Proverbs 20:24 “A man’s steps are from the LORD, so how can anyone understand his own way?”
The term “steps” in Hebrew means “at the heels” or “companionship”. In other words, when you are walking with the Lord, you are following His lead, with each step you take you are following in His step. You may not understand the path He is leading you on or even recognize where it is going, and truthfully, the ability to fully understand God’s plan is typically out of reach.
Since we do not have complete knowledge, we are then forced to simply trust God that He loves us and is leading us in a good way.
Our responsibility: follow closely, trust, keep our eyes on Him and don’t look back.
The difficulty in not veering off or taking our own path, begins when we grow fearful or become tempted by sin and we are carried away by our own desires or fear only to realize the path has grown dark and the way seems hopeless.
When we see a work completed that He has faithfully led us on there is joy, there is peace, and understanding is gained through obedience; then the next path begins to unfold before us. This may require waiting on His lead, patiently listening, watching and it usually entails allowing our new found knowledge and strength to help us along the way.
We see this progression of growth manifest through the encouragement of the apostles.
Life and Godliness
2 Peter 1:10 “Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.”
The qualities of life and godliness in the life of a believer are meant to bring glory to God, not to ourselves. The more we walk in these qualities, the more people see Christ in us and the excellence of His ways is revealed to the world.
What are these qualities you may ask?
- It all begins with Faith. If we don’t have faith in what God is doing and where He is leading, we won’t be able to trust Him for the results. We must have faith that He is the same yesterday, today and forever. We must have faith that He will bring to completion all that He has begun.
- Virtue. The moral standard by which we live must be in accordance with God’s Word. We cannot allow the modern day attempts at redefining truth to infect our understanding of God’s standard of holiness. We must stay in the Word to maintain a clearly defined knowledge of God’s Truth.
- Knowledge. Godly knowledge is gained by having a familiarity of walking with God. Knowledge is gained through experience and experiencing God’s way requires following. There are many ways He leads that you probably didn’t foresee, this is the adventure that makes following God into the unknown so special.
- Self-Control. Exercising the character needed to persist in godliness requires maintaining control of the flesh. The flesh desires to be filled but those desires only lead to its demise. Knowing what is right and doing it, regardless of the sacrifice is a good model for self-control.
- Steadfastness. As you begin to form a pattern of faith working in godliness while maintaining self-control, the next key is consistency. Can you develop the spiritual habits of being found faithful where it becomes a part of your normal everyday routine? The quality of a steadfast spirit is found in mature believers.
- Godliness. The world can mimic many good attributes of a believer. That which produces true goodness is done under the umbrella of godliness. Assuming the character of our King is one thing, but living in such a way that presents a heart of worship is what lasts forever. True godliness will stand the test of judgement and it this attribute that brings with it eternal reward.
- Brotherly Affection. All of the attributes up to this point started with ways we show love to God, but they must spill forth into love for others if we want to be effective in this world. God has placed us here to draw others to Himself, we must be salt and light in this world if we to fulfill our purposes in Him.
- Love. There is no greater seal upon a life lived in a worthy manner than to be marked with love. Love expressed to others who are unlovable or seem undeserving is what agape love is all about. Jesus continually modeled this pattern of finding those who had been rejected by this world and loving them. What greater measure of worship than to model this in our own lives.
Does this way seem difficult?
Without this process of growth, we will be found blind, or we might lose faith for being short sighted in our vision of what God wants to do.
As you commit your way to God’s pattern of godliness, watch and see His glory revealed. Your faith will grow as you come through each seemingly impossible obstacle or perilous path.
The promise always remains “And the LORD, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8
This scripture was illustrated in the famous poem “Footprints in the sand”
“One night I dreamed a dream.
As I was walking along the beach with my Lord.
Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand,
One belonging to me and one to my Lord.
After the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that at many times along the path of my life,
especially at the very lowest and saddest times,
there was only one set of footprints.
This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it.
“Lord, you said once I decided to follow you,
You’d walk with me all the way.
But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I don’t understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me.”
He whispered, “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you
Never, ever, during your trials and testings.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you.”
I’ve experienced God carrying me during my early years of marriage and the myriad of mistakes I made. At my lowest time, it was clear I had extra help just when I needed it. The Lord never left me, matter of fact I grew during those times of seeming hopelessness. Even though the times were tough, I’m thankful for all the Lord showed me at that time.
Are you going through much difficulty? Does the way look dark ahead and the path perilous? Know you have an advocate, the Lord of all glory who loves you so much more than you can know.
1 Peter 5:10 “But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.”
He will lead you through if you will only trust Him.