Psalm 37:23-24 -- The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand. These verses are rich in so many ways it’s hard to break my thoughts down into a single blog form. They almost have to be pondered one word at a time.
For example: “Steps.” The very concept of this word envisions small progressive movements. Just consider how many “steps” you take in a day. The amazing thing is that we don’t give our steps much thought unless we are on unfamiliar or slightly precarious ground. It’s just something we do automatically, without a thought.
But, in light of this verse, we see that God is concerned with our life journey down to the smallest elements. That is incredibly awesome. This involves, for example, the decisions we have to make and the changes that we have to contemplate every day. Our loving Heavenly Father is involved in every aspect of our lives. He’s involved right down to our very “steps.”
I’m trying to accept that God is with me every day every step of the way. But, what does that mean? It makes sense to me that God is directing me when I do all the correct things all the time. But, is God ordering my steps when I’m not what I should be and am headed in the wrong direction? Is it really true when it says in Romans 8:28, “all things?”
It has to be, right?
I could give examples from the Bible that illustrate God working out “all things” when His people weren’t “all” that they should have been. How perfect do we have to be before we can rest in God at all times and in all seasons? It’s taken me years to realize that God isn’t waiting until His people get all perfected before He blesses and uses them. That would mean God is dependent upon us rather than us being dependent upon Him.
That’s why I love verse 24. “Though he fall.” Who hasn’t “fallen?” Who hasn’t messed up? Yes, there are consequences. But, I’m amazed at how even when we mess up God still works in and through our mess-ups for our good and His glory. If that isn’t so then God isn’t Omniscient and we are at the mercy of our own pitiful performance as believers. God is stronger than we are and He’s in the process of conforming us to the image of Messiah. If we could become like Messiah in our own strength then God wouldn’t have to conform us. We can’t conform on our own; He must do it.
I would really like to know how many “A” report cards God has handed out. I remember working at my company in Arizona. The first review I got I was expecting a top review. I didn’t know anything about what I was doing when I started. By the time reviews came along I had improved a ton. Based on my improvement I just knew I had a great review coming. But, instead, I got the equivalent of a “C.” I questioned my boss and he acknowledged my wonderful progress but explained that the reviews are based on a standard set for the performance level of that position. I hadn’t, at that point, met the standards to get a better review.
God has His standards. They are non-negotiable on His end. Based upon the standards He has set, we’ll never get a great review. It’s not possible. But, that’s where our Saviour comes in. God sees us in Him. He measures us by what Messiah accomplished for us when He took all our bad reviews upon Himself on the cross. That’s why when we fall we aren’t utterly cast down and His hand is always out stretched toward us — He upholds us with His hand.
Nothing we do or don’t do is outside the control of God. We have to grasp this otherwise when we fall we won’t allow ourselves to get back up. We’ll measure ourselves by our own worth rather than our worth in Messiah. Not until we see our absolute worth in Messiah will we be able to maneuver through the paths of this life without being constantly tripped up and of no use to God.
Here’s a great verse to sum this all up:
Philippians 1:6 — Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.