What Is Boots on the Ground Obedience?
He asked me to lay down my life for someone recently. And all the trial that went through it and all the dying that went through it at the end of it is, was glory and increase and, and gifts and blessings and being loved and loving. So it’s, it’s a great adventure to be you.
It’s a great adventure to be you, and it’s not going to come without boots on the ground. And that’s where I am. And you talked about accepting the parents, forgiving the parents. And in your book Altogether Forgiven you called it, “The first forgiveness.” And I would add to that now and I would call it the first obedience, for honor thy father and mother. Right? I am the queen of wrestling. So I’m here to say that! I have spent so much time wrestling with my life and grappling with my pain and blah, blah, blah. And I don’t mean to make light of it, but I am a little bit. I am a little bit going to make light of it because it was easier for me to do that than actually to put boots on the ground and obey.
You can spend days, weeks, months, years grappling, wrestling, struggling, right? And you can call it “honestly dealing with your feelings.” You can call it “facing the truth of your life.” You can call it all sorts of things. But if your feet never touch the ground, just strap on a pair of boots and start walking it out, then you’re in disobedience.
You know, Jacob didn’t wrestle with the Lord for months, years. It was a night. I’m not saying there’s… There are things that you’re gonna wrestle with for much longer than a night. I’m not speaking, you know, proclaiming over that and saying if you are, then you’re out of here.
But there’s a place where you just simply leap. There’s a place in obedience where you say, “All right Lord, I’m dying to everything about me and I’m just jumping and I’m trusting that You’ve got this. I don’t have a parachute. I don’t have an escape hatch. I don’t have an answer for if this goes badly wrong. I cannot take care of myself.” Okay, boots on, start walking.
And I… There, there is a torment in disobedience and it’s a rightful torment.
It is a rightful torment. And, you know, the life verse that He gave me, I also have as a life verse, “I will love the Lord my God will all heart, with all my mind, with all my soul.” But the life verse that He gave me is Joel 2:12, 13 in the Amplified. And that one involves whole-hearted repentance. But whole-hearted repentance is not consummated, completed, whatever you want to call it, if it doesn’t, if it’s not followed by obedience. If it’s not followed by boots-on-the-ground obedience, then I’m not sure what it was but it wasn’t true repentance because you can turn away from it all day long. But if all you do is turn away from it in words and in behavior… See that’s the thing. I would look at it and I’d say, “Okay, I’m not going to do this behavior anymore. I’m not going to make these statements any more. I’m not going to”… It was something specific that I would say, “Okay, I’m not going to do that.” But the heart condition didn’t change, because I still had a parachute on my back. I still had an escape hatch.
And Martha and I were talking this morning, and what we came to, because she said, “Nope, come out! Keep saying it. What are you saying?” She wouldn’t, she wouldn’t let me just kind of generalize. What it came to was I still had a right, a right to choose for me.
Now free will! God will not wrestle with that right. He, He is not going, you know… He, He will, He will get in it with me. He is in my life with me. But He’s not going to override what He gave me and I have the choice. And what I was choosing was, “Okay, God, I’m going to do what You say here, but because I’m going to do what You say here, I get to do this here. Right?” I was tit-for-tatting with God. That was the deal. It was contractual. And my reserving my right whenever He gave me something that I deemed too hard, too difficult, too painful, then I reserved the right to comfort myself on this side, with whatever it was. I mean, pick something! Do you know what I mean, like, I have been— But it was, it was about reserving my right and that’s not obedience. That’s not obedience. It’s, you know, to be poetic, it’s the double minded man. And I say to be poetic, because as horrifying as that is that’s not specific. It was Jennifer Wentzel in flagrant rebellion because I reserved the right to override my King on any ground in my life that I deemed too difficult. And that’s what it was. So it wasn’t boots-on-the-ground obedience.
Now I’ve since had a very radical encounter with boots-on-the-ground obedience. And I’m not going to get into most of it here but what I can tell you is that my life has been upended in just about every way. I cry a lot. And I’m, I’m pretty raw. Giving up those rights means that you don’t have your binky, because that’s what it is really.
