“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord and he delights in his way.”
Those who crave the doctrine of Adam, and that is everyone who is born of him, desire to hear the constant exhortations and admonitions of duty faith as an evidence of eternal life. The expostulators of this fodder hold forth many carnal proofs as testimony that mere faith without the works of the flesh is nothing. There must be something tangible to be seen or felt that the senses of man can find rest and rejoice in the works of his hands. Some of the more astute and superstitious will give lip service to a higher power or even a form of God that is ultimately in control of the cosmos but none who is born of water can ever conceive or believe in Him. Without this ability to believe and devoid of the necessary elements to worship Him aright, it is inconceivable that the doctrines of man should confess His absolute sovereignty over all things or that this precious truth should be appealing to his appetites. The child of grace, born not of the will of man but by the Spirit of God, delights in the confidence and surety of the knowledge that Almighty Yehovah God rules over everything.
There are many objections in the mind and heart of man to this axiom of the Kingdom of God but one that is mentioned most vociferously is the intrusion of God into and over the free will of man. The natural ability of Adam to observe, reason, deduce and decide is the very foundation of the deception wrought by the pride in his heart. The illusion of his control of his environment, culture, society and his own body is an ambiguous stimulant to the logic and passions of the flesh. They are all addicted to the choices which are made, the conclusions of reason and the words that are spoken as evident tokens of the wisdom and acclaim of their existence yet, by Yehovah is the strength of the step prepared, established and assured.
This is not to intimate that God has drawn out some outlines of feet upon a map and has earnestly urged, pleaded or subtlety influenced anyone to walk according to the pattern set forth, Nor is it to infer that He has simply demonstrated a good method or course for the accomplishment of His will but He will eventually work things all together so that His Will is performed. Nor is it the theological prevarication that God has looked ahead in time to see what shall come to pass and then laid out an appropriate path so give the illusion that He ordained all things. Yehovah God not only purposed in Himself that which should be done but He also established who, what, when where and how these things must come to pass according to the determinate counsel and before knowledge of His Will.
Some may agreeingly object by stating that indeed God has established the path but He forces no one to walk. The eternal establishing of the path or the steps is ineffectual if the power to perform is not present. Yehovah God has orchestrated the steps wherein every animate and inanimate object of His creation should live, move and have its being with meticulous precision. He also set the time of the habitation and the limitations thereof and as way of a reminder to the actors when they should perform the next line of their part; “Declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times that are not done, saying, My counsel shall stand and I will do all My pleasure, calling the ravenous bird form the east, the man that executes My counsel from a far country, yea, I have spoken, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed, I will also do it” (Is. 46:10ff).
He ordained from before the foundation of the world which step should be taken when and in what order it should fall out. There is not one footprint in the sand that is out of place nor one wind-swept shore line that should be covered with the tracks of many people for the purpose of God has ordained and the power of God has performed.
“Yehovah is my strength and my shield, my heart trusts in Him and I am helped, therefore my heart greatly rejoices and with my song will I praise Him” (Ps. 28:7).
Everyone knows that it takes a certain amount of strength to stand let alone to lift the foot off the floor and place it in front of the other in order to begin to walk. This strength is encouraged in the babies as they move from a crawl to stand and then take their first steps. Over the years these steps become second nature to the inhabitants of this world as they go about their daily lives but as the infirmities of life and the corruption of age advance, this strength begins to fade. Running is an advanced demonstration of walking and is used in many formats but it requires more strength than a simple walk. The climbing of stairs or the mountain paths also demand increased strength and endurance to navigate the obstacles and terrain and any who are deficient of power or infirmed in the faculties cannot walk properly. Thus without strength the course cannot be run and the path cannot be walked.
Yehovah God planned and established the strength of the run, march or steps in a manner commensurate to His purpose. This strength is not only in the ability to lift the foot from off the ground and place one foot in front of the other but also in the inability to do the same. His Will causes both those things which come to pass and withholds those things which should not come to pass. Man views these matters with contingencies and possibilities but with the ever present ‘I AM’ there is no shadow of turning as all is exactly as He intends.
