How strong are your toes? Will your feet hold fast to the path of righteousness when you walk through the wilderness of temptation?
My foot has held fast to his steps; I have kept his way and have not turned aside. I have not departed from the commandment of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my portion of food. (Job 23:11-12)
If you are like me then prayer seems pointless. Where is God? Does the LORD hear; does He care? In times like these prayer seems to go no further than the ceiling and then fall back in my lap. But I’ve learned not to live in those moments according to my feelings; instead I continue to walk by faith.
This seems to be Job’s idea here. His suffering is far greater than anything I have experience or can truly imagine. And in his sorrow Job makes a bitter complaint wondering where God is. Even though God’s presence surrounds Job, he is unaware of God’s coming or going and cannot perceive the LORD’S work. I think it is safe to say that Job feels alone and forsaken.
However, Job refuses to live according to the way he feels. If he did then this would be the time to ‘eat, drink and be merry’ or as we might say today ‘drown your sorrows and forget your pain.’ But that’s not Job’s response; he says what is echoed years later by David, “My steps have held fast to your paths; my feet have not slipped“ (Ps. 17:5).
Job refuses to compromise or give in to temptation; he is resolute to continue to walk in the ways of the LORD and not depart from His commandments. The idea here is interesting. We are accustomed to taking hold of things with our hands, to grip it and not let it go. But Job has gripped the path of righteousness with his toes or feet. In doing so, he won’t turn his back on the way of the LORD; his grip is strong.
When I go through times of hardship (trials that pale in comparison to Job’s) will I be as tenacious as Job to not live according to my feelings but continue to walk in faithful obedience? Or will I throw in the towel because God has not proved Himself according to my expectations?
This is a good time to remember Job’s example. Perhaps he would encourage us with a variation of Dory’s little song, “Just keep walking; just keep walking.” Let’s hold fast to the LORD’S footsteps and the path He established for us by His commandments.
We do find a similar encouragement given to us by the Apostle Paul when we find ourselves in the wilderness of temptation (i.e. testing/trial) . “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it” (1 Cor. 10:13).
Just keep walking, and take the exit or “way of escape” the LORD provides.
I need to develop the ‘strength of my toes’ to hold fast to the footsteps of Jesus. I will live by faith and not by feelings being faithful to God’s commandments.
Yes to Yield
LORD Jesus, thank You for leading the way before me not just as a pathfinder, but the path; You are the Way, Truth and Life. You have established how we are to walk in Your commandments. Holy Spirit help me to understand how to rightly apply the full counsel of scripture in my life today, and enable me to teach others to follow my example as I follow Christ. Strengthen my faith so it does not waver when You seem distant because I cannot sense Your unfailing presence.