On Saturday evening I dreamt that the carpet was pulled from the stairs leading to the upstairs in our home. In place of carpet, I etched one of the following words on each step, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord.” Some dreams I forget by the time I awake, but this one has resonated with me since. Although there are many steps to reach the 2nd floor (17 to be exact), there are not enough steps to write the remainder of Psalm 37:23, nor v24 as well. However, the essence of the first part of v23 is undeniably connected to the remainder and the verse following, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not utterly be cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.” As I continue to ponder on this scripture, and the divinity of God’s placement of it in my dream, my focus leaps to the v24. For as I reflect upon 2014, I can’t help but acknowledge that no matter what the enemy intended, God did not allow me to be utterly cast down, and it is only him that has ordered my steps to this very moment in time.
The irony of the dream is interesting. Examine the fact that while traveling upward, being reminded of steps being ordered and perhaps more profoundly, the fact that one may fall, but not be cast down. That gives me pause. Several events showed themselves worthy of consideration in the “falling category” but they did not mandate me nor you to remain there inevitably. Be it sickness, unhappiness, immobility, disappointment, regret, pain, anxiety, worry, heartbreak or dare I say, despair. Why? Because your steps were ordered. Ordered in such a way that you were equipped to endure what you were walking into. Perhaps it took you by surprise, but thankfully not so by God. Our steps were ordered before we entered the world. Daily we are faced with the option to stop or to continue no matter how awful disturbing the conditions.
Praise be to God for not just reminding us in the Word that we would not be cast down, but not “utterly” cast down. That provides hope for even what appears to be the most hopeless situation, that we are not massively cast down. We have opportunity to rise, and to continue walking in our pre-ordered steps. Just as sure as we’ve been ordered into something, God can order us out! When our steps are ordered, God has the script. He knows when our steps will take place and under what circumstances. To us, it may feel like a maze, but to God, its linear classic at best. What brings us to a place of trusting our steps in God? Coming to the realization that he remains the same God yesterday, today and forevermore! If we can be as excited in our steps into greater financial prosperity, greater positioning on our jobs, a greater relationship, a greater calling; why can’t we take assurance that he will guide our steps into our diminished financial gain, repositioning on our jobs, a difficult relationship, and a constant on your knees type of calling?
He’s promised to order our steps, he’s promised to be delighted, he’s promised that we will not be utterly cast down in a fall, and he’s promised to uphold us with his hand. He will run the race with you in our fastest prayer of gym shoes. In the casual pace of life whenever we are blessed to experience, he’ll coast with us in our cutest pair of flats. When we are high stepping being cute externally in our stilettos, he’ll rock with us to build the internal that is piercing as bad as the pain of five inches after being worn five hours. As we are sloshing through mess, he’ll wipe away the mud of life encrusted on our goulashes. Even in times when life has us feeling as though we have no traveling shoes at all, we are blessed to be carried by our heavenly father. Daily he provides a blueprint of steps for us to follow through the Word; a blueprint created to encourage us, comfort us, assure us, love us, strengthen us and deliver us. Just as a baby has to trust this thing called walking, so must we. Step into 2015 with the knowledge that our steps are ordered by the Lord. The new year, as we are blessed to see it will bring more challenges, but more manifestations of his glory. We must be willing to make a move and continue to trust God.
Ain’t no half steppin’. Yesterday, my Pastor J.Jasper Wilkins, Jr., admonished us to stop being driven solely by our emotions and instead, use our heads. As we enter 2015, it is imperative that we engage with the Word of God to penetrate our thoughts and subsequently our actions. Time is out for playing games. There is work to be done. Daily we hear of unfortunate cases involving brutality, poverty, mental illness, neglect and people’s inability to cope. If ever we needed the Lord, we sure do need him now! Yet, until he comes, he has charged the Body of Christ with a sound strategic plan to help and love others. We cannot effectively carry out the mission in brokenness. Our steps cannot be actualized in order leading lives in disorder. Each of us have people and situations divinely assigned to us. We must assume our responsibility with gladness. We must be all in. We mustn’t half step. Happy New Year! Happy New You!