The feet washing exercise conducted by Jesus Christ was meant to demonstrate to us how to lead as Kingdom people. Unfortunately, we have left the essence of that exercise and embraced the actual practice for our own different reasons. From my experience, the reason given was for us to “possess our possessions”. After the feet washing, we were made to walk round the church auditorium praying that “any office we step into, we shall possess our possessions”. Looking back now, I realized it was actually witchcraft. I believe some people would have stepped out with that mindset, placing various demands on unsuspecting people in the name of claiming their possessions, as a result of their feet that have been washed.
Let me explain why this is witchcraft, as the term may sound out of place here. Any attempt at manipulating people to do what ordinarily they would not do, is practicing witchcraft. That was the operational technology of Jezebel (1 Kings 19-21). It is a spirit of manipulation, which most often accompanies the spirit of religion that has crept into the church unnoticed. That was the spirit Jesus Christ repeatedly addressed whenever He made reference to the religious leaders of His days (Pharisees). They engaged in a lot of external ritualistic practices at the expense of the essence, principle and required lifestyle.
Rick Joyner, in one of his books wrote that once God gave him a word for a troubled woman to engage in a practical exercise for her to be set free. He said the woman did it, and she was set free. He added that if someone else comes to him with probably similar condition and he decides to proffer the same remedy without hearing from God, that it would amount to witchcraft, even if it works. This is what most of the practices in the church today have come to. And to deepen the deception, some people actually come back with testimonies. But whether they would be approved by God in the end is another matter. Matthew 7:21-23 gives us some insight:
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’. (NKJV)
While I was thinking that most of our mega pastors would have received illumination on the essence of that passage, and teach same, I was surprised to see pictures recently on the social media of a Bishop washing the feet of the members. One of the congregants actually posted the pictures of the exercise on facebook in praise of the Bishop. I have no idea of the rationale given for the exercise in this instance. It is disheartening that we see less of servant-leadership even among believers today, while some are still engaged in literal washing of feet that do not need washing in the first place.
Some folks reading this now would say “Fred you are judging, while the Bible says we should not judge”. This has become our way of shying away from speaking truth to people in positions of authority. Speaking the truth is not judging or condemning anyone. As long as we are alive, there will always be opportunities to repent and turn a new leaf (Revelations 2:18-23). “To judge” that people always refer to is to condemn to hell or attempt to predetermine someone’s end, which we cannot do. That is not what is happening here. This is to help people look at the Scripture differently as God keeps granting us access into the deeper meanings and understanding of His word. If all you know of God, is all you have always known, then something is wrong. Our understanding of God and His word ought to be increasing, as we continue to walk with Him. That is the experience Paul referred to when he said:
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Corinthians 3:18 (NKJV).
This unveiling is made possible by the Holy Spirit:
“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.” John 16:12-13.
Our refusal to engage with God on this level is what is responsible, chiefly, for what is happening in the religious structure of Christianity today. When you stop journeying with God, you fossilize, and keep relying on stale revelations, rather than continuously depending on the Holy Spirit to lead you into the truth (essence) of the word of God. Some have become their own Holy Spirit because of the assumption that they already know all they need to know. Such people have simply stopped walking with God. This does not imply cessation of activities. That is when they engage in more religious activities which simply keep the people busy round the week, without discernible improvement in character and lifestyle.
Reliance on personal gifts and skills to preach rather than the Holy Spirit, is the reason for repetition of sermons. These messages are simply repackaged each time to sound differently. It is the reason we have so many local assemblies and millions of people at annual religious gatherings without commensurate impact on the society. It is also the reason for the use of all sorts of gimmicks, including bringing comedians to entertain the people. The thinking seems to be that, rather than risk losing the people to the world, why not bring the world to them in the church in order to keep them and also pull more crowd.
This is what happens when the leaders stop journeying with God, and settle in their comfort zones. Our destination cannot be miracles, breakthroughs and prosperity, in competition with the world. There’s so much God wants to accomplish in and through us. The pursuit of Christlikeness and perfection of lifestyle is central. We also have to seek to know God’s end time plans and fulfil them. It is no longer about what we want, but what He wants. God is reforming and building His Church (Matthew 16:18). This is a day of reformation, and the remnants are matching forward. Don’t be left out of this process. Time to break free from the stronghold of religion and into the nature and character of Christ.
“In the day of final judgment, God will only approve the things He authorised” – Jon Williams