My feet in his footprints

 There are times we view God's Word as 'good advice' to be consulted much as a person might consult the weather report or financial pages of the paper. We go to the Word because we need some answer, but are we merely consulting the Word of God as a 'source' we consider, or as THE source we consider to be the most reliable and trustworthy of all sources? I read the Morninstar Research reports on how well a fund may be performing when considering to invest, but it isn't my only 'source' of information. I may consult my owner's manual about how something operates on my washing machine, but when I sense a foul odor, am not pleased with the cleanliness of the clothing, or hear a strange sound I am haven't heard before, that 'one source' isn't the end all of sources. I need an appliance repair person to help me diagnose the problem. The Word of God is indeed 'good advice', but we all know advice is meaningless until it is embraced.

“But he knows where I am and what I’ve done. He can cross-examine me all he wants, and I’ll pass the test with honors. I’ve followed him closely, my feet in his footprints, not once swerving from his way. I’ve obeyed every word he’s spoken, and not just obeyed his advice—I’ve treasured it." (Job 23:10-11)

 Have you ever tried to walk in the exact footprints of someone ahead of you? I have discovered there are some whose stride is much longer than mine, making the task a little more challenging. I have also discovered that some people don't walk in straight lines! They tend to be all over the place, as though they were distracted by something. When I am walking with my BFF, I can get so distracted by the horse in the field, the goat at the fence, or the crane flying above us that I momentarily lose the 'straightness' and 'evenness' of my steps. I veer to the side, miss small tripping hazards in the roadway, and sometimes just plain stumble. The exact footprints of God are pretty clearly laid out in scripture - try walking in his footprints and you may discover our 'stride' is quite different from his. He isn't trying to make it harder for us to follow in his footsteps, though. He just sets the course and asks for us to follow closely.

 God knows where we are even before we know for sure. That may seem a little 'under-stated', but let me just point out that God is all-knowing. He isn't caught off-guard by our distractedness. He isn't going to change his stride just because we are lolly-gagging around, gazing at who knows what, totally distracted by life. He sets the pace, leaves clear tracks of his presence, and then expects us to do our reasonable best to walk within those footprints. Even when we think we have done well at following his steps, I bet we don't even see the one or two times we were slightly outside of those steps. He does and he helps us make course corrections even before we know we need to make them.

 The Word of God isn't going to just jump up off the page, roll around in our brains for a while, and then magically change our course of action. Wouldn't it be nice if it did? The Word of God needs to be studied, embraced, and then we need to pay close attention to the 'prints' laid out before us that we are to 'walk within'. Treasure those steps - they aren't just put there on accident. God knows the steps we need to take even before we take them. He lays out the steps we are to 'walk within', all the while knowing where we are at, where we need to go, and what it will take to keep us on course as we make the journey. Advice is a recommendation - we can choose to follow the recommended path or choose one of our own. Obedience is really just us putting our feet into his footprints. Just sayin!

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