God’s Footsteps In Our Lives

God’s Footsteps In Our Lives

Dec 10, 2012

The President’s Page

by Ralph Mackintosh

God’s footsteps in our lives

    Someone told me long ago that every sermon or speech needs an interesting story. Somehow, a parable or life illustration helps us relate to the message in a personal way that all the abstract logic or verbiage can’t accomplish. Jesus obviously got that same bit of advice on public speaking (maybe from a Higher Authority) as he constantly sprinkled His presentations with stories, allegories and parables.
One such illustration comes from the biography of the well-known 19th century poet, Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Her early days were filled with sickness and disability until love came into her despondent life at a rather late age. A suitor, Robert Browning (five years her junior), brought a new sense of purpose, joy, and even rallied her health.
She wrote a series of love poems dedicated to Browning called Sonnets from the Portuguese written in 1850 and probably given that title because of a pet name he called her. We are all familiar with the opening lines of the 43rd sonnet of that collection, “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…”
However, I want to point out another line from that same group of poems written for her husband-to-be. She shared about her new and unexpected love: “The face of all the world is changing, I think, since first I heard the footsteps of thy soul.”
As we seek to move Forward in His Footsteps this year I am reminded that before I can move forward I have to look backward at why I’m even on this journey. To paraphrase Elizabeth Barrett Browning, it’s because the face of my world has been changed when I first heard HIS footsteps in my soul. It’s because of the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives that we can even understand that there is a journey to be attempted, a path available to be followed, and a Shepherd ready to guide us.
It’s because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross that a way was made possible for us to come into relationship with Him and know God’s will. It’s because the Father reached out in love, letting his Son create footsteps on this earth, that we have an example of perfection in following God’s plan.
Our world and the course of human history was dramatically changed by the death and resurrection of Christ, and our personal worlds were dramatically changed when He entered our hearts and changed the direction of our footsteps.
I am confident that many of you have already completed Step #1 of the homework assignment for this Conference year by reading Blackaby’s book Experiencing God. As a reminder, the next phase is to spend time in prayer seeking God’s will and looking around you for the ways God is already at work in your church and your community.
Where is God’s perfect plan already in motion and where can you and your church join Him in His work? In the process of moving Forward in His Footsteps we want to be centered in God’s will, so the action of seeking through prayer is a vital component before we start boldly stepping out.

Last Chance Deadline: In January I’m going to start writing about plans for Conference 2013 in Colorado Springs and why you shouldn’t miss it. But before I do I want to give you one last chance.
If you haven’t started the homework assignment yet there is still time to get a copy of Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God by contacting me before January 1. A copy will be sent to you free of charge as long as you promise to read it and then pass it on. My e-mail is ralph.mackintosh@hoag.org or contact me on my cell phone at (949) 394-7651.

Clip to Evernote