Shake the dust off your feet.

“Shake off the dust from your feet.” Matthew 10:14. Designed by David Hailes (@davehailes).

“Shake the dust off.” Many times this week, I’ve heard this phrase run my mind. It’s really caused me to chew on this thought. This isn’t an impression I’ve ever had before. I struggle with letting go. I contemplate people in my life, who are no longer there. Not those who have died, but those who chosen to separate. There is a part of me that never wants to give up on them and always believe that the end will be a good outcome. The unfortunate reality I’ve experienced, is more like a painful rejection of me and also my Father in Heaven. I’ve had to let go of my plans and release my grip on people who no longer desire a connection. I have to remember sometimes, that a happy ending depends wholly on my own relationship with God, and that the happy ending is not for this life, it’s for the next one. 

Several people I love, have walked away.  Some family and a few friends. They chose a broad path in life, that did not include the straight and narrow one that I am travailing. When we are in a relationship with unbelievers, whether it be family or friends; a time comes when a decision will be made. If we strive with the Holy Spirit, eventually that unbeliever will either feel impressed to grow closer to it, or pull away from it. If they choose to pull away from it, we must respect their free will.  Holding on as they walk away isn’t wise. Their determination to flee from the conviction and leading of the Holy Spirit, can drag us away from God. In our efforts to please them and keep a white knuckled grasp, we can be led to spiritual danger further from God. Even worse, those who follow us may also be led to destruction. Just as our influence can have power, so can theirs. Letting go and shaking the dust off, is a protection for us. Bad company corrupts good character. 

Proverbs 16: 27-30

27. An ungodly man diggeth up evil: and in his lips there is as a burning fire.

28. A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends.

29. A violent man enticeth his neighbour, and leadeth him into the way that is not good.

30. He shutteth his eyes to devise froward things: moving his lips he bringeth evil to pass.

I always strive to give the benefit of the doubt and not be the one to shut the door in a relationship. I don’t think it is the right thing for a Christian to be the one to shut the door. Usually we don’t have to, the unbeliever does that for us. When they do…we have to let them. I have to honor their decision to separate. Even Jesus, doesn’t attempt to kick the door in. He stands at the door and knocks, but never intrudes. 

2nd Corinthians 6: 14-18

14. Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

15. And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?

16. And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

17. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

18. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

When a relationship begins injuring us spiritually, and an unbeliever no longer wants to walk with us…we must allow them to separate. Jesus came, set an example, invited us to walk with him with the promise of never leaving us alone if we strive with him. If we choose not to follow his example and we make the decision not to strive with him, there comes a time when Jesus must turn and shake the dust off his feet. 

Mathew 10:13 &14 

13. And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you.

14. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.

If you look up the word “dust,” in the Bible, it quickly becomes apparent that dust represents the spiritually dead. Those who have not chosen to rise from the dust. I constantly have to remind myself that I am not directly responsible for someone else’s salvation. No matter how good of an example I try to be, or how much I pray for them, I cannot make the decision for them. I can love them by praying for their soul, but I have to let go.  So I loosen and release my grasp. I mourn, but I shake the dust off my feet and turn to Jesus, and follow where he leads. He will never leave me alone. 

I still live with a hope that those who have chosen separation, will someday want to join Jesus back on this straight and narrow path. I don’t have to give up that hope, but I do have to allow them their freedom to choose. For those who have chosen distance, I still grieve…but I must continue on. I am on a journey that does not stop here. I will choose to love them from afar. My love for them, cannot exceed my love for God. Our time with unbelievers is not wasted. Some will take this cup and some will pass it, but the opportunity is presented. We cannot be defeated, when we share this cup with someone who chooses not to drink of it. This is what we do as followers of Christ. We offer, and some will accept and some will not. 

Mathew 10:34-31

34. Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

35. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

36. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.

37. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

38. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

39. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

40. He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.

41. He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward.

42. And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.

Our job remains as always, to love, set an example, present opportunity and follow Jesus.  Sometimes we must shake off the dust. The rain pouring down outside today, drenching all of the creation around me, reminds me that God will one day wash all the tears from our eyes. 

Revelations 21:4 

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Someday God will heal the pain of heartbreak and we will rest. I pray today that we all are hand in hand with Jesus, and that we have the strength to never grasp another’s hand tighter than we grasp his.  I love you each. huge hugs. 

Mathew 7:13-14

 

 

 


6 thoughts on “Shake the dust off your feet.

  1. This is an excellent topic. We have a very close family member who has chosen to walk away from the family. All we can do is pray to God for them and move forward.

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  2. Hi there!

    Can I for see this. I am so proud of you for living each day. You are a true warrior, and a true believer!

    I hope I can offer some words of encouragement. I suffer from a chronic disease but it’s not really anything near what you are going through. But I say that because in some very small way I can relate to your daily challenge. I guess I don’t think about mine too much I just do it I Gotta do and live each day. After all what else am I going to do LOL!

    I hope I can offer some words of encouragement. I suffer from a chronic disease but it’s not really anything near what you are going through. But I say that because in some very small way I can relate to your daily challenge. I guess I don’t think about mine too much I just do it I Gotta do and live each day. After all what else am I going to do LOL! At any rate I hope to offer you some encouragement and I would like you to know that your readers here love you very much. And I say love as in the form of agape love.

    I pray for a healing over you. You are my sister in Christ even though we’ve never met. And I pray for your family to support you through every difficult time and when you are in your most difficult times. I pray that our Lord Jesus Christ will bring you for the comfort, understanding and healing in days to come. In the name of the father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit amen.

    I have a brother who is a believer and I wish I could say that could set an example for him to follow but it wouldn’t do any good even if I did so I just live my life the best I can. My example is to live is a real person but yet mostly and for most first most a Christian. Or I really prefer to call it a disciple. So I understand people who choose to separate and then people who choose to walk with. And that is our life goes.

    I think God brings people into her life and allows the separating. I think all roads lead back to God. I think a person has to make a very conscious effort to be an unbeliever. I think it takes a huge amount of “faith” to be in unbeliever. Because proof of the Almighty is all around us and what other people call mother nature. I Call it Creation and I think we all do here.

    So I will and here with my comment. I just wanted to let you know we are out here I know you know that but we are. And we sympathize and also empathize with you. We pray for you we pray over you. I think the Lord has something going on. So let’s stay tuned with excitement.

    Have a wonderful day tomorrow and every day after that. Your friend and follower…

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    1. Mark, thank you so much for sharing such wonderful words of encouragement and your thoughts. I know I am not alone in this. Thankful we have people around us that are wonderful. I look forward to writing because if brings me opportunity to connect with others who I know are mulling over the same issues. I love getting to know each of you and connecting with you. You are absolutely right. We all have faith whether it’s in God, or in the lack of God. We all make a choice with our decisions, which faith we want to believe and serve. I know you feel the same heartbreak that I do when someone chooses not to put their love and life in the hands of the one who created us all and loved us first. I am so thankful for the support I have in the community of wonderful people. I am thankful you guys ever even want to read my thoughts. It moves me deeply. My huge hugs and prayers to you too!

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  3. I’ve had to deal with quite a bit, people have walked away from me and vice versa. Some friends were insistent that they were followers of Christ but their lives didn’t reflect this fact, I had to let go of them eventually because they were dragging me down. It wasn’t easy to do but I felt better without their influence in my life. One of the strangest separations occurred between my mother and me after the Lord healed my back. The Lord laid on my heart to write her a letter about some specific things and it didn’t bode well with her and that was it! I feel bad but then again I don’t because I did the will of the Father. There’s a peace that comes with obedience.

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