I was listening to a teaching the other day and this song popped into my head. I’m not even sure why because the teaching had nothing to do with the song. It just popped in there. If you’ve read my posts before, this isn’t surprising, is it?
I knew it was a bible verse, but being the non-bible scholar that I am, I had to look it up. It comes from the book of Psalms, chapter 119, verse 133. In the King James Version (KJV), it says:
“Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.”
Order my steps in thy word. In other words, “God, show me the way to walk.” Or, something along those lines.
The first part of the verse, when we really look at and understand it, is an act of submission. It’s not about living the way I want or doing the things I want to do. It’s a petition or request to God to direct the path of my life – the steps that I take – in accordance with His word, the Bible.
One can’t ask God to ‘order’ their steps unless they are willing to walk the path that God orders. Can they or no? Well, not exactly.
See, I don’t know about you, but it is sometimes – okay, a lot of times – easy to say words, petitions, request to God along these lines. But, I wonder if our hearts are really in them.
Pondering these words later that day, I thought, ‘Order my steps by my word, Lord’.
Ouch! Did I really think that? Did I really say that? Yup. Yup, I did.
When we ask the Lord to ‘order our steps’, are we really asking Him to do it by His word or by ours? Doing it by His word requires submission, submission, submission. It means letting go of what we think is best, the outcome WE want, the desires and longings we hope to see and yes, even the paths we hope to walk.
‘By your word’ has no connection to any authority I think I may have. I haven’t written a bible translation. There is no book of Sunny in either Testament or a New Sunny Translation. I didn’t inspire any person to write scripture through my spirit.
Yet, how many times do I pray a prayer expecting God to deliver an answer based on what I say? I pray for God to change someone, but is that according to His word? I ask for a sign, but is that according to His word? I ask to win the lottery – not really – but is that according to His word?
Let’s make it Christianesey, shall we? I ask for God to bless my ministry – I don’t have one, by the way – but is it according to His word? I ask God to DO all these things in the way I want, but is it according to His word? Some ask to “change” another person, but is it according to God’s word?
Or, is it according to mine?
In the New American Standard Bible, Psalm 119:133 reads:
Establish my footsteps in Your word, And do not let any wrongdoing have power over me.
The NIV reads as:
Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.
In other words, “Don’t let wrongdoing or sin have any power over me, Lord”. Reading from the Amplified it says this:
Establish my footsteps in [the way of] Your word; Do not let any human weakness have power over me [causing me to be separated from You].
“Establish my footsteps” so that nothing is “causing me to be separated from You”.
We established that in the first part of this verse, there is submission required. Submitting to God and letting Him establish our steps. Don’t dismiss this point. Submission goes contrary to our human nature, especially here in America. We want what we want, when we want it and don’t you dare tell me that MY way is wrong.
To continue, our humanistic, Americanized nature says, “Order my steps according to MY vision, God, and keep that sin thing over there, out of my way. You got that, God? Should I repeat the request to make sure you got it all? One order of godly steps and hold the sin.”
“And while you’re at it, God, can you throw a cherry on top? I’m all about that extra blessing, Lord. I’ll throw some offerings your way if you just make the path clear. We good? Okay. Thanks God.”
Sound a bit overboard? Maybe. But, let’s ask ourselves this. When is the last time we said, not my will, God, but your will be done. (Luke 22:41-42)
Submission. Order my steps by thy word. Earlier in Psalm 119, the psalmist writes in verses 104-106 (NASB):
From Your precepts I get understanding;
Therefore I hate every false way.
Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.
I have sworn and I will confirm it,
That I will keep Your righteous judgments.
“Your word is a lamp to my feet, And a light to my path.” So the “word” (the bible) is a lamp which gives off “light” for the path.
Each day is a path. How we walk that path is up to us. Do we wake up and just go on with our day as we see fit? Or, do we submit our day to God and His word?
Full transparency, most days I choose my own path, my own steps. And then I go about my days and wonder why there are struggles with sin or just challenges in general in my life.
My word or His?