Psalm 73:2 But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well-nigh slipped.
Living the Christian life is not always an easy task. Many have the false assumption that as soon as they get saved, they will experience “smooth sailing ahead.” As a result of this assumption, the moment these same Christians have rough patches of trials, temptations, or turmoil…they start to second guess their commitment to the Lord.
The Bible tells us in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
This passage communicates to us that living God’s way is definitely the way to go. Looking at the last part of that passage, “…my yoke is easy, and my burden is light,” is a comparison to living the world’s way. It is not a guarantee that we will not experience hardships, but rather an assurance that living for God is much easier than living for the world.
As a matter of fact, the Bible tells us in Proverbs 13:15, “Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard.” No matter what hardships and storms we may experience as Christians, it is multiplied exponentially if we were to live in sin.
I do want to utilize this chapter to discuss the tough times, or “slippery places,” that we will undoubtedly experience…even while living a life of commitment to the Lord. Asaph tells us in Psalm 73:2, “But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well-nigh slipped.”
It is important for us to be aware of the times that undoubtedly will occur in our lives will cause “our feet to be almost gone, and our steps to well-nigh slip.” By taking time to study these “slippery places,” we can better prepare for them, in some cases avoid them, or by God’s grace get through them unscathed.
SLIPPERY PLACE #1 – TRANSITIONS
God has created us with transitions in mind. In other words, we cannot escape transition. Newborns become toddlers. Toddlers become preschoolers. Preschoolers become elementary grade students. Elementary students become Junior-high students (pre-teen). Junior-high (pre-teen) students become High-school (teenagers) students. High-school students (teenagers) become college students (single adults).
The transitions do not stop there. Single adults become married adults. Married adults become parents. Parents become grandparents and so on and so forth. Most people will experience every one of these transitions. The fact of the matter is that we are transitioning all the time.
For most of us, when a transition is set to begin, we can become anxious because of the unknown. I recall speaking to many junior-high students that were anxious about entering high-school. They were uncertain of the identity they would adopt during this new phase in life. They were anxious about the academic work load. They were nervous about how they would fit in with the older students.
Though it is common to experience anxiety when approaching a transition, in this chapter, I would like to focus more on the “slipperiness” of transition.
It seems that most Christians, most people, are accustomed to being creatures of habit. We enjoy the predictable. We appreciate the certain—what we are used to. However, when faced with transitions, often times the anxiety we experience coupled with the unpredictability of the situation may often get us out of our routine when it comes to spiritual things.
For example: Take a Christian man that just got a promotion at work. Typically, this is a good transition. Promotion generally means more money and more recognition. Before the promotion, he worked a good solid 40 consistent hours doing pretty much the same thing. Now that he is promoted, he is put in a situation that requires him to miss some weekends at church due to big projects.
This promotion is also requiring him to leave earlier than normal in the mornings to get to work earlier, which happens to impact his walk with God. The promotion in most cases is a “good thing,” but because of the transition (working more hours, etc), he is getting out of his “spiritual routine,” thus affecting his appetite for the Lord.
Another example: Take a Christian woman who recently got married. Of course, like most, she is loving this transition and experiencing a splendid first several months of marriage – many would call this the “honeymoon stage.” Now that she is several months into her marriage, she is realizing how much more she has to do.
Before, she just needed to care for herself. Now she is finding herself doing laundry for two, ironing for two, and prepping meals for two. As a single lady, she had so much time in her mornings and evenings to just lounge around, fulfill her chores at a normal, gentle pace with plenty of time to spare. Spending time with the Lord was very convenient as a single person because she only had to care for herself.
Now, as a married lady, she finds herself crunched for time. It seems that this transition into marriage has taken away several hours in her day. If she is not careful, she will start to trim away from her “spiritual time” to fulfill her new duties. This can be done by forfeiting her devotions so that she can instead do the “new chores.” This can also be done by skipping out on services here or there so that she can “catch up” on her duties.
While it is often true that transitions can give us more responsibility, we must understand two major principles about transitions:
1. God does not give us transitions so that we can do less spiritually.
2. God does give us all the time and ability we need to fulfill all of our responsibilities that come with the transitions.
MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY
Matthew 11:28-30 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Determine to not waste your vacation by returning stronger than ever.
Nothing can be more satisfying than seeing someone trust Christ as their personal Saviour and take steps towards spiritual growth!