Tuesday, February 01, 2011

God-ordered steps

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Psalm 37:21-40

TO CHEW ON: "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord
And He delights in his way.
...The law of His God is in his heart;
None of his steps shall slip." Psalm 37:23, 31

I love to walk and try to get out for a walk almost every day. All my walking has shown me that I prefer some surfaces to others. I'd take a predictable concrete, asphalt or packed gravel path over an icy, muddy or tree-root-ridged one any day.

Our focus verses today use walking as a metaphor for life. Specifically, they talk about the very smallest parts of the walking motion — the steps. In walking, steps are the movements we need to make to get from here to there. In life, the steps would be the smallest increments of time, the moment-to-moment. David, makes some wonderful claims about God's involvement in our steps or moments:

  • "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord," or as the Amplified Bible puts it: "...directed and established of the Lord." In other words, He does more than look on or stand back to observe how we're doing. He plays an active role in orchestrating the smallest details.
  • "He delights in his way..." ("... He busies Himself with his every step" - Amplified). I imagine God like a proud parent watching me take my first tottering steps of faith, cheering me on as I learn to stride, jog, and run, keeping me from a total face-plant as He hangs onto my hand when I stumble ("Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him [her] with His hand" vs. 24).  
  • "The law of his God is in his heart / His steps do not slip." Verse 31 carries on with the step imagery, cluing us in to our part. It is to make sure that we who are doing the stepping know God's principles and have them engraved on our hearts to the extent that we are on God's frequency, tuned in and moving sure-footed to His rhythms. If we don't we are in danger of finding ourselves on treacherous, unpredictable footing. Our steps may slip.

Do you believe this? Do I? It's easy to say "yes," when circumstances mesh in wonderful humanly unexplainable 'coincidences.' But what about when I break my molar on a popcorn kernel, like I did over Christmas, or forget to take something I had promised to bring back with me from our holidays? Is God even in what feel like missteps? Knowing He is puts a whole new spin on what I consider to be trouble!

PRAYER: Dear God, I am both amazed and comforted that You concern Yourself, delight in, and are busy with my every moment. Help me to be a student of Your ways so that I will walk sure-footed with You. Amen

MORE: What's wrong with this statement?

"Pray for Luck

I landed my first book deal because a publisher was looking to expand into new topics — and I matched their needs perfectly at the time. By the time we were working on our next project together, their needs had shifted once again.

This time I found myself outside of their plans.

You can't underestimate the importance of timing and luck in the writing business..."

This is a quote from a book (which I will leave unnamed) about the writing business. What surprises me is that the author, who seems to credit "luck" with an inordinate amount of power, is a theologian and the book "which matched their needs perfectly" is a book about theology!

However, I ask myself, don't I often live as if my circumstances were orchestrated by a capricious, impersonal force? How much better to remind myself that a sovereign and loving God, and not luck, is ordering all my steps.

Bible Drive-Thru

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