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Chapter IV.
Our Feet kept for Jesus.

‘Keep my feet, that they may be

Swift and beautiful for Thee.’

The figurative keeping of the feet of His saints, with the promise that when they run they shall not stumble, is a most beautiful and helpful subject. But it is quite distinct from the literal keeping for Jesus of our literal feet.

There is a certain homeliness about the idea which helps to make it very real. These very feet of ours are purchased for Christ’s service by the precious drops which fell from His own torn and pierced feet upon the cross. They are to be His errand-runners. 47 How can we let the world, the flesh, and the devil have the use of what has been purchased with such payment?

Shall ‘the world’ have the use of them? Shall they carry us where the world is paramount, and the Master cannot be even named, because the mention of His Name would be so obviously out of place? I know the apparent difficulties of a subject which will at once occur in connection with this, but they all vanish when our bright banner is loyally unfurled, with its motto, ‘All for Jesus!’ Do you honestly want your very feet to be ‘kept for Jesus’? Let these simple words, ‘Kept for Jesus,’ ring out next time the dancing difficulty or any other difficulty of the same kind comes up, and I know what the result will be!

Shall ‘the flesh’ have the use of them? Shall they carry us hither and thither merely because we like to go, merely because it pleases ourselves to take this walk or pay this visit? And after all, what a failure it is! If people only would believe it, self-pleasing is always a failure in the end. Our good Master gives us a reality and fulness of pleasure in pleasing Him which we never get out of pleasing ourselves.

Shall ‘the devil’ have the use of them? Oh no, of course not! We start back at this, as a highly unnecessary question. Yet if Jesus has not, Satan has. For as all are serving either the Prince of Life or the prince of this world, and as no man can serve two masters, it follows that if we are not serving the one, we are serving the other. And Satan is only too glad to disguise this service under the 48 less startling form of the world, or the still less startling one of self. All that is not ‘kept for Jesus,’ is left for self or the world, and therefore for Satan.

There is no fear but that our Lord will have many uses for what is kept by Him for Himself. ‘How beautiful are the feet of them that bring glad tidings of good things!’ That is the best use of all; and I expect the angels think those feet beautiful, even if they are cased in muddy boots or goloshes.

Once the question was asked, ‘Wherefore wilt thou run, my son, seeing that thou hast no tidings ready?’ So if we want to have these beautiful feet, we must have the tidings ready which they are to bear. Let us ask Him to keep our hearts so freshly full of His good news of salvation, that our mouths may speak out of their abundance. ‘If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth.’ The ‘two olive branches empty the golden oil out of themselves.’ May we be so filled with the Spirit that we may thus have much to pour out for others!

Besides the great privilege of carrying water from the wells of salvation, there are plenty of cups of cold water to be carried in all directions; not to the poor only,—ministries of love are often as much needed by a rich friend. But the feet must be kept for these; they will be too tired for them if they are tired out for self-pleasing. In such services we are treading in the blessed steps of His most holy life, who ‘went about doing good.’


Then there is literal errand-going,—just to fetch something that is needed for the household, or something that a tired relative wants, whether asked or unasked. Such things should come first instead of last, because these are clearly indicated as our Lord’s will for us to do, by the position in which He has placed us; while what seems more direct service, may be after all not so directly apportioned by Him. ‘I have to go and buy some soap,’ said one with a little sigh. The sigh was waste of breath, for her feet were going to do her Lord’s will for that next half-hour much more truly than if they had carried her to her well-worked district, and left the soap to take its chance.

A member of the Young Women’s Christian Association wrote a few words on this subject, which, I think, will be welcome to many more than she expected them to reach:—

‘May it not be a comfort to those of us who feel we have not the mental or spiritual power that others have, to notice that the living sacrifice mentioned in Rom. xii. 1 is our “bodies”? Of course, that includes the mental power, but does it not also include the loving, sympathizing glance, the kind, encouraging word, the ready errand for another, the work of our hands, opportunities for all of which come oftener in the day than for the mental power we are often tempted to envy? May we be enabled to offer willingly that which we have. For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.’


If our feet are to be kept at His disposal, our eyes must be ever toward the Lord for guidance. We must look to Him for our orders where to go. Then He will be sure to give them. ‘The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord.’ Very often we find that they have been so very literally ordered for us that we are quite astonished,—just as if He had not promised!

Do not smile at a very homely thought! If our feet are not our own, ought we not to take care of them for Him whose they are? Is it quite right to be reckless about ‘getting wet feet,’ which might be guarded against either by forethought or afterthought, when there is, at least, a risk of hindering our service thereby? Does it please the Master when even in our zeal for His work we annoy anxious friends by carelessness in little things of this kind?

May every step of our feet be more and more like those of our beloved Master. Let us continually consider Him in this, and go where He would have gone, on the errands which He would have done, ‘following hard’ after Him. And let us look on to the time when our feet shall stand in the gates of the heavenly Jerusalem, when holy feet shall tread the streets of the holy city; no longer pacing any lonely path, for He hath said, ‘They shall walk with Me in white.’


Sarah Geraldina Stock.

‘And He hath said, “How beautiful the feet!”

The “feet” so weary, travel-stained, and worn—

The “feet” that humbly, patiently have borne

The toilsome way, the pressure, and the heat.

‘The “feet,” not hasting on with wingèd might,

Nor strong to trample down the opposing foe;

So lowly, and so human, they must go

By painful steps to scale the mountain height.

‘Not unto all the tuneful lips are given,

The ready tongue, the words so strong and sweet;

Yet all may turn, with humble, willing “feet,”

And bear to darkened souls the light from heaven.

‘And fall they while the goal far distant lies,

With scarce a word yet spoken for their Lord—

His sweet approval He doth yet accord;

Their “feet” are beauteous in the Master’s eyes.

‘With weary human “feet” He, day by day,

Once trod this earth to work His acts of love;

And every step is chronicled above

His servants take to follow in His way.’

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