Thursday, December 03, 2009

Step by Step

Bill Rice Ranch - First Light Devotionals 

Psalm 26:12 "My foot standeth in an even place: in the congregations will I bless the LORD."
I like to hike. I've been on the Pacific Crest Trail (one of the longest trails in the country), the Continental Divide Trail (right through the heart of the Rocky Mountains), and many trails in the Grand Canyon. It is fascinating to me when I see "through hikers," folks who are in it for the long haul. I typically hike three or four days, but these hikers go for hundreds of miles! You may wonder how in the world a person hikes for hundreds of miles, and the answer is the same for anything you do: one step at a time.

Where you step today determines where you stand tomorrow. That is why steps are so important, both for young people and for adults. A good step (perhaps even the first step) is a reminder that there are many more steps that are made the same way: one day at a time.
In Psalm 26, David speaks of stepping and standing. He even asks God to "judge me . . . examine me . . . prove me. . . ." Most of us are not so eager to take a test or to be examined, but David could ask God to do this because he had the confidence that comes from a clean conscience. He mentions in verses 1 and 3, "I have walked," and in verse 11, "I will walk." David had stable, level, sturdy, rock-solid ground upon which to stand because of the way he had been stepping. And it is always that way--where you step determines where you stand.
Some people look at themselves and wonder how they got to that place-they got there one step at a time. Other people have clarity and freshness like a hiker whose has reached the summit, and they got there the same way: one step at a time.
Not only is where you step important, but also how you step.
How you step determines how you stand. I remember the first time I hiked the Grand Canyon, and I saw many long-faced, weary hikers dragging themselves out of the Canyon. I remember thinking that hiking the Grand Canyon was like hiking a mountain in reverse--the view comes at the beginning (hiking down) and the hike comes at the end (climbing one vertical mile by taking seven miles of switchbacks). I was fifteen years old or so when I first hiked the Canyon, and I saw two gray-haired ladies with huge sixty-pound packs on their backs. These two petite, gray-haired ladies were having the time of their lives! They displayed big smiles and the energy to keep going another five miles. My only thought was, "If they can do this, I had better be able to do it too!"
Any good decisions or "steps" you have taken recently are wonderful, but they always require hundreds of daily decisions afterwards. David could say, "My foot standeth in an even place" because he was walking daily with a clean conscience. You can narrow down Psalm 26 to three phrases: I have walked, I will walk, and I am standing. What about your life? Can you say the same thing? With each step you literally take today, remember that where you step and how you step determines where and how you stand.

Prayer Requests
1. Revival services tonight in Winona Lake, IN
2. BRR Couples' Retreat this week (12/3-5) 
Missed a First Light?  Browse the archives here: firstlight-blog
Bill Rice Ranch | 627 Bill Rice Ranch Road | Murfreesboro | TN | 37128

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