But I told Martha, not even getting into the love and relationship, let’s just talk about something really basic. I’m clean, even when I pitch a fit, even when my heart hurts and I’m dying and I’m dying ugly which, there’s as Martha has assured me there’s no pretty way to die so that’s nice. But I, I still feel clean even with that, even when I’m in the throes of that. And somebody walking by would be like, “Oh my goodness. Oh dear!” you know? I, I’m clean. I’m clean because there’s boots-on-the-ground obedience. Because it is His will that I’m working out. And because it is not endless grappling, endless struggling, endless wrestling. There’s a grapple and then there’s now do it. Then there’s boots on the ground, walk it out.
And I, I don’t have words for what a gift that is. I don’t have words for what a gift it is to not have the guilt, the weight, the perpetual torment of not feeling clean and, and having only moments of doing it, because at the end of the day reserving that right for myself put me outside the camp.
This morning you told me about the turning point of your baptism.
Would you be willing to share that?
Yes, I would.
It’s so wonderful. It was… It’s the most real testimony to baptism, water baptism. It was beautiful.
Okay. I, I looked at a lot of things. I was baptized years and years ago. But I told Martha, “I don’t know where I was on that day, but I wasn’t in it.” I’m not even sure, I’m not even sure that, that… I know I was awakened at that time but I, I don’t believe that I had transacted in the fear of the Lord and, and the salvation and any of that. I don’t believe I had. And I believe that that was something that the Holy Spirit spoke to me about. And, you know, baptism is a key of boots-on-the-ground obedience/salvation, which to me it’s all of a piece.
Anyway, it’s much higher and, and holier. But so I told Martha and I said, “I, I need to be baptized. I, I, I know now what that means. And I need it. I need to do it in the full knowledge.” And Derek Prince was one of the people that I, I listened to and he talked about baptism and he said that baptism is you sharing symbolically, right, but sharing in the death of Christ and His resurrection. You go under the water in death. And you are lifted up out of the water in, in resurrected life with Christ. You are no longer your own. You are no longer who you were. You, you belong to Jesus now, utterly.
And so I, I knew what was coming and so we planned, we said, “Okay, we’re going to do it this weekend.” Anyway there were several days. I think it was three, three or four days. I told Martha, I said, “As shameful as it is and even knowing what I was grieving, I couldn’t stop grieving.” I grieved, I mourned for those days leading up to the baptism because I knew it was the end of me. No more endless wrestling, no more struggles, no more working so hard at everything but His full will and, and that’s, that’s what I’ll say.
The, the full… Fully obeying means you are in. You’re in. You’ve jumped off the cliff. You’ve got, there is no escape hatch; it’s all Him. You’re in it. You’re in it entirely. There’s no back door. There’s no nothing. And I knew, I knew when that happened, when I went under the water, when I came back up, it was done.
And even though I knew it had been a torment, and it had been death, and it had been horrible, I grieved. I wailed. I wept. I grieved for days. I died knowing that I was dying to, to, that my escape hatch was done. That that was going to be concreted in. There was no more, no more going out that.
And has my life been easier since then? No. No, in many ways it, it absolutely has not. But it’s much simpler now. And like I said, I, I wouldn’t trade feeling clean for anything. That, that kind of loose torment, that weird gnawing in your gut? It’s gone and I don’t, I don’t want it back.
And now I, I know that I grieved those three days but I can’t remember what exact. You know what I mean? Like that’s, it’s every day it’s a little bit further removed from me and even being able to put myself back in that, that state of mind because my being is different. My very being.
And Derek Prince says that the water baptism is essential because without it, without that public identifying with Christ’s death and with His Resurrected Life, that we can turn away from sin but we have no power to make it so. Now, I, I don’t know anything about that. But I am empowered to obey and while my dying may be ugly and, and as it is, my daily cross is, is worth it. It’s worth it to put the boots on the ground and, may I say, I have no idea what each day will bring. It’s been a real roller coaster ever since then. And I’m finding it hard to even remember the weird, tormented stasis of, of my life previously. And that’s what disobedience is. Whatever else it is, it’s not life and it’s not moving and it’s not living and it’s not going forward. You’re treading water at best. So…
What Is Boots on the Ground Obedience? – Episode #691 – Shulamite Podcast
Boots on the ground obedience describes an active, life-changing response to God’s will for us. But it goes deeper than just behavior or words; it hits the heart. What is our heart condition toward God’s will? Are we all in or saving something for ourselves?