God granted the strength to Abram to leave his father’s house and journey to a foreign land but He took the strength away from the feet of Mephibosheth so that he could sit at the King’s table. He empowered the feet of David to see and lust after Bath-Sheba that Solomon should be born and empowered the feet of Joseph to be still in the pit as he began his hiatus into the land of Copts, “for God did send me before you to preserve life” (Gen. 45:5). He made the winds and waves roar after the ship bound for Tarshish until it came to the exact location where the prepared fish was awaiting the arrival of Jonah (Jon. 1:17) yet He has said; “Hitherto shalt thou come but no further and here shall thy proud waves be stayed” (Job 38:11).
Every child of grace, as they become partakers of flesh and blood and are made subject to the vanities of this existence, experiences the reality of the warfare within. They know that there is an earnest desire within to do that which is good but there is also the glaring evidence of the evil within. There is an heart to pray before the throne which is contrasted by the inability of the flesh to both know how and to perform that which is good. This conundrum may become frustrating especially when the taskmasters of the world continue to claim that they know how to rectify the matter and to ‘live the victorious Christian life’. This adventure into the camps of self-will and the attributes of the arm of the flesh is, once again, the deception of the pride of Edom which when revealed causes the children of hope to cry out, “O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death” (Rms. 7:24).
“I gave my heart to seek and search out, by wisdom, concerning all things that are done under heaven. This sore travail has God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith” (Ecc. 1:13).
The natural man responds to the carnal exhortations to make himself and his environment better. Some take up philosophies, others a healthier diet while others simply attempt to amend their lifestyle but in all his endeavours to improve upon that which God has assigned, Adam cannot change that which is decreed. The Will of God has made his mind inquisitive as he searches for answers while giving him eyes which cannot see the truth. This exercise, or those things which occupy his mind, are given of God so that man cannot find out the work which God does from the beginning. Man continues to search according to his frail and flawed abilities and he publishes his findings in his theology for all to read.
The logical conclusion of this research is that God would never order things to come to pass without His first consulting with man. God would never interfere with the free will of His creature and then hold him accountable for his actions. And so, man is elevated to a position of consultant to God or the cause for God’s ordination of all things. He is the one who must agree to a course of action or at least initiate the proceedings so that his concept of God is one of a ruler who is just. The opportunity for compliance must be without coercion or duress or the findings of guilt are invalid; this is the number of man and herein is wisdom to know the number of Adam.
But God never intended nor expects one of His creatures to act contrary to their will. He put the things of this world into the heart of man and gave him his inquisitive nature so that he would act accordingly. He created the light and the dark, placed man in this world of darkness and made him love the darkness lest his actions be revealed. Yet He also has established in Himself, His Law which cannot be broken. His demands are for perfect obedience to every jot and tittle of His commandments without the option of interpretation or variation. He has, from before Adam was created, concluded the seed of Adam under sin, for which the sentence is death; “the soul that sins it shall die” (Ezek. 18:20) and He has ordained that all flesh should be occupied with the cares of this world and the needs of the body; “this is a sore travail”.
God forces no one against his will. There are none who desire to be obedient but cannot because God will not let them nor are there any who are obedient yet desire wickedness. His people are made willing in the day of His power from the womb of the morning. They are His workmanship and it is He who has not only begun the work in them but shall continue and finished that same work unto the day of the Jesus Christ. His elect children “walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God, strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness, giving thanks unto the Father, which has made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints of light; who has delivered us from the power of darkness and has translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness from sin” (Col. 1:11).
“Though he fall he shall not be utterly cast down for Yehovah upholds him with His hand” (37:24).
The path which God has empowered His people to walk is not the heavenly highway as is often presented. It is the path through this waste howling wilderness unto the Father’s house and it is wrought with trails and tribulations which afflict the soul. Each and every step is placed exactly where it has been afore prepared to land and the result of the step is in precise compliance to the intent of the step. It is not in Adam to imagine his steps, purpose in his mind the course he should walk, empower his body to move or predestine all factors involved for “the way of man is not in himself; it is not of him that walks to direct his steps” (Jer. 10:23). If this were possible for the nature of Adam to do such then which of the children of dust would ever plan to fail? Which would not rather, foresee the path and conduct themselves in a manner conducive to success? But the path of man is in darkness for his deeds are evil (John 3:19), and the light has shone forth out of the darkness and that darkness did not perceive the light.
