"The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, and He delights in his way." Psalm 37:23
A couple important things as we get into today's verse. It's a bit of a mouthful but bear with me. The Hebrew translations of the words/phrases above actually define (and suggest) a walk with God that is so much more intimate than what we read in English. The first translation we should start with is the phrase "good man". This phrase in Hebrew is the word "geber" which is literally translated as a "valiant man or warrior", meaning in the eyes of God, a good man (or woman) is one who is battling evil as a person of courage in God's army. The second translation is for the word "steps". In the original language the word "steps" is translated into "mits'ad" which does literally mean "a step" but it also means "to be going or stepping with someone". This is important because of the reminder that our steps are never alone when we are willing to surrender our life to God. The third translation needed is for the word "ordered". In Hebrew, the word used for "ordered" is the word "kuwn" which literally is defined as "to be set up".
Therefore, when we look deeper at David's words we actually see that the walk through life for the "Warrior of God" is meant to be done WITH God (side by side) as we let Him create the path (ordain). Because we accept a walk through life that is set up for us by God, and then lived out by walking the path with Him, the LORD can't help but delight in the way, because the way is actually His. In some aspects this is beyond exciting for the Man or Woman of God who is willing to lay down their life that they "might find it" as Jesus suggests. But for me, and many of you this idea of letting God actually lead the path is intimidating and tough. Especially when God actually uses discipline and chastening in order to shape us in the image of Christ. Though the words in the previous sentence are true and nobody likes to deal with pain, reading today's word is actually one of hope, one that should quench your fears and give you freedom. If you've ever decided to walk without God out of a fear that you may deal with pain if you walk with Him, then you are forgetting one extremely important thing, God never leaves your side when you let Him dictate your steps. You are never alone!
How many of you invite God along on your life hoping He doesn't become a back seat driver? I'm guilty of this. I share with Him my goals and dreams and because they just seem so perfect (to me) I can't imagine that He wouldn't want to follow me along (and because He's God I kind of expect Him to pick up the pieces where I blow it along the way). I even come up with cool ways to "trick" God into following me along claiming that I'm doing something because He "made me" a certain way, or I must use the "gifts He gave me" in order to get something accomplished. But as I read today's Scripture, I realize how frequently I only ask God to bless what I'm doing, or give me peace through it, and never ask if this is where He'd want to lead me. Instead of having Him delight in my steps because He's leading them, I ask Him to bless them because if I'm honest with myself, I plan on going at life alone while He watches anyway.
Once again, this Psalm comes back to us letting go of our whole life to God's care. It takes major trust to turn over the so-called reigns on this life, especially when we begin to understand how God handles His children as we grow in character and the likeness of Christ (Hebrew 12:6) . If we truly desire to walk in God's delight, then we must surrender our life to Him, walking on the path with Him that He has planned for us. In surrendering our own life, we allow His Spirit to fill us with His peace, hope, wisdom, vision, and most importantly His love. Trust that no matter how much you believe God loves you, He loves you infinitely more than that. He wants to lead you into His perfect peace and into a life abundance that only he can define, one in which He delights in your every step.