Feet to the Fire
“Hold your feet to the fire” an obsolete reference yet inside of the past 24 hours, I heard it used on three occasions.
That being said, I decided to dig deeper…
Meaning: To hold one accountable for a commitment, make good on a promise.
Example: You made a fair bet with me on the Superbowl and I am going to hold your feet to the fire for payment.
Origin: Pertains to torture used during the Crusade’s. As a method for extracting confession for heresy, non-believers were positioned in a manner that allowed the inquisitor to apply flames to the feet of the accused. This was done until the accused confessed or died.
However, that explanation does not reconcile the meaning with its (alleged) origin!
Drawn closer to dig deeper…I found this—
As ridiculous as that method of obtaining a confession seems by today’s standards, consider a modern parallel – plea bargaining. The accused is offered the choice between a reduced sentence in exchange for a confession, or prosecution with the risk of more severe penalty (possibly death).
And having shod your feet in preparation [to face the enemy with the firm-footed stability, the promptness, and the readiness produced by the good news] of the Gospel of peace.
(Ephesians 6:15) Put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh.
For flesh and blood can not inherit the Kingdom of God.
If your ‘feet‘ are ‘cold‘, you can’t walk or move forward very well – you are frozen in one place. Because fear causes blood to be diverted to the muscles (i.e., away from the skin), possibly causing actually cold feet.
When going into a situation that makes you fearful or nervous, your body’s natural “fight or flight” response will divert blood from the extremities and actually cause a drop in temperature.
Further digging developed his reference in an issue of the Otago Daily Times from 1881:
After a little more sleuthing, I found that this maxim was quite common among Presbyterians, at least, in the 1880s.
The idea being that missionary zeal needed to be paired with a concern for meeting the social needs of those to be converted.
Apparently the original phrase went something along the lines of “Man cannot be converted while suffering from cold feet or an empty stomach.“
I’ve seen the phrase attributed to a half dozen different ministers in the early 1800s—it seems no one knew for sure who first said it. The important part is that the saying was commonly known in certain circles. Given that, and given that the University of Michigan was co-founded by a Presbyterian minister and probably still heavily populated by Presbyterians in 1884, I think the joke of the The Chronicle story may be a play on this religious maxim. In other words, since Evelyn has cold feet, she cannot be “converted” to the idea of marrying Ernest.
If this is the case (and I realize it could be a big “if“) then I think there may also be the possibility that our modern idea of having cold feet could have been influenced by this same phrase. That is, as a corollary to not being interested in being “saved” when one’s feet are cold, one’s having “cold feet” may have come to mean one’s reluctance to pursue a matter—perhaps popularized with jokes like the story above.
Eventually extracted this explanation—
Apparently the origin is not quite English, to be exact, Italian:
It seems that Ben Johnson provides the first recorded use of the phrase in English, in his Volpone of 1605:
“Let me tell you: I am not, as your Lombard proverb saith, cold on my feet; or content to part with my commodities at a cheaper rate than I am accustomed: look not for it.”
Apparently Johnson learned the “Lombard proverb” from an Italian acquaintance and then used it in Volpone, which takes place in Italy. Professor McKenzie even discovered that the Italian phrase was still in use in Lombardy in the early part of the 20th century. Its figurative meaning in Italian was “to be without money“. It is thought that the term moved, in English, from the “without money” meaning to “unwillingness to continue in some endeavor because one is out of money” (such as a poker game) to simply “unwillingness to proceed“.
Then, this “Lombard proverb” came to mean “lost nerve“:
The transition from the “no money” sense to the modern “timid” sense of “cold feet” may be found in an 1862 German novel in which a card player withdraws from a game claiming that he has “cold feet” (i.e., no money), when in fact he has merely lost his nerve. “To get cold feet,” goes the theory, then eventually came to mean backing out of any risky situation, whatever excuse was given.
The story of the German novel, can be backed up by this:
J. F. L. Raschen identifies the phrase in a popular German novel by Fritz Reuter published in 1862: According to an English translation from 1870, a winning card-player who is afraid his luck is turning decides to leave the table with a case of “cold feet.“
But all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things, so no fruit is produced. (Mark 4:19) Do not wear yourself out to get rich; do not trust your own cleverness. (Proverbs 23:4)
Jesus: I am the true vine, and My Father is the keeper of the vineyard. My Father examines every branch in Me and cuts away those who do not bear fruit. He leaves those bearing fruit and carefully prunes them so that they will bear more fruit; already you are clean because you have heard My voice. Abide in Me, and I will abide in you. A branch cannot bear fruit if it is disconnected from the vine, and neither will you if you are not connected to Me.
