Shoes fit for the purpose

It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; He enables me to stand on the heights.(Psalm 18: 32,33: NIV)

A Deer on a Mountain – photo by Marco Forno

Want to scale the heights?

This passage was one of my daily readings recently. After reading it, I prayed that God would lead and guide me along the path He has chosen for me, giving me the strength and ability to be faithful in the tasks He has entrusted me with and enabling me to reach the ‘heights’ necessary to fulfil my God-given destiny.

Pausing, I asked Him if there was anything He wanted to say or show me in response to my request. Expecting something warm and encouraging in response, I was a little taken aback to see Jesus holding out a pair of muddy, tatty old shoes to me, with a look of impatience as He turned as if to walk away.

He was holding out my comfortable old shoes

Time to change

I recognised the shoes as my favourite casual canvas shoes, very old and comfortable, which I use for walking locally. A little hesitantly I asked , ‘Lord, they’re my own old shoes…. what are you saying to me?’ As I waited and listened, I sensed that He was showing me that these shoes, although comfy and familiar, had to be replaced with stronger, more weather-proof ones if I wanted to be properly equipped for the journey ahead. If I was to ‘scale heights’ and travel along difficult terrain I must be prepared to let Him show me changes that had to be made in my thinking and attitudes.

Overcoming fear

In my spirit I knew that fear is something I need to overcome in many areas, particularly in the area of being afraid to confront or speak truth if it might ‘rock the boat’ or cause people to feel uncomfortable. Also being afraid to share the gospel for fear of what people might think. ‘Lord, I said ,’I’m sorry. Please help me to overcome my fears and have courage. I really want to travel with You and fulfil my destiny. I don’t want to miss out in any way because of fear. Please give me the right shoes.’ In reply, I sensed Him smile and say, ‘Good. Come on then. There is much to d0 and time is short.’


After further prayer and waiting on Him I realised that there were people I needed to forgive, including myself, from past hurts and situations. I also needed to break agreement with the lie that I am insignificant and have nothing worthwhile to offer and that nothing I do or say will make any difference. The Lord also showed me that there were ways in which I had behaved towards others which it was necessary to confess and ask forgiveness for, not only to God, but to the people I had hurt. This was challenging and humbling, but with God’s help I was able to do it and the result was a sense of freedom and release. I know there is more to do, and I trust God to bring about opportunities in His timing for these conversations, believing He will give me the grace, humility and courage I will need to be obedient.

Dependence on God for strength

Since then, I have found that I have become a little bolder. I was given the courage to give out gospel tracts and speak with greater confidence and authority, hearing God’s voice more clearly, so I believe the change has begun, albeit with small steps. But I believe we must really want to break through and not settle for staying in our comfort zones. It is imperative that we depend totally on God for our strength, as it is all too easy to slip back into independent mode.

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control]. (2 Timothy 1: 7 – Amplified Bible)

The wonderful truth that , as children of God, we are no longer slaves to fear is beautifully expressed in the song ‘No Longer Slaves’ by Tasha Cobbs Leonard. In our ongoing battle we need to renew our minds by believing and declaring this truth, knowing in our spirit that ‘greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world'(1 John 4:4 )

Intimacy is the key

Photo by Ben White Intimacy with God in the secret place of prayer

The key, I believe, is to stay in close relationship with Him, spending time with Him in the ‘secret place’. If we make this a priority in our lives and share our thoughts with Him we will learn to hear what is on His heart as well. Through this will come revelation as He shines His light in every corner of our hearts, showing us areas where He needs to work and steps of obedience we need to take. It may be uncomfortable but He is totally for us, and as we learn to yield to Him we will experience deeper peace, hope and joy as we walk forward into the destiny He had planned for us.

The way ahead

If, like me, you desire to ‘scale the heights’ and fulfil the destiny God has planned for you, then I encourage you to spend time in that ‘secret place’. Just as He revealed to me the steps I needed to take – overcoming fear, forgiving others, repenting of wrong attitudes and mindsets and breaking agreement with the enemy’s lies – so He will also highlight to you the areas in your life which He wants to deal with. It is so wonderful to know that He is on our side and is ready and waiting to help us!

May God bless you in your journey with Him and may He provide you with shoes fit for the purpose!