Article: MY FEET HAD ALMOST SLIPPED | Anish Rajan
Think with me and answer this: Has it happened to you while walking that you turn your sight to gaze onto something? Maybe a smart Lee Cooper shirt displayed on a mannequin, and as you kept walking straight with your eyes still on that shirt, you bumped into someone, stumbled or slipped? For most of you, the answer would be yes, for some the answer may be as ‘almost stumbled’. That was similar to the experience of the author of Psalm 73 –being almost stumbled in His spiritual walk with God, yet a different way.
Bible has answers to all our lives’ questions. Authors from the Bible have undergone similar experiences that we go through today. Their walk with God, their encounters and lessons learnt help us- the readers, to trust the Lord and to practically implement the Word in our lives when we go through such experiences. For now, let us leave that Lee Cooper Shirt on the mannequin itself and turn the pages to Psalms 73. This Psalm was written by Asaph, a prominent singer in David’s court from the tribe of Levi who was appointed to minister before the ark of the Lord (1 Chr 16:4-7) & was also a seer (2 Chr 29:30). Such a notable worship leader says in vs 2 that his feet had almost stumbled, and steps nearly slipped. He gives the reason in vs 3 where he says that he was envious of the prosperity of the wicked & the arrogant.
Though it was not his intention to get envious to an extent of stumbling, but as he kept observing their works (vs 4-12), he was walking away from God. He was slowly forgetting his ministry that the Lord assigned him, his thoughts deviated from his songs towards the Lord. It is parallel to the incident when Peter stumbled as He walked on the waters. The sooner he cast off his sight from the Lord to look at the storm and the wind, the quicker he sank deep into the sea. The more we focus on what God says, the greater the grip of the Father on your hand from stumbling.
Notice in Vs 13 Asaph says, ’all in vain have I kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence. Do you think living a righteous life is of no reward? Beloved of God, God loves to see you righteous at His sight as He is holy. But seeing the works of the wicked and pondering about them will only fill your heart with grief, bitterness, anger, and most importantly it will shake you to question your own call. You are called into The marvelous light for a purpose to stand strong and to spread the light in you.
Thinking and being grieved in the spirit for that brother/sister who hurt you and unable to forgive is the situation when there is a danger of slipping. As we face this, taking the right step matters. Do we respond like how Asaph did in vs.17 where he brought his heart before the Lord and realized only God could help. In the presence of the Lord, the world got blurry, his vision became crisp and he was able to look at himself. His sanity returned to him, and he said “When my soul was embittered, when I was pricked in heart, I was brutish and ignorant; I was like a beast towards You’. He couldn’t bear the beastly look that he saw in him through the Lord’s shining glory and so he repents.
What a transformation! Prophet Isaiah had a similar journey, his book starts with woes and judgment on the sinners & nations, but in chapter 6 when he saw the vision of the Lord where he stood before the Holy God, he gazed at himself to see how unclean & unworthy he was. He declares in Is 6:5– “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The Lord of hosts.” Today if your heart is bitter seeing the wrongs of others, pondering that you deserved better, or if your mind has lost its focus from the Lord, then let your heart return to Him.
When Asaph repented & turned to the Lord, a fresh new anointing came upon him and he said in vs 23, ‘Nevertheless, I am continually with you, you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward, you will receive me to glory’. Today our Lord admonishes & encourage us to not lose sight of Him, but to return to Him, repent of our sins and to rely on His promises. When we do that, we would experience Lord to be with us continually, to hold on our right hand, to counsel us to the right path, and later to receive us to His glory for eternity.
Wow, what an amazing God we serve. Can we cry out to the Lord like Asaph (vs. 25,26) ‘Who have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you, for God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.’ Amen.