Watch your step
Title: WATCH YOUR STEP
Topic: Sin leads to sorrow
Text: Proverbs: 4:23-27
I. Pondering our paths.
We all know that sin leads to sorrow. The Word of God expounds it and the experience of life confirms it. “I’ve fallen into sin,” we cry. But in reality, that’s not true. No one falls into sin. We walk into sin one step at a time and all along the way, with every step we take, the Holy Spirit speaks to us, saying, “Ponder the path of your feet. Watch your step. You’re headed for problems and disaster.” But we take one step and then another until finally we are entangled and ensnared.
II. Pondering the paths of the past (Eve & Assyrians)
a. Consider Eve. How different world history would have been had she not hung around the forbidden tree. Maybe she felt she had it under control, that Satan’s suggestions wouldn’t really affect her. But when she saw that the fruit was pleasant to the eye and good for food, she reached out and took a bite—and plunged all of mankind into depravity. Had she pondered the path of her feet, had she stopped to consider the direction she was walking, she wouldn’t have been in the place where she would succumb to temptation.
b. In Isaiah 30, the Jews were being attacked by the Assyrians. Worried about their potential destruction, they didn’t seek the Lord, but instead sought counsel from the Egyptians. Through the prophet Jeremiah, the Lord came on the scene and said,
Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin: That walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt! Isaiah 30:1, 2
For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not. But ye said, No; for we will flee upon horses; therefore shall ye flee: and, We will ride upon the swift; therefore shall they that pursue you be swift. Isaiah 30:15, 16
And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. Isaiah 30:21
III. What are the right paths?
When would the Israelites hear God’s word in their ear? When they stopped, when they put aside their plans, programs, views, and ideas, and said, “Lord, we’re not taking a step apart from Your leading and guiding.”
“Stop, look, and listen.” We teach this to our kids to keep them from running into the street. Spiritually, we need to be taught the same thing. Stop what you’re doing. Don’t take another step. Don’t go in there. Don’t hang around there. Look up. Say, “Lord, You’re with me and I want to cultivate the practice of Your presence in this very moment.”
If you think this is a good word but a little too late because you’ve walked into sinful situations, if you’re already entangled or ensnared in sin, don’t worry—there’s hope for you, too…
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! Isaiah 52:7
IV. Ponder the paths of Jesus
These are, of course, the feet of Jesus. Consider His feet…
I see them walking on the waves of a storm without sinking. This shows He’s in control of whatever situation you may find yourself.
a. I see the feet of Jesus walking in Samaria. The Jews considered the Samaritans to be half-breeds and, therefore, had nothing to do with them. Not Jesus. In fact, John tells us He must needs go through Samaria (4:4, italics added). To give hope to one woman who had messed up her life (John 4:7–29). Jesus walks where no one else does to bring good news to people who are hurting, to people who are despairing, to people like us.
b. I see the feet of Jesus walking up Mount Hermon, where He would be transfigured as the glory of His divinity shone through His humanity as proof that He had lived His life perfectly. At that point, I believe He could have launched up into heaven, saying to all of mankind, “You see? It could be done. You could live in obedience. But you chose not to.” Is that what He did? No. The same feet walked down the mountain to find a boy below, tortured by a demon, in need of healing (Mark 9:18). Jesus walked down Mount Hermon to touch people in need, people in bondage, people like us.
c. Finally, I see the feet of Jesus pinned to the Cross of Calvary. And in the blood that flowed freely from His veins, arteries, and capillaries, there is healing for me. For the times when I have walked into sin, messed up my life, not watched my step, or given heed to God’s Word, Jesus Christ made provision. The blood He shed cleanses from every single sin I’ve ever done. He brings good tidings. He publishes salvation. He reigns.
d. God reigns. Because of our sin and rebellion, He should r-a-i-n down anger and wrath upon us. Instead, because of the blood of Jesus, He reigns peacefully and powerfully within any and all who will embrace Him. He’ll bring restoration and renewal to you if you’ll simply ponder the path of your feet and say, “Come into my life, Lord. Cleanse me with Your blood. Reign in my heart. Guide my steps.”