Ordering My Steps

Snakes are plentiful this year; and like last year, they’ve bitten my pal “Bubba the Chocolate Lab” four times already; including twice in one day. You would think he would’ve learned by now to keep his nose out of drain pipes, stay out of ditches, and leave those slithering things alone. I thank God he’s okay; as it seems he’s developing some level of immunity.

With summer grasses plentiful, I prepare myself to work outside. Around the Cross-Dubya, I protect myself by wearing boots, carrying a gun, and keeping my eyes down and looking ahead. When I prepare to walk across a pasture, I silently ask God to order my steps to keep me from harm. I look for a path worn, or forage eaten down, by the livestock, rather than bulling my way through the tall grasses.

Something I’ve learned from life on the ranch, and in my Christian walk, is that evil doesn’t like the light. Like those vile creatures, sin hides in the dark corners, beneath the posts, and in the tall grasses; waiting to strike. The same applies to those dark places in my soul where I’ve not yet allowed God’s light to transform me. Life formed some of those places in me long ago. They include opinions, falsehoods, prejudices, and unforgiven acts.

Have you identified areas of your life where evil lies in wait, ready to strike? Click To Tweet

In the same way I don’t always see the snake before I step on it or Bubba discovers it, sin can appear out of nowhere and surprise us. We say something we shouldn’t when stunned or angered. Other times we linger at the provocative scene on television or catch ourselves being envious of what someone else has, or has achieved. I doubt I’m the only person who has done these things; and as much as I don’t want them to, they happen now and again. I think we all have tripping points in our lives.

So how can we minimize those times when sin can strike without warning? Something I’m finding helps is including God’s word in my prayers each day. I do this by incorporating His word into them. For example, on days when I expect to enter uncharted territory, I include Psalm 37:23-24. “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with His hand. This results in asking the Holy Spirit to order my steps; and reminding me that even if I stumble, God will keep me from falling.

It’s not enough to ask God’s help to get through your day. We must learn to keep our hearts attuned to Him so we might hear His warnings and guidance, as described in Isaiah 30:21. I’ve found that the closer I stay to God each day, the less I get tripped up by sin.

In what ways does God order your steps each day? Click To Tweet

I remember dad telling my brother Ray, “Don’t get so heavenly minded that you’re no earthly good.” I always thought that was his way of saying “get back to work” at our auto repair shop, but I later came to understand. What my dad was saying is that thinking on heavenly things and seeking God’s face is good; but God doesn’t want us to focus on Him alone. Instead, He wants us to share His light and love with the world.

It’s important that we keep God at the forefront of our lives, rather than pulling Him out at prayer time and then shelving Him when we’re done. This enables us to live out our lives as better witnesses for Him. It also gives God more opportunity to order our steps. I pray you find ways to invite God to order your steps as He walks with you throughout each day of your life.

God’s blessings,

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42 thoughts on “Ordering My Steps

  1. If we are honest we have to admit we slip in the ways you mentioned – I know I do and more often than I’d like or even expect after all these years. But He is so gracious and forgiving and if He didn’t order my steps I shudder to think where I’d be. As always food for thought and a lovely way to begin my day.

    1. Thank you Ms. Ann. Our God certainly is gracious and forgiving. He accepts our imperfections and is always looking for opportunities to mold us and help us grow more like His Son. Until the day! God’s blessings ma’am.

  2. Great reminder to take God with us everywhere we go, not shelving Him after our prayer time. And J. D., you are so right about sin lurking like a snake ready to strike if we allow ourselves to be caught off guard. May the Lord guide our steps!
    Blessings!

    1. Can’t say that I hate them. Some are actually useful; like black snakes, but I sure have a healthy respect for them. I hate sin though, even though I see it in me far too often for my linking. God’s working on it. 🙂 God’s blessings sweet lady.

  3. I like snakes (I owned a couple of pet snakes as a child, and sometimes I want one again)! However, I understand that their behavior is a good analogy here. I also like what your Dad used to tell Ray. I know a couple of people who are so heavenly-focused that they are no longer humble. They are the stereotypical “Bible-beaters” who, sadly, will sometimes drive non-Christians further away.

    1. Thanks for commenting Ms. Robin. I’ve never been a snake fan, but I try to leave most alone (unless they’re the venomous kind). As for the “Bible-beating” Christians, I can understand what you’re saying, but I would remind you that we are all at different stages of sanctification. Christ’s life taught us what meekness and humility is; and how important they are to a Christian’s character. In the case of your friends, I encourage you to do two things. One, show your non-Christian friends that being a Christian does not mean you live at the extremes. Show them by your example of what a growing Christian is. Let them see God in you my friend. For those sometimes “over the top” Christians, pray that the Holy Spirit take them in hand and teach them humility so they might become better witnesses of what God can do in our lives. Praying my young friend.

  4. First, glad to hear that Bubba is hanging in there after numerous snake bites. Poor thing! Second, your blog is quite timely as I found myself the other day hearing words come from my mouth that were hurtful. Regret quickly set in but forgiveness of myself has not been as fast. I am praying that my steps will indeed be more ordered the next time I encounter this individual.

