Footwork – Introduction

Footwork – Introduction

Footwork – Introduction.

By Steve and Sheri Larson.

It’s all in the footwork! You won’t be successful without good footwork! said every coach I’ve ever had. “Move your feet, lift them high, move them laterally, quickly! Keep your balance!” This isn’t exactly headline news to the dancer, the quarterback, the goalie and the power forward. That’s logical, isn’t it? Without the proper use of our feet, we wouldn’t be able to balance ourselves as we stand, walk, run or jump. Our feet hold up our entire body weight, they enable us to move without mechanical aid. Maybe that’s why our feet are usually the ugliest part of our body… they get a lot of mileage. In pretty much whatever physical movement one can think of, the effective use of our feet is vital.

Now that I am retired and canĀ  no longer enjoy physical labor, I think about my feet all the time. With neuropathy, I can only walk a short distance, I can’t keep my balance without a cane, and of course running is out of the question. Fortunately, I still have my mind, but if I wanted to enjoy one of my old-school pickup basketball games, I’m simply out of luck. My physical life is dominated with what I am able to do or not do with my feet.

The same thing goes in our spiritual life. We have spiritual feet, and these feet are instrumental in our success as Christians. Feet are a central metaphor, whether we are walking humbly with our God, standing ground against spiritual enemies, running the race of faith, or jumping over walls put up by our opponents as David did in Ps. 18:29. What is the biblical way of using our feet effectively, whether spiritual or physical? There are lots of ways, actually.

