Our every step in life is the subject of divine decree. And though a man will plan out his course, it is God who ultimately directs his steps.
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“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way.” Psalm 37:23 (NKJV)
“A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9 (NIV)
As parents, we are pleased with each tottering footstep made by our children. We cheer as they move bravely forward and encourage them to rise after every fall. As their muscles develop and grow, we smile at their progress up strenuous paths. We rejoice over their mountaintop experiences and look on with compassion as they journey through dry and unknown deserts of uncertainty and testing.
Our heavenly Father also observes our journey through this life. He sees our well-intentioned steps as we press forward in our spiritual race. Throughout our trials and joys, we have a constant companion who walks beside us. It is our Savior, Jesus Christ.
“For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and He ponders all his paths.” Proverbs 5:21 (NKJV)
Even in times of willful disobedience, God remains faithful and merciful. Consider Jonah, who fled from the presence of the Lord by boarding a ship bound for Tarshish. (How silly it is to think we can escape the eye of the Lord. At such moments we forget the awesome power of the Creator.) Unable to escape the call of God, Jonah spent three days in the belly of a whale before repenting and heeding God’s instruction to preach repentance in Nineveh. Jonah’s path was not only on land. It was on the water and within the belly of a whale.
We are instructed to ponder the path of our feet. Listening to the Holy Spirit and asking God to guide us in the direction of His will is always wise. We are told to look straight ahead for a reason. By keeping our eyes focused on God, distractions and worldly temptations will not set us off course. Fears will not sideswipe us or cause immobility.
“Let your eyes look straight ahead, and your eyelids look right before you. Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established.” Proverbs 4:25-26 (NKJV)
When we trust the Lord with all our heart, He will deliver us from evil and uphold our steps. There could be dangers in our future but we are always in the care of the Father. We might have to endure suffering, even death. But in the presence of God, there is still safety. He gives strength to the weary and enables us to face that which He has called us to face. Trusting God enables His people to do amazing things for His glory.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV)
“Uphold my steps in Your paths, that my footsteps may not slip.” Psalm 17:5 (NKJV)
When you are on a difficult stretch in your journey, call out to the Lord. Ask Him to keep your feet from slipping. Tell Him you want to remain steadfast in your walk.
“You enlarged my path under me; So my feet did not slip.” 2 Sam 22:37 (NKJV)
Our spiritual race requires not only a path but a door: an entrance into life and a path in it. Through Christ, the door to paradise is open to every believer. Our journey home is made easier when we abide in Christ. Abiding is a continuous awareness of God’s presence and an ability to endure without yielding to temptation or corruption. We must accept the will of God without objection. We are able to do so because we believe His promises are true and faithful.
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.” John 15:4 (NIV)
“You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11 (NKJV)
The path to God begins with surrender and faith. It brings us into the presence of the Almighty and puts our fragility before us. Acknowledging our human condition and our need for a Savior is the true starting point. With every step forward the path before us brightens. With every move forward, our feet become more and more established. As our focus remains steadfast on the prize ahead our feet will become surer and the path before us broader.
Distractions and temptations will always remain, but as we mature spiritually we will become more aware of the uneven ground ahead and choose to avoid it. With wisdom acquired from past mistakes, familiar traps set by the enemy will no longer trip us up. But be warned, our enemy is tenacious. He will find new snares to set on your path. Thankfully, God will uphold your steps and equip you to move forward. Acknowledge Him in all your ways… and He WILL direct your path. May Almighty God delight in your progress! You will stand because He is able to make you stand.
“Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.” Romans 14:4 (NKJV)