23 The steps of a man are established by the Lord,Pslam 37:23-24
when he delights in his way;
24 though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong,
for the Lord upholds his hand.
The great news is that if you walk along the path of life with the Lord and you trip and fall, you won’t do a faceplant. Why not? Because the Lord, your Father, is holding your hand as you walk, and when you trip, he’s got you. You might skin a knee a little and be embarrassed, but no faceplant. The Psalmist says it this way, “he shall not be cast headlong.” In our vernacular, it is better understood as not doing a faceplant.
We’ve all seen this scene many times of a father walking with his son who trips. Dad will have one hand in his and hold the child up from falling headlong. It’s awkward and sometimes embarrassing. If the boy is carrying an ice cream cone in the other hand, it is probably splatted on the pavement now. So, it is a loss, but a minor one.
This is a lovely picture of our walk with God. When we are a child, we are subject to these slips and falls, and our Father keeps them from being too devastating. Sure, we get embarrassed and feel foolish. Sometimes in our youth and insecurity, we are tempted to stop trying to walk with the Lord because we don’t want to be embarrassed by what we see as our failures. But when we are a five-year-old child, do our parents want to give up on us because we slip and fall or trip and almost do a faceplant? Of course not. So it is with the Lord.
Looking back at our passage, “The steps of a man are established by the Lord when he delights in his way.” Who is the “he” in this sentence? The man whose steps are established by the Lord. The human state of being that assures that our walk is established by God is the state of delight in the Lord’s way. That is not work. It is enjoying God and God’s way. It is having fun with God your Father. It is like a walk in the park with Dad enjoying the sunshine, beautiful trees, and green grass, watching the clouds float by and the birds in the air. Picking up a worm and playing with it. It is living in a world of awe. This is how God wants us to enjoy him having these same delightful emotions and joys in his presence.
Teach me your way, O Lord,Psalm 86:11
that I may walk in your truth;
unite my heart to fear your name.
Our biggest problem when it comes to delighting in his way is that we don’t know what his way is. If you find that to be the case, I recommend you make this prayer, Psalm 86:11, a regular prayer. It is a prayer to learn God’s ways so we can walk in his truth. It is a matter of obedience to the ways of God, the ways in which we are to delight. The last phrase is a key to this obedience. Unite my heart to fear your name. The New International Version translates this verse, “Give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.” This request is for God to grant that we will fear him alone. Most of us have multiple things/persons we fear. But God calls us to fear him alone. The closer we are to fearing God alone, the greater our freedom to delight in the Lord and his ways.
When we walk through life like this with joyful awe of God, enjoying him and his way all the time, even when we trip, we will not do a faceplant. Our Father is protective and will always hold our hand.
Taking the time to study and meditate on the Scriptures and see what God wants to communicate to us is so powerful. It is this delight that establishes our way in the Lord. This is how he takes care of us while we become adults who are not so subject to tripping and threatening to do a faceplant. Even adults trip and fall sometimes, and if they delight in the Lord, his promise is that he will not allow a faceplant.