The kids at our church are really learning to pray with power and such beautiful faith. Sunday, before I was to lead worship at C5 Church, some of the C5 Kids gathered with me to pray. I felt little hands around one of my ankles, then I heard these words, "God, bless Pastor Connie, and the steps that she takes, back and forth and forward and back, let them bring joy and glory to you." I looked up, and it was a little 6 year old boy named Liam. Wow! Did he even know that I have a habit of walking back and forth, forward and back when I lead worship? I doubt it. The kids are in another building during worship at our church. I was blown away by his insight and simple request to God.
That little prayer of faith was precious to me, because Liam knew the truth. He understood that the Lord takes delight in our steps. Psalm 37:23 tells us, "The steps of the God-pursuing ones follow firmly in the footsteps of the Lord. And God delights in every step they take to follow Him." (Passion Translation)
In Rome there is a place called the Scala Santa, the Holy Stairs or Sacred Steps. These steps were brought to Rome from Jerusalem by Helen, Emperor Constantine's mother, 300 years after Jesus' death. These stairs are said to have been the steps in Pontius Pilate's mansion, where Jesus came the night he was tried. These are the steps Jesus took when He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. It is on these stairs that He walked in step with the will of the Father to lay down His life for mankind.
I visited these steps a short time ago and joined together with thousands of pilgrims who came before me, who climbed each step on their knees. With each step, I was keenly aware of the weight of the decision Jesus made. With each step He could've said, "NO". With each step, He chose me. He chose you. He willingly walked those steps to pay the price for our sin.
There was a sacred silence in that place, yet emotions ran the gamut. Many cried, they whispered long silent prayers, some kissed each step, others tucked written prayers into the crevices of the stairs, as if they were tucking hidden love notes in a secret place, a place He would know to look.
He knows. He is familiar with our suffering, and acquainted with our grief. He is aware of every step we take. And yet, as we follow in His footsteps, we need to understand the big picture!
"We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God's throne." Hebrews 12:2 (NLT)
He endured, for the joy set before Him. The joy was us! He chose me and He chose you. He had us in mind and He looked forward to the joy He would have in delighting in each step we take toward Him. The joy He would have when we would say yes to following Him. The joy He would have in spending eternity with us.
Each step you take is holy unto the Lord. He delights in each one, because He takes great joy in you! You were worth it! Your eternal destiny was worth it! For the joy set before Him!
I don't think we have any concept of what eternal joy will be like. We think, worry free, pain free, sorrow free, sickness free, we think of the things that WON'T be there. What I can't wait to see is what WILL be there! For all the things I don't know and can't comprehend, this I do know. He is my joy, He is my delight, and through sunshine or shadow, I will follow Him.
What holy steps are you taking to follow Him today?