A Father started for his office early one morning, after a light fall of snow. Turning, he saw his two-year-old boy endeavoring to put his tiny feet in his own great footprints. The little fellow shouted: “Go on I’se comin’ Papa, I’se comin’ yight in ure tracks.” He caught the boy in his arms and carried him to his mother, and started again for his office. His habit had been to stop on the way at a saloon for a glass of liquor. As he stood upon the threshold that morning he seemed to hear a sweet voice say: “Go on I’se comin’ Papa, I’se comin’ yight in ure tracks.” He stopped, he hesitated, he looked the future squarely in the face. “I cannot afford to make any tracks I would be ashamed or sorry to have my boy walk in,” he said decidedly, and turned away.
Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
Every day of our lives you and I are making some sort of tracks, whether they are good or bad. They are tracks that mark the way for eternity and could mean life or death for you or the life or death of someone else. First, let’s address the question of who do you follow. In our high school assembly programs across the nation, we talk to the students about knowing who they follow. Why? Because if they are following someone who doesn’t even know where they are going, their (the students) destruction is going to be ten times worse than the person they are following because they are blindly following a blind guide!
If you take a good look at even your outward appearance by simply glancing in a mirror, you can tell a lot about who you follow. Ladies, where did you get the idea for your hair or makeup? From a magazine, movie star or model? How do you dress? Men, are you imitating your favorite basketball star or musician? Take a look at yourself and ask the question, Who do I follow? Is it the world I am following or the Lord?
You see, God’s standards are very different than the worlds. God has called each and every one of us to be set apart, holy, and separate from the world. II Corinthians 6:17-18 says, “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” God didn’t say you can go ahead and party a little, do what you want to do, dress and act like the world, listen to their music, go to the same movies and then go to a Sunday service once a week and be fine with Me. No, He commands us to be set apart and different from all the world! Remember although we are in the world, we are not of the world (Romans 12:2).
We are supposed to be living our lives in direct contrast to that of the world (I John 2:15). In fact, Jesus said in John 15:18, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” I remember my husband Bradlee once saying, “Why does the church have the world loving Jesus?” Remember it was Jesus who took the cloak of cover off of the world’s sin (John 15:22) and testified against it that its deeds were evil.
On top of that here’s some food for thought as well. Jesus was not loved by the professed church when He was here on earth. The scribes and the Pharisees (the religious people of the day) hated Jesus. In fact, they were the ones that killed Jesus! It was not the blatant sinners of the day such as the harlots, drunkards, and tax collectors and yet, when you go to church on Sunday, how many pastors do you see that are taking the cloak of covering off of their congregation’s sin?! How many times are you convicted on Sunday morning by what your preacher is saying? Are you made to feel uncomfortable with the state of your soul and ever longing to be perfected by Jesus Christ? Have you ever been mad at your pastor before (for the right reasons) and irritated by what he was saying to you? If not, then you are probably not at the right church! I heard a man say once that “If you haven’t upset anyone, then you haven’t been preaching!”
If you are a pastor reading this, are you preaching the entire word of God (Law, Judgment, Mercy, and Faith) to bring your congregation into a right state with Christ? Or do you omit those parts of Scripture you do not want to deal with, such as homosexuality and abortion, because you know it will offend some people or cause a stir. Is your offering and church attendance more important than obeying Christ and preaching the full counsel of God? Is keeping your peace with men more important to you than keeping your peace with God? It was Dietrich Bonhoeffer who said, “He who fears the face of God does not fear the face of man. He who fears the face of man does not fear the face of God.”
You see, with everything we do, everywhere we go, every thought we think and with every word that we say, we are making tracks (some good and some bad). What we need to remember is that when we stand before a just and holy God on judgment day, we will be alone by ourselves and have to give our own account to the Father for everything we have done on this earth (whether it be good or bad). The Bible says in II Corinthians 5:10, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”
Mother, are you setting a good example for your children? Father are you leading your family in the paths of righteousness or are you not being the man and head that God has called you to be? Young lady, are you setting a good Christian example for your friends or are you trying to persuade them to follow Christ when you are no different than they are? Young man, are you living upright before the Lord, and obeying His commands out of a heart of love for Christ’s sacrifice? Child, are you obeying your parents in the Lord because it’s right before God to do? There are so many questions to ask yourself.
The Bible says in II Corinthians 13:5 to, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves…” and that is what each and every one of us need to do. Today, look at your tracks. Make sure you are making the kind of path you would want your own children or anyone for that matter to follow in and most importantly, ask the Lord for the grace and strength each day, to follow His footprints and you will never go astray. Jesus said in John 14:6, “…I am the Way, the Truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.”
He is the One we are to follow. Jesus led by example and we must do the same. Remember, the world is watching you and following your tracks, make sure your tracks are leading the way for them to find Jesus Christ!