the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people; And as they that bare the ark were come unto Jordan, and the feet of the priests that bare the ark were dipped in the brim of the water, (for Jordan overfloweth all his banks all the time of harvest,) That the waters which came down from above stood and rose up upon an heap very far from the city Adam, that is beside Zaretan: and those that came down toward the sea of the plain, even the salt sea, failed, and were cut off: and the people passed over right against Jericho.” Joshua 3:14
God’s destiny for His people Israel rested on the other side of a swollen river. He had commanded them to cross over, but they would never survive unless there was some sort of bridge. So, God declared that He would make a way and that they would experience their open door of passage as soon as the priest’s feet touched the water.
Here is the grand test of faith: Obey your faithful God, step into the water, get your feet wet, and move forward against seemingly impossible odds. Your obedience will be met with His omnipotence. You don’t need more details, you need to trust that He has already supplied your need.
2. Get Your Feet Wet to Do the Impossible
“And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.” Matthew 14:25-29
Nearly every time I’ve heard this passage preached, the focus is placed on Peter sinking in the storm after he takes his eyes off of Christ. That’s a shame, because we virtually shrug off the fact that Peter walked on top of the ocean in the middle of the storm. The best I can tell, only the Son of God and Peter have ever accomplished that—and we Monday-morning quarterbacks have the nerve to criticize him for sinking? While all the others sat in the boat crying out in fear, Peter could not contain his desire to be with Jesus and asked permission to get his feet wet and walk on the waves.
I wonder how many amazing opportunities we miss because the reasoning in our minds outvotes the passion of our hearts. My prayer is that God will allow me opportunities to risk sinking for the absolute exhilaration of the potential to do the impossible as I run to my Lord.
3. Get Your Feet Wet to Experience His Service to You
“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.” John 13:4-7
God’s grace repeatedly teaches us that it is not about what we do for the Lord, but rather, what He does for us. Proud people (like Simon Peter in the above passage) have a hard time humbling themselves and receiving the investment of Christ. We like the strength, not the smallness. We like the action, not the stillness. We like to be the ones sacrificing for Him, working off some debt we assume we can pay. Yet the Son of God needs nothing from you. He needs NOTHING!
It may appear spiritual for you to refuse what He offers because you prefer the position of being the one giving to Him. That attitude is not spiritual at all. You are always the needy one. You are always the one who qualifies as a recipient of His ministry. Take off your sandals and sit down. Remain still. Let His capable hands minister to you, taking away your filth. It is you who requires His attention and help. Until you get your feet wet in the basin of His humbling ministry, you will stand in your dirty place of pride, wrongly believing that you have done well to refuse His cleansing.
4. Get Your Feet Wet to Lose Your Pride
“But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the LORD his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper. Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage. And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean? Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.” II Kings 5:11-14
A final word to each of us: When God cuts off all other options and makes it clear that your greatest need is only met through His offer—get your feet wet.
Naaman was rich, powerful, and arrogant. He also happened to have a disease that only God could cure. The prophet told him to dip himself in the Jordan River a total of seven times and his leprosy would be gone forever. Naaman was insulted because God’s ways were not in line with Naaman’s ways. He was angry, annoyed, and dangerously close to walking away from this last chance at life. But it was a small, insignificant servant of his who spoke reasonably as Naaman weighed his options. He told Naaman to listen to the prophet even though the instructions seemed silly. Naaman agreed to humble himself and do things according to the Word of the Lord. He got his feet wet and, after the seventh dip in the appointed waters, Naaman’s miracle came to him in abundance.
Don’t allow your pride to keep you on dry land. You will certainly retain control if you choose to do so…but you will also have to retain the thing which is killing you. Naaman humbled himself in a moment of faith, trusted God’s messenger, got his feet wet and went home a changed man.
So, which will it be for you today? Dry land or wet feet?