Time may be an abstract concept, but analogies can help us understand. One way the Bible speaks about our time on earth is with the metaphor of a path. After all, as we “walk” through this life, we are all heading to one of two eternal destinations, Heaven, or Hell. For those of us actively pursuing the will of God for our lives, we follow His directions no matter what kind of terrain is set before us. Sometimes it feels as if we are on a smooth, concrete path with few obstacles. Sometimes it is more like traveling a twisting, rocky road. When we find ourselves in a place of difficulty, we can say a prayer inspired by King David and the Prophet Habakkuk: “Lord, please give me the feet to walk the path you have chosen for me.”
The verses are Psalm 18:32-33, 2 Samuel 22:33-34, and Habakkuk 3:19. Although they come from two different men in three completely different situations, they all mention the kind of feet God has given them to walk the paths they are on.
“The God who encircles me with strength and makes my way blameless? He makes my feet like hinds’ feet [able to stand firmly and tread safely on paths of testing and trouble]; He sets me [securely] upon my high places.”Psalm 18:32-33 AMP
From Bible Study Tools, a hind is a deer or a mountain goat. King David uses a simile to talk about his own feet like that of a sure-footed animal that can navigate steep, rocky cliffs without stumbling or falling. He credits God with giving him strength and securing his path. Got Questions interprets “upon my high places” to mean the place “above our circumstances” in which no matter the danger or chaos we face in the natural, we remain secure in the Lord when we step out into the areas that He has called us to go.
David’s Words in Victory
“It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect. He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet: and setteth me upon my high places.”Psalm 18:32-33 KJV
In Psalm 18, King David writes from a place of great victory. That was the day that the Lord had finally delivered him from his enemies, including King Saul. David gives a great testimony of a time of trouble when he cried out to the Lord and the Lord heard his prayers. Then God, Himself, came to save him. David then praises God as his strength and gives Him credit for every advantage he has. Verse 33 is likely alluding to his confidence and swiftness in battle and the position God gave him as king.
David’s Words in Reflection
“God is my strength and power: and He maketh my way perfect. He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet: and setteth me upon my high places.”2 Samuel 22:33-34 KJV
But David repeats Psalm 18 virtually word for word in 2 Samuel 22. This was a time when he was thought to be at the end of his life. His words speak of great reflection and a continuing posture of gratitude throughout his years. Certainly, not every day was a victorious day, but David recognizes God as his source of power. He remains steadfast in his testimony and continues to praise the God who provided for him all his life.
Habakkuk’s Choice in Trouble
“The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and He will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.”Habakkuk 3:19 KJV
The third time this concept is repeated comes from Habakkuk 3. The prophet also speaks about God as his strength, but there was no victory or even a reflection of victories past in this prophet’s life. Instead, the words came out of a time of great trouble.
In Habakkuk 1, the prophet complains to God that his prayers for relief from hardship and injustice are going unanswered. In Habakkuk 2, God promises to judge the wicked, and the prophet responds to God in Habakkuk 3. He first asks God to remember mercy in His wrath (Habakkuk 3:2), and then he makes a choice to look past his current circumstances (which haven’t changed from Habakkuk 1) and to rejoice in the Lord. Habakkuk 3:18 says, “Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” Even when everything in the natural appears to be going wrong, he says in Verse 19 that God will be his strength and make his footsteps sure. He will be in that “high place” outside of his circumstances.
In fact, nestled in the middle of the Book of Habakkuk, we find an important concept, often repeated in the Bible and embraced by the prophet himself.
- Habakkuk 2:4, “…but the just shall live by his faith.”
- Romans 1:17, “…the just shall live by faith.”
- Galatians 3:11, “…the just shall live by faith.”
- Hebrews 10:38, “Now the just shall live by faith…”
Lord, Give Me the Feet to Walk the Path You Have Chosen for Me
The deer that roam the rocky cliffs have no problem navigating the treacherous, uneven terrain because they are built for it. In contrast, our paths are building us. Whether our path is smooth and straight or rocky and curved, God uses our experiences to conform us to His image. He knows what we will need during our journey and is preparing us for life beyond this world. Along the way, God has promised that He will give us His strength in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9), keep us from falling (Jude 24), and lead us when trust Him to do it (Proverbs 3:5-6). Through it all, His Word will be the light to our path (Psalm 119:105)
In this life when the road gets rough and we feel ill-prepared, we may not always be able to change the path we’re on. We can, however, always pray for God to give us the feet to walk the path He has chosen for us. He can change us to adapt to the seasons and experiences we must go through to get to our destination. And whether we are in times of victory, reflection, or trouble, we can walk by faith knowing that He is by our side.
If you like analogies, try It’s Not the Machine That Makes Us Clean. It compares aspects of the Christian life to a dishwasher. Or, try 5 Lessons About Spiritual Warfare from Boxing. Please sign up to receive my blog in your email. Also, check out my YouTube Channel where I read the blogs out loud. I also have a playlist of hymns from my church.
2 thoughts on “The Feet to Walk the Path God Has Chosen”
Very good encouragement for the times we are living in, thanks Angela.
Your comment encouraged me. Blessings to you!