When we think of our Christian “walk”, we might be tempted to focus on how well we see ourselves doing. Are we doing everything we should be doing? Could we be doing more? Could we be doing better?
While these are good self-assessment questions, consider for a moment what we are focusing on. We are looking at spiritual growth from the perspective of what we can do to foster it. Yet while this seems to make natural sense, let us not forget Paul’s observation: “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.” ~ 1 Corinthians 3:6
By focusing on how well we are walking with the Lord, we are likely to see either our own successes or failures. In either case, we are looking at ourselves, when we should be looking at Jesus.
But Hebrews 12:1-2 says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Thinking about “walking” with the Lord — or even in the Lord — gives some significance to our actual “steps”. Jesus said “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” ~ Matthew 16:24
Two questions come to mind. First, if we are to deny ourselves, how can we defend focusing on our own steps? Second, if we are following Jesus Christ, are we not choosing to walk in his footsteps?
The answer to both questions is the key to having a humble spirit. The Christian walk is simply a matter of placing our feet where Jesus has already gone. And the only way we can do that is by keeping our focus on Jesus.
Isaiah 48:17 — Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the LORD your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go.
Isaiah 58:11 — And the LORD will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
Jeremiah 10:23 — I know, O LORD, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps.
Psalm 32:8 — I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
Psalm 37:23-24 — The steps of a man are established by the LORD, when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the LORD upholds his hand.
Psalm 48:14 — … this is God, our God forever and ever. He will guide us forever.
Proverbs 3:5-6 — Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Proverbs 16:9 — The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.
Lord, help us to take our eyes off ourselves and keep them fixed on you.