    1. I’m sure glad to know I’m not the only one who gets themselves in trouble like that Ms. Karen. If the person knows you, then my guess is that it was already forgiven. They probably realize that you’re human (and therefore not perfect), just like they are. Gods blessings my friend. As long as God’s promise in 1 John 1:9 holds true, and that’s to infinity, we can recover ma’am.

  5. J.D., the Scripture you chose and this sentence: “I’ve found that the closer I stay to God each day, the less I get tripped up by sin,” are good reminders. Your ranch stories shine the light on God and our need for Him. Thank you.

  6. Glad the Lord orders our steps, another great analogy. During one of our recent hikes, my husband wanted me to stand by this huge tree in a wooded trail area to get a picture to show the enormous size of the tree. But when I started to walk back over to the trail, I saw a snake and I froze. I finally found a way out on the other side.

    1. Yes ma’am; I remembered reading about your harrowing adventure. I try and give them a wide swath too; unless they’re venomous. Then it’s “Adios Satan!” 🙂 So glad you enjoyed and could appreciate the post ma’am. God’s blessings.

  7. I was surveying with a co-worker for a pond and saw a copperhead coiled up. I backed out slowly and told my co-worker. He wanted to see it and slowly walked where I did. I couldn’t resist picking up a few pebbles and I threw one and it hit his muck boot. He jumped straight up and said the snake struck. He went back to look again and I hit his boot the second time and he found me out. ;0)

    But the odd thing is that he wanted to get close to the danger. I think certain people always want to walk the edges of safety rather than clearly walking down the center path that God has set before them. Just like Bubba, some people go off the path.

    1. What a great point Mr. Ben. I can’t understand why some people do that in their walk of faith. I can’t say I’m much of a thrill seeker these days, but I can remember a time. I used to chase copperheads with rocks, but was much younger and far dumber than I am today. Sin, I try and avoid to the largest extent possible. Snakes, if they’re venomous, I simply blast them. Thus, the S&W Governor on my chest rig most days when I’m in the field. 🙂 Great point sir. Thank you so much for commenting.

  8. My sweet Heidi (dog) got bitten last week. I’m so thankful she survived. Your message reminds us how important our walk with our Lord is. Without Him to order our steps, we are lost. Thank you for pointing out the important relationship between God’s Word and our journey. It’s like the pavement to smooth the path and the bridge to get us over the obstacles. Thanks for the blessing today, my friend.

    1. I’m glad Heidi is okay Ms. Katherine. It’s a course of Benadryl and penicillin for Bubba when it happens. You stay safe out there on the farm ma’am. Am so pleased you enjoyed the post my friend. God’s blessings.

  9. Thanks for the reminder to include Scripture in my prayers. When I pray God’s Word back to Him, it doesn’t go forth void, but accomplishes what He wants.

    1. Thank you Ms. Joanna. Praying scripture has proven most helpful for me. Not that I’m reminding God (He knows), but it reminds me that I can stand on the truth of God’s promises. Well said my young friend. Sure hope I can see you again at BRMCWC in a few months.

  10. Lots of wisdom here, J.D. I really like your insight when you said, “It’s not enough to ask God’s help to get through your day. We must learn to keep our hearts attuned to Him so we might hear His warnings and guidance, as described in Isaiah 30:21. I’ve found that the closer I stay to God each day, the less I get tripped up by sin.”
    I don’t like for snakes to sneak up on me but I don’t mind having blacksnakes around to keep down the mouse population.
    Thanks again for another interesting and helpful post!

    1. Love it Ms. Connie. Thank you ma’am. I’m with you when it comes to blacksnakes. I’m not afraid of any of them, but I respect them all; and the venomous ones I eliminate. Isn’t this the same approach we should have to sins in this world? We have to live in a world with them all around us. We can tolerate them being near as long we we’re wearing our Armor. But when we let our defenses down and they sneak into our lives, that’s when the trouble starts. God’s blessings my friend.

  11. Sin does comes out all too often. It lies in wait for just the right moment, and then–a thought, a word, an action–one that doesn’t honor God at all. I hate it. But through God’s grace, we confess our sin and allow Him to direct our steps once again. We can’t give up. We must seek to know Him all the more through what His Word says to us. Thanks, J.D.

    1. Yes ma’am. What bothers me is how it seems it’s “just beneath the surface” of my soul, which breaks my heart because I realize that as much as I’ve tried to grow in Christ, I have so very far yet to go. My heart breaks not because I am failing, but because I am not being as effective a servant as I should be for His glory.

  12. Thank you for your great message! As a dog owner who lives on the preserved isolate under stand the battle of animals, people and snakes. Jake’s! Thank you for the reminder that evil hates light.

  13. I’m continuing my spiritual transformation journey of learning to abide and follow God’s directions for my step. I think the word “abide” is exactly right for what you’re sharing, J.D.!

    1. Perfect word Ms. Kathy. We must learn to abide with God throughout our days don’t we? Well said ma’am. Thank you so much for sharing. I’m glad I’m not on this journey alone. 🙂

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