I am the vine, and you are the branches. If you abide in Me and I in you, you will bear great fruit. Without Me, you will accomplish nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is like a branch that is tossed out and shrivels up and is later gathered to be tossed into the fire to burn. If you abide in Me and My voice abides in you, anything you ask will come to pass for you. Your abundant growth and your faithfulness as My followers will bring glory to the Father.
At a time when all of His disciples are feeling as if they are about to be uprooted, Jesus sketches a picture of this new life as a flourishing vineyard—a labyrinth of vines and strong branches steeped in rich soil, abundant grapes hanging from their vines ripening in the sun. Jesus sculpts a new garden of Eden in their imaginations—one that is bustling with fruit, sustenance, and satisfying aromas. This is the Kingdom life. It is all about connection, sustenance, and beauty. But within this promise of life is the warning that people must be in Christ or they will not experience these blessings.
Jesus: I have loved you as the Father has loved Me. Abide in My love. Follow My example in obeying the Father’s commandments and receiving His love. If you obey My commandments, you will stay in My love. I want you to know the delight I experience, to find ultimate satisfaction, which is why I am telling you all of this.
My commandment to you is this: love others as I have loved you. There is no greater way to love than to give your life for your friends. You celebrate our friendship if you obey this command. I don’t call you servants any longer; servants don’t know what the master is doing, but I have told you everything the Father has said to Me. I call you friends. You did not choose Me. I chose you, and I orchestrated all of this so that you would be sent out and bear great and perpetual fruit. As you do this, anything you ask the Father in My name will be done. This is My command to you: love one another.
If you find that the world despises you, remember that before it despised you, it first despised Me. If you were a product of the world order, then it would love you. But you are not a product of the world because I have taken you out of it, and it despises you for that very reason. Don’t forget what I have spoken to you: “a servant is not greater than the master.” If I was mistreated, you should expect nothing less. If they accepted what I have spoken, they will also hear you. Everything they do to you they will do on My account because they do not know the One who has sent Me. If I had not spoken within their hearing, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for ignoring My voice.
If someone despises Me, he also despises My Father. If I had not demonstrated things for them that have never been done, they would not be guilty of sin. But the reality is they have stared Me in the face, and they have despised Me and the Father nonetheless. Yet their law, which says, “They despised Me without any cause,” has again been proven true.
I will send a great Helper to you from the Father, one known as the Spirit of truth. He comes from the Father and will point to the truth as it concerns Me. But you will also point others to the truth. (John chapter 15)
There is no fear where love exists. Rather, perfect love banishes fear, for fear involves punishment, and the person who lives in fear has not been perfected in love.
Love Comes from God
By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us.about My identity, because you have journeyed with Me since this all began. (1 John 4:17-19)
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. (1 John 4:16) And this is His command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as He commanded us. (1 John 3:23)
The one who keeps God’s commands lives in Him, and He in them. And this is how we know that He lives in us: We know it by the Spirit He gave us. (1 John 3:24)
This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God. (1 John 4:2)
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)
We find in God’s Word what we can do and what we ought to do.
Responding to the positive commands of God’s Word is a prerequisite to
ANSWERED prayer based on OBEDIENCE. If we find it in HIS Word,
we can BELIEVE it, we can LIVE it, and we can ACT upon it.
And many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. (Matthew 24:11)
But the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. (Matthew 24:13)
Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the Word planted in you, which can save you. (James 1:21)
Witnessing to All Nations
Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved
At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other.
Never Betray My Trust—Get Over “It” and Keep Walking in My Will!
Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of Me.
A sudden loss of nerve when embarked on a venture is called cold feet. Does anyone know why that should be? An etymology suggested “cold feet” defined as, “Loss of courage; fear.”
1) Lisa wanted to jump off the high diving board, but she got cold feet once she got up there.
2) The investors got cold feet and called the deal off.
If your ‘feet‘ are ‘cold‘, you can’t walk or move forward very well – you are frozen in one place.
Patience in Persecution
For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. (2 Timothy 1:6-7)
Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27)
The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by Him we cry, “Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:15)
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the WILL of God, in keeping with the PROMISE OF LIFE that is IN Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 1:1)
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
( 2 Timothy 1:6)
I MUST BE ABOUT MY FATHER’S BUSINESS
Jesus went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil for the Father was with Him.
Erase all fear, for it is the PROMISE of our Lord, “There is hope in your future!“
These are God’s words and He is a positive God who keeps His promises.
A Call to Persevere
Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.
FOR YET IN A VERY LITTLE WHILE, HE WHO IS COMING WILL COME, AND WILL NOT DELAY.
Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” (Mark 3:35)
Stand firm, and you will win life. (Luke 21:19)
To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, He will give eternal life. (Romans 2:7)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. (Hebrews 12:1)
AS JOSHUA AND CALEB
After the unbelieving complainers questioned God (the definition of rebellion)–
Caleb silenced the people around Moses and said, “We ought to go up immediately and take possession of it; there is no question that we can conquer it.” (Numbers 13:30)
THE REBELLIOUS GENERATION…
Eternal One: I have pardoned them as you’ve asked Me to do. 21 But as I live, the earth will be filled with My brilliant glory; this particular generation will never get to enjoy the land I promised to their ancestors so long ago. Although they witnessed My glory and signs firsthand, and the amazing feats I accomplished on their behalf in Egypt and on this desert sojourn, they tested Me over and over again, even 10 times, and even directly disobeyed. None of the people who have turned their backs on Me will ever see the land. For Caleb, though, it’s a different matter. He’s distinct from the others by having a different spirit and has followed My lead wholeheartedly. I will make sure that he is able to enter the land and to live in it—he and his descendants after him.
By an act of faith, Enoch skipped death completely. “They looked all over and couldn’t find him because God had taken him.” We know on the basis of reliable testimony that before he was taken “he pleased God.” It’s impossible to please God apart from faith. And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that He exists and that He cares enough to respond to those who seek Him. (Hebrews 11:5-6)
A Call to Persevere
BUT MY RIGHTEOUS ONE SHALL LIVE BY FAITH; AND IF HE SHRINKS BACK, MY SOUL HAS NO PLEASURE IN HIM.
But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.
just as the man with the withered hand had to stretch it out by faith as Jesus’ command
just as the barren woman had to enlarge her tent in order to receive by faith the
returning children that God promises.
just as the lame man at the gate Beautiful had to look at Peter and John in order to be in the proper position to receive by faith the Word to rise and walk.
We are called to take hold of God’s Word and stretch our faith in out REACH …
The deceivers among you despise what they do not understand; they live without reason like animals, reacting only with primal instincts; and their ways are corrupting them. Woe to these deceivers! They are doomed! They have followed in the footsteps of their father Cain, sold their souls for profit into Balaam’s deceit, and suffered the devastation of Korah’s rebellion.
These men are cold stones on the warm hearth of your love feasts as they glut themselves without fear, thinking only of their own benefit. They are waterless clouds, carried away by the wind; autumn’s lonely and barren trees, twice dead, uprooted; violent waves of the sea breaking over the bow, foaming with shame; lost and wandering stars destined to live forever in gloomy darkness.
During the seventh generation after Adam, the prophet Enoch said, “Look! The Lord came, and with Him tens of thousands of His holy messengers to judge wicked men and convict the impious and ungodly for all they have said and all the hard things they have done against the Holy One.” These men are complainers who look long and hard to find the faults of other men. They are led by their own lustful desires like fools down the path of destruction. They are arrogant liars who want only to get ahead of
But you, friends, remember the words of the emissaries of our Lord Jesus the Anointed, the Liberating King: “At the end of time, some will ridicule the faithful and follow their lusts to the grave.” These are the men among you—those who divide friends, those concerned ultimately with this world, those without the Spirit.
You, however, should stand firm in the love of God, constructing a life within the holy faith, praying the Spirit’s prayer, as you wait eagerly for the mercy of our Lord Jesus the Anointed, which leads to eternal life.
Keep being kind to those who waver in this faith. Pursue those who are singed by the flames of God’s wrath, and bring them safely to Him. Show mercy to others with fear, despising every garment soiled by the weakness of human flesh.
Now to the One who can keep you upright and plant you firmly in His presence—clean, unmarked, and joyful in the light of His glory— to the one and only God, our Savior, through Jesus the Anointed our Lord, be glory and greatness and might and authority; just as it has been since before He created time, may it continue now and into eternity. Amen.
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. (Hebrews 11:3, 1)
For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews on behalf of God’s truth, so that the promises made to the patriarchs might be confirmed. (Romans 15:8)
God fashioned the world with words.
No longer walk as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them because of the blindness of their heart. (Ephesians 4:17–18)
This is what God the LORD says—the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out, who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it. (Isaiah 42:5)
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.
All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made….
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.… This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all. (1 John 1:1–5)
But I saw no Temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its Temple.
The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it.
The Lamb is its light. And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light. (Revelation 21:22–24)
And they follow the Lamb wherever He goes. (Revelation 14:1–5)
To the young man who was wealthy in the things of this world, Jesus says this,
“One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor . . . and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”
The Narrow Road Leads to Life
follow Jesus. “. . . come. . . and follow Me.” And the road is the way He went.
Jesus is the Way, the Truth AND the Life
No man comes to the Father but by Him.