  1. Footloose and Fancy Free. Do you know how you can transform your ugly feet into something beautiful? Bring good news to others, especially the gospel of peace with God, salvation, and God’s kingship. Let your feet take you to those who desperately need good news, and may you come to them at just the right time. Feet, don’t fail me now. “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns! (Isaiah 52:7, NLT).
  2. Feet on High. How does one acquire a life with far-reaching vision? Do you know how to get a wide-eyed perspective on life, able to view your surrounding elements in life, securely and safely? Allow the Lord to place your feet high on a rock, sheltered, where you can see everything laid out before you, with no eternal surprises. “For he will conceal me there when troubles come; he will hide me in his sanctuary. He will place me out of reach on a high rock.” (Ps. 27:5, NLT).
  3. Twinkle Toes. Do you really want to dance with the stars in the rhythm of grace? Rejoice in God’s character, His mercy, His salvation. Worship Him for His holiness, give thanks for His goodness, praise Him for His glory. You will indeed dance with happy feet. “Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing; thou hast loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness, that my soul may praise thee and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to thee for ever.” (Ps. 30:11-12, RSV).
  4. Foot Locker. Do you want to know how to firmly stand your ground against spiritual powers, against the demonic forces of evil? Along with other important items in your spiritual armor, make sure you put on the right shoes for your feet. The only shoes that will fit right and withstand the wear and tear of battle on the front lines are the shoes built by peace and the eagerness to share the blessings of that peace. Let your feet do your talking, in this case. “As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace.” (Ephesians 6:15, NRSV).
  5. Be Careful Little Feet Where You Go. In our walk of faith, it’s sometimes easy to take detours during those weak moments we all can have. The transformation from righteous feet to “feet of the wicked” can be perilously quick. “Their feet run to do evil, and they rush to commit murder. They think only about sinning. Misery and destruction always follow them. They don’t know where to find peace or what it means to be just and good. They have mapped out crooked roads, and no one who follows them knows a moment’s peace. (Isaiah 59:7-8, NLT). “Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.” (Proverbs 4:25-27 NLT).
  6. Walking in the Dark. Do you want to have wise feet, going in the right direction as you walk through life’s occasional, inevitable darkness? God has provided the one foolproof way to guide your feet… His revealed Word. So study the Bible. Think about it. Memorize it. Talk about it. Live it. Pray it. Learn to love it. Living without the benefits of the Word is like walking through a dark forest at midnight blindfolded. “Oh, how I love your instructions! I think about them all day long. I have refused to walk on any evil path, so that I may remain obedient to your word. Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and light for my path.” (Ps. 119:97, 101, 105, NLT).
  7. On Good Footing. Do you ever feel like you’re generally going in the right direction, but that you’re slipping and sliding along the way? Are you afraid that you might just slip right off the path into dangerous territory? Be a deer. Ask God to strengthen you, and give you the confident sure-footedness of the deer, complete with its running and bounding and prancing. “The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights.” (Habakkuk 3:19, NLT). “For who is God except the Lord? Who but our God is a solid rock? God arms me with strength, and he makes my way perfect. He makes me as surefooted as a deer, enabling me to stand on mountain heights.” (Ps. 18:31-33, NLT). “For you have rescued me from death; you have kept my feet from slipping. So now I can walk in your presence, O God, in your life-giving light.” (Ps. 56:13, NLT).
  8. Foot Surgery. Do you really want to cut sin out of your life? Are you serious about this? Then there’s a good chance you’ll have to cut off something important to you, starting with your ego. You need to be ruthless with sin in your life. It can be painful and you might have to suffer serious consequences. Almost like… cutting off your foot. “If your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It’s better to enter eternal life with only one foot than to be thrown into hell with two feet.” (Mark 9:45,NLT).
  9. Feet of Envy. Do you occasionally get discouraged because there doesn’t seem to be justice, the wicked seem rich and powerful and get their way all too often? Do those with evil intent seem to live a trouble-free life without the problems that the rest of us have? Believe in God’s ultimate justice, and then be at peace about all this. “But as for me, I almost lost my footing. My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone. For I envied the proud when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness… Then I went into your sanctuary, O God, and I finally understood the destiny of the wicked. Truly, you put them on a slippery path and send them sliding over the cliff to destruction.” (Ps. 73:2-3, 17-18, NLT).
  10. Foot Traps. Do you notice that there seem to be many traps and snares as you walk life’s path? Does worry about this keep you up at night? Avoiding those snares, keeping your feet from being caught in them, involves something simple. You’ll be a step ahead if you learn to use the good sense God has given you. Consider the logical consequences of your actions. Think ahead. It’s a mental habit. Use discretion, especially as you rely on the wisdom of God in your thinking. “My child, don’t lose sight of common sense and discernment. Hang on to them, for they will refresh your soul. They are like jewels on a necklace. They keep you safe on your way, and your feet will not stumble. You can go to bed without fear; you wil lie down and sleep soundly. You need not be afraid of sudden disaster or the destruction that comes upon the wicked, for the Lord is your security. He will keep your foot from being caught in a trap.” (Proverbs 3:21-26, NLT).
  11. Clean Feet. Do we have the ability to purify ourselves? No, we don’t. Only Jesus can cleanse us and make us pure. Every day, let us ask Jesus to wash our feet like He did the disciples, cleansing us of life’s inevitable dirt and grime. Foot-washing can be embarrassing, humiliating even, when it’s done to you. Having our dirt cleaned is humbling, for sure. That’s the point. Once we prayerfully experience the washing of our feet by Jesus, maybe we’ll join St. Peter and say, “Wash my hands and head as well, Lord, not just my feet!” So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him… After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down.” (John 13:4-5, 12, NLT).
  12. Trampling Sin Underfoot. Do you sometimes experience a loss of confidence in God’s protection over you? Do you ever feel vulnerable to spiritual forces outside yourself? Do you ever sense a powerlessness against the sin in your life? By all means, practice the Resurrection, when Jesus trampled sin and death and satanic powers underfoot. Live into the triumph of the Resurrection, celebrating the eternal fact that the spirits are subject to you through Christ. Rejoice that sin can no longer dominate you or have victory over you. Through Jesus (Luke 10:19), you now have spiritual authority over habitual sin and satanic forces of evil. Through the empty tomb, we are now victorious. So dance to that wonderful tune as we triumph over our spiritual enemies, the ultimate footwork. And His angels join Him in keeping us safe from spiritual harm, praise God! “God sends angels with special orders to protect you wherever you go, defending you from all harm. If you walk into a trap, they will be there for you and keep you from stumbling. They will bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone. You will even walk unharmed among the fiercest powers of darkness, trampling every one of them beneath your feet. You will tread on the lion and the snake, the young lion and the dragon.” (Psalm 91:13, TPT and RSV). “Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life.” (from the Eastern Orthodox liturgy of Holy Saturday).

Our feet are a glorious gift from our Creator God. And an awesome symbol as well. There are so many ways to “follow” Jesus: Walking; marching; standing firm; jumping; traveling; dancing; being washed; being healed. And many more. In this series on Biblical footwork, we will be exploring how best to use this divine gift of our feet through songs, Bible studies, and thoughts on healings and miracles that involved our beloved feet.