“A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.” Psl. 16:9
We greet each new year with both anticipation and trepidation, because that’s exactly what it is: unknown. Oh, some things will continue as they were, but there is always the possibility of that unexpected, out-of-the-blue crisis that will set us back on our heels and force us to muster all our Spiritual reserves. This is why the Lord has ordained our Christian life to be taken a step at a time, instructing us to forget about tomorrow; our plate is full enough today (Matt. 6:25). So, what should we know about this-one-step-at-a-time walk with God? Here are a few things to remember about those steps, lest we get the false idea that they are truly unknown.
1. Our steps are ordered: “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord:”(Psl. 37:23a). God, our Father, is orderly and in charge. When we’re following His order, there will be few missteps. Notice, they’re ordered by Him, not someone else. Others may bark out orders, and often they may be right, but mature believers will always make sure they came straight from the top. And the Psalmist has told us exactly how to prove them: “Order my steps in thy word” (119:133). Anything that contradicts biblical precepts should always be regarded as a stumbling block, rather than a steppingstone. God’s steps for us are planned, ordered, and safe.
2. Our steps are guarded: “But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped” (Psl. 73:2) The key words here are “well nigh.” “I thought I was a goner,” says the Psalmist, “But He caught me just in time.” It’s those “everlasting arms” that are always underneath us, don’t you know (Deut. 22:27)? We may think, at times, we’re on a slippery slope; but it’s the wicked of this world who have (if you please) one foot on a banana peel, according to verse eighteen. As for you and me, we need not tiptoe fearfully through life; for with the Word of God as our ballast, it can be said of us too, “The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide” (v. 31).
3. Our steps are numbered: “For now thou numberest my steps” (Job 31:4). God, so interested in us personally that He has numbered the hairs of our head, also knows how many steps stand between this earth and our first glimpse of the Savior’s face. David understood this: “…there is but a step between me and death” (1 Sam. 20:3). The thing to remember is this: God knows the number because He set it. All our efforts to lengthen – or shorten– our days will not change that number. We may disregard His will, but we can never thwart it. Nor should we ever consider death to be a “leap in the dark.” Metaphorically speaking, we’re not going to suddenly step off a cliff; we’re going to deliberately step on shore. (Kind of makes you want to double-step, doesn’t it? J)
As children of the King, our steps are ordered, guarded, and numbered. Look to the future, clear-eyed, with the Word of God as your guide. Step purposefully and confidently. And, for goodness sake, step lively!