For you have delivered my soul from death,
yes, my feet from falling,
that I may walk before God
in the light of life. Psalm 56:13
What does it mean to walk before someone, much less God? Is it to walk ahead of them, walk towards them, walk in sync with them instead of at your own pace?
When we walk before God, He has our back – He is protecting us, yet also directing us. He can see the whole picture, not just the path ahead as we do through our tunnel vision. No one can sneak up from behind out of our view. He is there to let us know if danger is coming.
Think of incidences of “walking before” in everyday lives. My apartment looks out over a common park-like area and I see it happening all the time. A parent lets the toddler walk before them, knowing they need to learn to stand on their own two feet, literally and emotionally. But, that parent is there to catch them if they wobble. Their eyes are right there focused on the child’s movements. Nothing else is more important. If something off to the side catches the child’s attention and the child dashes ahead after it, the parents will catch up to them and lead them back to a safe path.
Dogs walk before their masters on a lead. They are being controlled by commands from their masters who are more aware of the surroundings and not governed solely by instinct. The master knows where they should be headed, but through the leads the master gives the animal some freedom of movement as well. If need by, the master yanks and the animal knows to change direction, slow down or stop. That requires trust on the animal’s part. They trust in their master’s love and protection as well as guidance, which spurs obedience. The more obedient and manageable the dog, the longer the lead.
What is tying you to your Master in Heaven as you walk along life’s path? If you feel the yank, do you resist or obey?
Or, right now are you like the toddler on a new path? Do you feel Him hovering over you, arms stretched to catch you if you wobble or to carry you when you are weary?