August 22, 2016

Counting Steps

Devotion for the Week...

Last winter and into the spring, I spent a fair bit of time researching different activity trackers and trying to decide what I wanted. I needed to replace my running watch, which tracks distance, time and pace while I'm running, but I also wanted a daily step counter because I figured it would motivate me to move more. I didn't want to buy two devices, so I was looking for something that would do both well. At one point, I bought a Fitbit Surge, but promptly returned it after seeing how ridiculously huge it looked on my wrist. When I posted a picture of it on Instagram, one person compared it to wearing a 1980s television :) I finally decided on a Garmin Forerunner 235 and I love it!

It is really easy to use and to read while I'm running and the daily step counter sets goals for me based on how many steps I've been taking. If I reach my goal on one day, then the goal the next day will be a little higher. If I don't make the goal for a few days in a row then it will drop slightly. Lately I'm sure my watch thinks I'm broken because I've been watching so much Olympics that my daily goal has dropped by about 2000 steps! Now that the Olympics are over, I really need to get moving again!

Imagine my surprise a couple of weeks ago when I read in Job, "Does he not see my ways and count my every step?" (Job 31:4). I immediately looked at the watch on my arm and kind of laughed. Imagine comparing God to a watch! And yet that's exactly what I'm going to do :)

In order for my watch to count my steps, I have to be wearing it. It can't count my steps if I leave it on my dresser, or if it's sitting on the kitchen counter. The more I think about God counting my steps, the more I smile because that means He has to be right with me all the time. If He weren't with me, He'd miss the steps it takes me to walk to the post office, or the steps between my bed and the kitchen when I stumble out in the morning for breakfast. But He doesn't miss those steps because He is with me every moment, all day long. We are told several times in the Bible that God will never leave us (Hebrews 13:5, Deuteronomy 31:6 and 31:8 and Joshua 1:5). And Jesus told His disciples, "And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age" (Matthew 28:20).

Now, I have read or heard those verses many, many times. I have known for years that God is always with me, but I've kind of thought of it in a rather general sense. Kind of like I'm with Paul and Aiden right now because we're all in the house together, but Aiden is playing his guitar in his room and Paul is working on his computer while I'm typing on my laptop. We're all here together, but we're not really paying attention to each other, know what I mean?

But God's not just here with us in a general sense. He is paying close attention to us, so much so that He knows what we're doing - all the time.

Also, in order for my watch to count my steps, it has to be turned on. Though the Garmin does track sleep, I don't bother to wear it at night, so if I don't turn it back on in the morning it wouldn't matter at all if I had it on my wrist or not. It also wouldn't matter if I was wearing it or not if the battery were dead. Likewise, if God were asleep or dead then He wouldn't see my steps. But He's not alseep or dead! Jesus said in Revelation 1:18, "I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever!" And Psalm 121:3,4 says, "He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep." Isn't that reassuring? God doesn't miss a single step we take.
Weekly devotions | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com

Of course, God's interest in counting our steps doesn't have anything to do with our activity level. He probably doesn't care much if I take 3000 steps today or 15000. If we look at the verse from Job in context, we see what Job is talking about. Here is Job 31: 1- 8:
 
I made a covenant with my eyes
    not to look lustfully at a young woman
For what is our lot from God above,
    our heritage from the Almighty on high?
Is it not ruin for the wicked,
    disaster for those who do wrong?
Does he not see my ways
    and count my every step?
“If I have walked with falsehood
    or my foot has hurried after deceit—
let God weigh me in honest scales
    and he will know that I am blameless—
if my steps have turned from the path,
    if my heart has been led by my eyes,
    or if my hands have been defiled,
then may others eat what I have sown,
    and may my crops be uprooted."

Job continues on in this vein for quite a bit longer, but I think you get the idea. It is not that God counts our steps to keep us moving, or even that He keeps a running tally in His head for each of us. It's more the idea that God cares strongly about how we live...where our steps have taken us, so to speak. As always, it is our heart and attitude that matters most and both are often revealed by the steps we take.

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