The trials and tribulations which the Father has decreed should be in the path of His children, so that they might fall, are according to his great love wherewith He has loved His Beloved. It is because of this love that He demonstrates to the redeemed the weakness and frailties of Adam as He draws them alone the path. Adam walks by sight and looks on those things which are temporal and carnal. He loves his life and his body and is constantly occupied in the welfare of both. The love of the Father to His dear children is that the flesh is unprofitable and without Him Adam can do nothing; therefore with loving kindness He draws His people with the cords of men though they know it not (Hos.11:4). For this He has predestined that certain steps should be placed in specific locations which should result in the traveler to stumble and fall, “that no flesh should glory in His presence” (I Cor. 1:29).
Man is taken in the net as the bird is caught by the fowlers. He is entangled in his own craftiness as he is polluted in his own blood. Adam was formed from the dust of the earth and shall be cast down into the dust from whence he came; “According to their pasture, so they were filled and their heart was exalted, therefore have they forgotten Me” (Hos. 13:6). The child of grace, while being in the world, is not of this world. He has been born from above and has been made to walk an assigned path. Daily he falls as he is ‘carnal sold under sin’ in Adam for which cause the creature within cries out waiting to be delivered from the bondage of this corruption. Every moment of his existence in the body of this death he experiences that his heart is desperately wicked and that he cannot control his tongue, his thoughts or his desires. Each day events come to pass which vex the soul as the path leads into the valley of the shadow of death and through the valley of Achor, yet “In God will I praise His Word, in God have I put my trust, I shall not fear what flesh can do unto me” (Ps. 56:4).
“...and he delights in his way” (Ps. 37:23)
When Yehovah God brought His people out of the land of bondage, He assigned them the labour of building the Tabernacle. He did not hold job interviews or ask for resumes because He gave His chosen people the knowledge, the skill and the wisdom to do the work. He then made them willing so that they performed the duty of a free will. There were no labour disputes, job actions or contractual grievances because they were of one mind in the performance of the assignment and of one Spirit. So it is alone the path which He has assigned every son of man. Those of the earth and of the seed of the serpent do the wok of their father with one accord and the freedom of will to enjoy their work. Therefore they are called into account for the deeds which they perform as well as the fact that they fail to keep the Law of God.
The children of the King have been created in Christ Jesus unto good works. As he came and did the will of the Father so His Beloved does the same. She is of the liberty wherein Christ has made her free to keep the Law of God wherein she delights after that inward man. Her free will is delivered from the bondage of the corruption of the inability of the flesh as she serves Him in newness of life. Her confidence of the assurance of faith is based upon the fact that Almighty God has ordained whatsoever comes to pass and in the fullness of time He works all things after the counsel of His will. She rests in the fact that She is His workmanship and that He which has begun this good work in Her shall continue and complete it in the day of Her Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore She trusts in Him and is not afraid of what man can do unto her natural body (indeed man cannot touch the inner man).
“For Yehovah loves judgment and does not forsake His saints; they are preserved forever but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off” (37:28).
Yehovah God knows them that are His and no man can change that sweet and precious axiom. The names of His people are engraved in the palms of His hands and sealed by the nail pierce. He has born their sorrow and became their sin that in Adam they are not condemned and polluted. He has removed that sin as far as the east is from the west never to be called into account again. He has redeemed them from the house of the strong man and by His shed blood they are healed. She is bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh and since He cannot deny Himself He therefore cannot deny Her. He has raised Her up and declared His generation before the throne and now she is seated together with Him in the heavenlies; “Beloved now are we the sons of God” (I John 3:2).
He has promised to never leave nor forsake the sanctified race as they journey through this present evil generation. He is their hiding place and the habitation from generation to generation and as they have been set apart in God the Father so are they preserved in Jesus Christ until the day when this tabernacle is dissolved and the sons are manifested.
“By Yehovah the strength of the steps are established and in the journey he (the traveler) delights”
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
October 26, 2014