Pay very close attention to the first word in this scripture: “Direct”.  The King James Version will say, “Order my steps”.  Instantly all of us just thought about the song, right?  In this psalm, we find a prayer that I believe all genuine believers should add to their prayer life.  I believe the goal for every true believer should be to stay in step with God.  The last thing any of us should want to do is get out of step with God.

133 Direct my steps by Your word,

And let no iniquity have dominion over me.

key verse – psalm 119:133 nkjv

Falling Out of Step

As I say with many of the sermons that I preach, this is a thought that is very near and dear to my heart.  I am a person that genuinely cares about all of those around me.  My family knows that when we pray together, I pray the Lord’s continued love and blessings for my neighbors – all of those around me including those I know and those I do not know.

I say all of that because it genuinely does hurt me to see when others choose to walk out of step with the Lord.  There are many who are unaware of what it means to be out of step (or not in line) with the Lord. This is why I am so driven and passionate to teach the Lord’s word and preach His word:  I do not want to see people fall out of step with the Lord! 

We find that it can be fairly easy for someone to fall out of step with God. For someone to walk in step with God, we find that it takes a great amount of discipline.  Discipline is required for us to be obedient to His word.  Yet, in the world we live in, we find that there are many things that can distract us from staying in step.  These distractions, or temptations, are there for the purpose of knocking you out of step with the Lord.  We fall out of step with the Lord when we give in to temptation and follow after the passions of our own heart.

Tragic examples

We know that this leads to falling out of step because we have several examples of this being the case shown to us in scripture.  In our recent Sunday School Lessons, we have been taking a look at Saul, the first king of Israel.  He was a man who was given the kingdom of Israel (blessed), but ultimately chose to follow his heart instead of walking in step with God.  The kingdom was taken from Saul, and he ended up living a life full of wickedness (1 Sam. 13:13-14).

In another example, we can take a look at Cain.  Cain was a man that could have lived a blessed life, yet he chose the lusts of his own heart and killed his brother.  We are warned in scripture about going in the way of Cain (Jude 11).  Jude wrote, “Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.” (Note the passion of being greedy for profit here in that scripture.)

These were two men that could have both lived blessed lives, but they both chose to walk out of step with God for their own way.  Because both men chose to walk out of step with God, they ended up living a life out of God’s favor! I do not want to try to live outside of God’s favor!  Are you walking out of step with God?  Do you put your lusts and passions over walking in step with the Lord?  

The conflict that causes us to fall

In his letter to the Galatians, Paul shared his thoughts on this subject matter.  It becomes so easy for some of us to give in to temptation.  Paul spoke about how our nature and is one that learns sin at a very early age – we begin to normalize sinful behavior.  Yet, at the same time, many of us begin to grow up in our spirit, and we realize when something is not right.  We begin to judge what is right and wrong by our morals, and for many of us, our morals have been set by the Lord.

When this happens, you will begin to notice a war going on within you.  This war within you becomes a war of staying in step with God or falling out of step with God.  Paul wrote that this is the flesh and spirit that are at war because they are contrary (Gal. 5:17).  Oftentimes we end up doing what we do not wish to do because of our flesh.  What Paul wrote in that letter, was something that Jesus taught about as well.  Prior to His arrest in the garden, Jesus remarked how the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak (Matt. 26:41).

Overcome by temptation

In those same remarks, Jesus commented that we should be on watch and pray so that we do not enter into temptation.  Being on watch: meaning that we should always be attentive (on guard).  Prayer, of course, is our way of communication with God.  We cannot overcome our temptation by ourselves – we must watch and pray.  As with anything else we try to do without God, we would end up being overcome and failing without God’s help.

When we fall out of step with Him, we end up hurting ourselves.  Many of us end up carrying the weight of our guilt for doing wrong and that weight can only bury us.  Some of us can get so far out of step with the Lord that we begin to miss out on His greater blessings.  We not only end up hurting ourselves, but we also end up hurting those around us as well.  

As you have probably seen me mention before, you never know who you’re setting an example for!  You never know who is watching you and will try to follow the example you set!  We must not be overcome by temptation, but must overcome temptation itself.  So, how do we overcome temptation so that we can stay in step with the Lord?

A Prayer of Strength

Those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh (Rom. 8:5).  This, again, speaks to a certain mindset to where the things of the flesh (Gal. 5:19-21) have taken precedent in someone’s heart.  Paul wrote that to have this sort of mindset is to be carnally (wordly) minded (Rom. 8:6).  This is a mindset that is completely given over to walking out of step with God – given over to sin.

As believers, we cannot live in the flesh and also walk in step with the Lord.  You see, God is not going to be in fellowship with someone completely given to the way of sin (or walking out of step with Him).  This is why both Saul and Cain had a falling out with the Lord:  their heart (spirit) was of the world and not after God’s heart!  In order for us to walk in step with God, we must repent of our sins and turn to Him (1 John 1:9).

Cannot do it on our own

We then must pray for God’s strength when it comes to all of the things that seek to get us out of step with Him.  We are in serious need of the Lord’s strength in this battle and we cannot fight it on our own!  The prayer that we should pray is that the Lord directs (orders) our steps in His word. 

The Lord is more than willing and delights in guiding and directing the steps of His children (Ps. 37:23-24)!  We are told that the Lord guards the feet of His saints, but the wicked shall be silent in darkness (1 Sam. 2:9). God takes great pleasure in walking in step (in fellowship) with those who strive to walk in step with Him.  Those who walk out of step with God, walk blindly down a path that leads to the gate of destruction (Matt. 7:13).  We, on the other hand, who choose to walk in step with the Lord, walk towards the narrow gate that leads to life (Matt. 7:14).

Walking In Step with God

Are you walking in step with the Lord today?  Do you even attempt to walk in step with God?  I certainly understand that the world we live in is a hectic world, and I definitely understand that the journey we are on is difficult.  These things are most definitely true, but that does not give us as believers an excuse to be disobedient.  We cannot fall out of step with God – we must remain disciplined.

When we pray for God to order our steps, that shows that we are seeking to remain obedient to Him.  The prayer for God to order our steps is a prayer for His guidance and for His favor while we are on our journey!  Asking God to direct your steps, shows that you desire to be in fellowship with Him.  With God ordering our steps, how could we ever go wrong?  This does not mean we will not ever falter, because we will, but God will be there to lift us up; we will not wander around in darkness.

The end benefit is that when God orders our steps, and iniquity does not have dominion over us.  We will live a life that is pleasing to the Lord in full obedience to His way, and rewarded with the reward of His heavenly kingdom.  This is a great desire of mine:  that we all one day enjoy a close fellowship with the Lord because we trusted Him to order our steps.

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