“We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.”  Proverbs 16:9

“But you shall walk in the way the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live, and that it may go well with you.”  Deuteronomy 5:33

Do a couple of things for me (actually they are for yourself) as they apply to walking.  First, when you’re out somewhere where people walk, watch them.  Unless it happens to be a very rocky, uneven, slippery or otherwise treacherous path, note how they take their steps without much planning or forethought.  Notice how they are able to walk and talk, or text or yes, even chew gum at the same time.  Now for you and I.  When you’re walking somewhere, note where your focus tends to be.  Again, unless somehow treacherous, notice how you place each foot down without nary a thought to how and where you are placing it.

And that lack of focused thought is a good thing.  Imagine how difficult it would be to get anywhere if before each step, you had to consciously go through the steps to take a step (couldn’t resist the alliteration); if we had to think: “Okay lift foot, focus on the place where the intended step will be placed, shift weight forward, place foot in exactly the intended spot, shift weight back to the middle; repeat as necessary.  Sheesh! It would take a near miracle for us to walk across a room let alone around the block (my dog would be very disappointed).  Imagine what we would miss if the location of our focus was down at our feet or at most just a few feet ahead of us.

Understand this, if you’ve ever stepped in a hole or had your foot slip off the edge of something and twisted your ankle, it’s not like taking a misstep can’t be painful or harmful.  But even if we’ve experienced those kind of incidents; note how quickly we return to the act of walking without much of a thought.

Why?  It comes down to trust; a trust that comes from the familiarity of taking steps.  We start taking steps very early in our lives and it doesn’t take long until it becomes as easy as…..well as easy as walking.  We find that we can trust our motor skills to not stretch out our foot too far or have it cross over in front of the other foot to trip us up.  We find that the shifting of our balance becomes an automatic thing, taking no preparation or conscious thought to perform.  And while it is true that every once in a great while, we won’t have lifted our foot quite high enough to miss the step on the sidewalk or our foot slips because we didn’t see the water on the tiled floor; those few missteps are not enough to shake our trust in our ability.

So where am I going with this?  In the book of Proverbs, a man with wisdom given by God Himself, tells us we may come up with plans, but the  Lord has the final say in the outcome.  It is the Lord who determines our steps.  Regardless of our plans; God is in control.  Yet here is the salient factor; here is the point that determines the smoothness of our journey.  Do we trust those steps?  Having the revelation of God’s Word, through the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ, testified to us by the Holy Spirit; how comfortable are we in stepping forth?  How confident are we in the steps that God has determined we should take?  Why should I follow the Lord’s Way?

The enemy of this world would have us see the Lord’s way as fundamentally different than the way we should go. Satan would tell us that our trust should be placed squarely and solely on what we think should be our own path.  Granted as we follow that Satan directed path we fall; often, we trip; constantly, we slip; incessantly.  And if nothing else; if he can’t convince us to go a different way; Satan will at least try to convince us that God’s path is too hard, too treacherous, too arduous for us to ever attempt to start down it.

How are we to ever going to get the strength, the courage, the trust to be able to walk confidently in the steps God has planned?  He gave us the Way; Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ tells us that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life.  As “the Way”, we can trust that Jesus, Himself will keep our steps on the right path.  “Trust in God and trust in me also….”, Jesus tells his disciples in John.

What does that trust look like?  Get up from reading this and walk across the room and back. (Are you back?)  Notice again in that short journey how effortless, how trusting your steps were.  Sisters and brothers let us strive to have our faith walk with Our Heavenly Father be the same way.  Strengthening our spiritual legs and feet with the study of His Word; improving our spiritual balance through incessant, meaningful, intimate prayer, and stepping forth in faith with the encouragement of being a part of a community of believers; we will see our standing still turn into small steps, our small steps turn into mighty strides, our mighty strides turn into the way the leads to a life blessed by God; a life that goes well.  May it be that those steps; following in the blessed steps of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, become ever more the most natural, trust filled, determined steps; we ever take.

Our Most Gracious Heavenly Father; we testify that You have striven to show us how to walk through Your Holy Word.  We further declare that You humanly showed how those steps could be taken through sending Your Son Jesus Christ to walk with us in human form.  We confess, Merciful Father, that we often do not fully trust the path You have laid out for us and wish to stop or worst yet go our own way, the wrong way.  So we pray for Your illumination of our path for us, pouring out Your strength that we may focus solely on the path You have chosen for us and that we would boldly step out in trust in You.  That in walking that path; we would bring praise to Your most Holy Name we pray in the Name of Jesus Christ.  Amen