Summary: We all know people who will not stop and ask for directions. God closes the way to our past and opens the way to a new and better future.
His Footprints Left No Trace!
“Your way went straight through the sea; your pathways went right through the mighty waters. But your footprints left no trace!” Psalm 77:13-20 (CEB)
Intro: We all know people who will not stop and ask for directions. I recently saw an Insurance company report that said people travel an average of 275 miles a year aimlessly driving around lost rather than asking for directions. More than a twenty-five percent of people wait at least half an hour before stopping to ask for directions. And a stubborn 12 percent refuse to ask for any directions at all. With price of gas over $3.50 a gallon that can easily add up to over $3,500 dollars worth of gas in a lifetime.
The Insurance company report went on to suggest that a number of auto accidents were caused by people looking at maps, GPS systems, and going the wrong direction on a one way street, and even being involved in an accident as a result of being distracted while arguing with their co-passenger about going the wrong direction. Being lost is not fun.
Today we are going to talk about following God. Or more specifically we are going to talk about the Common English Bible translation of the last part of Psalm 77:19 “His Footprints Left No Trace!”
I. God is Clear About the Direction He is Leading.
“13God, your way is holiness! Who is as great a god as you, God? 14 You are the God who works wonders; you have demonstrated your strength among all peoples. 15 With your mighty arm you redeemed your people; redeemed the children of Jacob and Joseph. Selah” Psalm 77:13-15
A. God’s way is holiness!
We sing hymns like “Great is Thy faithfulness,” O God my Father, There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
We sing hymns like “Take My Life and Let It Be,” Take my feet and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee;
“Saviour Like A Shepherd Lead us,” Early let us seek thy favor, early let us do thy will;
“Where He Leads Me I Will Follow,” I will follow, I’ll go with him, with him all the way.
All of these songs are deep in meaning especially when our journey is upheavaled. When our course takes on an unexpected change. When the direction of our life is suddenly altered. When the road is unfamiliar and we feel a little lost. We sing can about following God. We are not simply mouthing some whimsical and poetic thought it is a response to God’s holiness, it is a response to the real love of God, it is our obedience to God’s calling and God’s leading us to follow Him. We walk in the footprints of holiness! We walk in the footprints of the Almighty God!
(You can easily spin off on the following sub-points.)
B. God works wonders. Psalm 77:14
---God’s miracles and faithfulness have always sustained us through the difficulties in life.
C. God is mighty and leads to redemption. Psalm 77:15
---No matter how far away from God or how great our sin, God is mighty and leads to forgivness.
Take a careful look here:
D. Let’s not ignore the tiny word “Selah”
---It is used 71 times in the Hebrew book of Psalms. It means GOD HAS SPOKEN. Or an alternate transliteration is “STOP AND LISTEN.” In other words: God has clearly spoken. God has clearly given directions. We simply need to stop and get directions from God!
Let me tell you something else I have learned about God
II. God Does Not Lead us on a trail that is a Dead End.
16The waters saw you, God— the waters saw you and reeled! Even the deep depths shook! 17 The clouds poured water, the skies cracked thunder; your arrows were flying all around! 18 The crash of your thunder was in the swirling storm; lightning lit up the whole world; the earth shook and quaked. 19 Your way went straight through the sea; your pathways went right through the mighty waters. But your footprints left no trace! Psalm 77
It sounds like the trail is a dead end. When they looked back; the footprints in the sand were gone…
Mary Stephenson was born November 8, 1922 in the Philadelphia suburb of Chester, PA. She was described as strong headed, and a person of great resilience. Her life became very difficult after the loss of her mother at age six. Her father raised all eight children by himself. Mary grew up during some of the toughest times in our Nation's history. People who lived through the Great Depression are somehow just tougher than people today, having experienced some of the lowest and saddest times in life. At a time when she needed God the most she wrote the poem “Footprints in the Sand.”