Footprints of Faith 

by REBECCA STEVENS

Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. (Proverbs 4:26 NIV) 

Did you know that there are more than 250 references to our feet in Scripture? Wow! What is up with that? I don’t know about you, but as my own feet prepare to embark on their 70th trip around the sun this summer, they aren’t much to even look at, much less to meditate about; even if I splurged and treated myself to a salon pedicure. 

But, what if our feet are mentioned in Scripture much more symbolically? What if Scripture often used the word “feet” as a metaphor for our choices? After all, we almost always need our feet to help us carry out whatever our choices dictate at any given moment, don’t we? 

We need our feet to take us to places of service like homeless shelters and soup kitchens. But, unfortunately, those very same feet are also useful for making a beeline for our phones so that we can spread – or maybe even embellish a little – that juicy tidbit of gossip that we’ve just heard about that snobby new neighbor whom we just love to hate. 

Hopefully our feet keep us moving in step with the Spirit to bend our will and our choices to embrace God’s will and his very best for our lives. As our text from Proverbs reminds us, we must give careful consideration to the paths that we allow our feet to follow. We must carefully guard our thoughts, words, motives and actions, always seeking to align them with the Truth as it is revealed to us in Scripture and in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

We must also carefully monitor which people and which media we allow to influence us. It is virtually impossible to overstate the power that worldly people and violent or vulgar media wield in setting our feet on the wrong paths; or conversely, to overstate the power that Godly friends and wholesome media exert in helping us to keep our feet on the right paths. 

When our worldly willfulness is screaming and demanding to get its own way, it certainly isn’t much fun to stare it down and deny it. Anyone who has ever tried to lose weight can testify to how hard it is to resist the lovely tray of assorted doughnuts that someone brought to the office to celebrate a coworker’s birthday. What are we to do when our feet are itching irresistibly to choose and to follow a path that we know is harmful? 

There’s a word for this phenomenon. It’s called temptation. Do we know anyone who squared off with the enemy and his torturous temptations and emerged victorious? Of course we do! Even at His very weakest point after being alone in the wilderness for 40 days, our Lord shamed that evil old snake right back into the slimy black pit of which he slithered out. 

What can we learn from how Jesus handled His temptations that will serve as a model for us whenever the enemy shows up unannounced at our own front doors? Jesus answered the enemy’s assault each and every time by quoting Scripture. 

If we have made daily Bible study a personal priority, the chances are stacked in our favor that just the right verse will come to mind at the very moment we need it to help us to resist and to overcome temptation. 

Not to mention that our desperate cries for help whenever the enemy attacks will always fly straight to the ears and to the heart of God. He is our sure defense against the enemy’s vicious traps whenever we cry out to him to save us. 

Would a loving parent ever turn a deaf ear to his or her child’s anguished cry for help? Would our God who loves us with a purer and deeper love than any earthly parent ever had for their precious child ever fail to deliver us from the clutches of the evil one? 

God has not left us defenseless in our battle to keep our feet on the path that leads to Him. May we always strive to please Him by surrendering our will and our choices to His perfect plan for our lives. 

Prayer: Holy Father, I surrender control of my life to You, knowing full well that your way and your will is always best. Please show me plainly when my feet have strayed from the path that leads to You. Please help me to recognize and to withstand temptation when it comes my way. Help me to be so steeped in Your Truth as it is revealed in Scripture and in the life of Christ that I will be able to see straight through the enemy’s lies and to not be deceived or trapped by them.

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