Sunday, July 14, 2013

Enlarging Our Steps

The Psalms declare that it is God who enlarges our steps, who establishes our feet, and who makes it so that we will not slip. We see this in passages such as 2 Samuel 22:37 (a psalm of David); Psalms 17:5; 37:31; 66:9; and 121:3. In Psalm 18:36 we read, “You enlarge my steps under me, and my feet have not slipped.” It is also God who strengthens us as we walk firmly in those steps. David wrote of his confidence of this in Psalm 18:32, “The God who girds me with strength and makes my way blameless.”

We also see that we have a role in our not slipping and that role is looking solely to God and trusting His direction as we see in passages like Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Then in Proverbs 4:25-27 we read, “Let your eyes look directly ahead and let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you. Watch the path of your feet and all your ways will be established. Do not turn to the right nor to the left; turn your foot from evil.”

As we are called to look to Him to guide our steps, we are looking to our God who not only is intimately aware of them but has even ordained our days to accomplish His purposes.

Psalm 139:1-3,13,16 "O LORD, You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down, and are intimately acquainted with all my ways. … (13) For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. … (16) Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them."

So many times in our lives we are quite clueless about what lies ahead of us in our days. While we might have a solid idea based upon experience and planning, we really don’t know what might happen in the next moment until that moment has passed and we can look back on it in retrospect. We may be very good at planning ahead, and as we search God’s will and listen to His leading these plans may indeed flow largely as we expected. But there will always be twists and surprises. We are promised that in this world we will have troubles, and I think it safe to say that most of us would route our way around these troubles if we knew about them in advance. The incredible thing is that God does know about our high points and our depth points, and He is faithful to establish our steps in both. He is even merciful and gracious to reestablish us on solid ground when we turn our eyes to the right or the left. This is what he does for His children—those who have believed and have been adopted into His family through the saving sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ.

Peter wrote in 1 Peter 2:21-25, "For you have been called for this purpose [suffering as a servant], since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, WHO COMMITTED NO SIN, NOR WAS ANY DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls."

Prior to this passage, Peter began the letter with a great encouragement and a foundation for the endurance of trials which really puts everything we might endure in proper perspective. He wrote in 1 Peter 1:3-7, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;"

Paul also makes a strong statement about God completing that which He starts in us, which should serve as a strong encouragement as we seek and follow after Him, trusting Him to truly guard and establish our steps. Romans 8:28-31 “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?”

For today Sarah writes about our walk with Christ and our trust in Him to direct and protect us along the way.

Today in “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young (7/14)

Keep walking with Me along the path I have chosen for you. Your desire to live close to Me is a delight to My heart. I could instantly grant you the spiritual riches you desire, but that is not My way for you. Together we will forge a pathway up the high mountain. The journey is arduous at times, and you are weak. Someday you will dance light-footed on the high peaks; but for now, your walk is often plodding and heavy. All I require of you is to take the next step, clinging to My hand for strength and direction. Though the path is difficult and the scenery dull at the moment, there are sparkling surprises just around the bend. Stay on the path I have selected for you. It is truly the path of Life.

"If the Lord delights in a man’s way, He makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with His hand." Psalm 37:23-24

You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; as Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11 (NKJV)

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