We make a game-changing, life-altering decision when we give up our rights and let God be in charge of our lives.
Every time we make a life-changing decision, we must answer the question: “Who’s in charge?” We have Joshua, the leader of Israel, as an example. In Joshua 5:13–15, the Commander of the army of the Lord appeared to Joshua with a drawn sword in His hand. Most theologians believe that this Commander was Jesus Himself. Joshua was headed into battle, so he asked the Commander whether He was for Israel or their enemies. The Commander answered that He was for neither army.
The better question for Joshua and for us is not whether God is on our side, but are we on God’s side? There are only two sides to any battle we face—God’s side or Satan’s side. We must choose to follow God.
As soon as Joshua chose to follow God (Joshua 5:14), he bowed in reverence and asked the Lord to speak to him. The first thing the Lord asked of Joshua was that he take off his shoes. We learn from the Old Testament that to take off your shoes means that you are giving up your rights (Deuteronomy 25:7–10; Ruth 4:7–8; Exodus 3:4–5). Also in the New Testament, when Jesus washed the disciples’ feet at the Last Supper, they had to take off their shoes and yield to Jesus’ way of serving them even though He was going against their religious tradition (John 13:1–9).
Some of us have chosen to be on God’s side, but we haven’t taken off our shoes yet. God wants us to take off our shoes in every area of our life. He wants us to let go of our rights, to surrender our decisions to what He wants and allow Him to be in charge of our lives.