What do my footprints reveal? What legacy do they leave behind me?
Today in my book of Opportunity, Chapter 4, Page 3, I’m examining my footprints and hopefully encouraging you to do the same. (Please read Part 1, yesterday’s post, if you haven’t already done so.)
As a believer in Christ Jesus, the answers to the questions above are important to me, so I turn to my guidebook for life, the Bible.
Above all else, I strive to follow the commandments Jesus gave us in Mark 12:30-31: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.”
Following those commandments means watching where I go, being mindful of my words, actions and how I treat my fellow human beings. My life should be a living example of sacrifice to the One I call Lord.
I think Jesus warns us to watch where our feet take us in Matthew, Chapter 18, verse 5-7 – “But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to sin!”
He continues, “If your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away.” In other words, be aware of the footprints you leave behind because they influence others. Are you leading others to Jesus with words and deeds of encouragement or do you tear down others leading them (and you) into sin?
I sometimes wonder if those of us who call ourselves Christians really understand the influence we have on those around us. I don’t think we realize how important it is to not cause another person to sin.
We seem to think if we spout off scripture or Christian-ese to people, that’s all we need to do to lead others to Christ. But I think our actions do speak so much louder than our words, and where our feet have led us speaks volumes because others watch how we lead our lives. They see our footprints!
Our footprints show where we’ve been (in sin). King David wrote in Psalm 69:1-3: “Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in the miry depths, where there is no foothold. I have come into the deep waters; the floods engulf me.” David reveals his feet led him into distress, to a place where he was in over his head, and he needed rescued by God. Isn’t that like those sinful places our own footprints have come from?
Hopefully, believers’ footprints show that we left our own miry depths of sin and came to Christ, where we find our redemption. Once we make Jesus the Lord of our lives, our constant prayer should be like David’s prayer: “Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me,” in Psalm 119:133. The Apostle Paul also warned us to be diligent in Ephesians 4:27, “…and do not give the devil a foothold.” (Or allow him to lead us astray!)
We can have confidence (faith) that the Lord does watch over us and as we ask for His help in guiding our feet, “He will not let your foot slip – he who watches over you will not slumber….the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” ~ Psalm 121:3-8
Pastor Charles Stanley stated this truth eloquently when he wrote, “As you walk through the valley of the unknown, you will find the footprints of Jesus both in front of you and beside you.” The thought of Jesus not just leading me but actually walking with me – beside me – encourages me and I hope you as well.
So I think I need to question myself each day – do my footprints point others to fear the Lord, honor Him, praise him and serve Him? Do I choose this day whom I will serve? Am I following Jesus’ steps and allowing Him to walk beside me, no matter where I go?
Joshua 22:5 says, “But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you: to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to keep his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
Every day, the choice is mine to make and yours. And this day is no different; I choose where I leave my footprints. Where have you been and what are you leaving behind? What footprints do you leave for your family, friends and those who come after you? Do you need to change your direction? All you have to do is ask Jesus to guide you.