What was the wise man Solomon thinking as he penned these words many years ago? “Ponder the path of thy feet.” To ponder means to stop and view with deliberation. What are we to deliberate? The path of our feet! Why?
Every person’s life is a path. We can stop and look back one day, one year, one decade, or even one century. Solomon is saying, stop - ponder your footsteps. Past footsteps show a direction of travel. What is that direction, more God-ward or more world-ward? The footsteps of the past can predict the direction of our next footstep.
The path we have taken in the last ten or twenty years will show us clearly our tendencies for the next 10 years.
Let’s look more directly now at the path of the church. Certainly, Solomon would call us wise if we, as a church, at the start of 2021, would stop and ponder the path we have made.
Where were we as a Pilgrim Conference twenty years ago? Where are we today? If you and I ponder carefully, we can sense a direction of travel.
Have our evangelistic efforts been increasing or decreasing? What does the lack of interest in Summer Bible Schools or children ministries in some of our churches mean? Do fewer jail services and tent meetings mean we are accomplishing evangelistic efforts another way or that we simply do not have time for God’s work?
Have our members’ spiritual lives been drawn closer to God, or have they slowly slipped further from where God wants us?
Has brotherly love grown stronger, or is it diminishing? Have we consistently followed the teachings of Jesus in Matthew 18?
Has God-given church authority been honored by our members, or are we resistant in submitting to authority?
Have our prayer meetings become a time of rich blessings with better attendance, or have they become a bother and poorly attended? Are we applying the teachings of Heb. 10:25-27 to our prayer meetings, or do we have less now than before? Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works; Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another; and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
Stop – ponder your footsteps.
Is our belief in Nonresistance as strong as before, or have our many possessions given us the need to secure by force some of our earthly possessions?
Has the worldly call to become involved politically caused us to join hands with the world, which will degrade our historical position?
Has our belief on group conviction versus personal conviction remained at a good balance, or are we ready to put away group conviction in favor of my personal beliefs?
Has our belief in the imminent return of Christ remained solid, or does every wind of doctrine blow us about?
Has our belief in the Bible, as the complete and inspired Word of God, remained solid, or have we begun to question whether God has preserved a pure Bible for us?
Stop – ponder your footsteps.
Has our belief in wherefore come out from among them and be ye separate remained the same, or are we slipping and holding hands with the world? Do smaller coverings, and fancier hair displays show us anything about the path we are walking? Does the lack of plain suits in winter weather indicate a move toward or away from separation? Are members who violate our church standards on music and seek the world’s music drawing closer to God or closer to the world?
Are we, as a conference, or as a parent, as concerned about what enters the eye gate of our children and youth as we were twenty years ago? The world has become desperately wicked! Are we doing enough to protect these little ones? Where will the path of technology lead our little ones and us? Closer to our Holy God, or closer to the devil’s clutches?
May God help us to stop and ponder the path of our feet!