Do you remember the children’s game Chutes and Ladders? It is one of the first board games my children were all able to play. The concept is extremely simple: be the first one to reach the top of the board either one square at a time or by climbing “ladders” if you land on a square with a ladder. The tricky part is there are “chutes,” (slides) waiting on some of the spaces to slide you back down.
Something God has been teaching me this year is how to move straight ahead on His paths. My tendency in the past has been for my thinking to get caught up in mazes, (another favorite with my young children.) I would follow a thought around and around in my mind, instead of looking at the issue through God’s perspective. Now I am learning to ask Him what I should do and then take a step in faith. The really awesome thing is that as I take these steps, I find He provides solid footing for me.
Oddly enough, another name for this board game is “Snakes and Ladders.” While I have never actually seen the board for this version of the game, I have experienced something very similar in my life. I will be moving along on what feels like a firm path to me, just minding my own business. Suddenly I will hear “hissing” in my ear. “Did God really tell you to be doing this? You are going to fail you know. Who do you think you are?” The voice of the enemy can be so loud sometimes that before I know it, I am sliding downward away from the path God had me on.
As I learn to recognize these attacks, I am able to get back on firm footing more quickly. I am learning to stick to the truth of who God says I am and the truth of the direction He has told me to be traveling. I love Psalm 18:36. It says, “You have enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip.” Another verse to encourage me, (and you if this is your struggle) to think in God’s “straight” way instead of in mazes, is Romans 12:2. This verse talks about being transformed by the renewing of our minds. It is so wonderful that God can even change the way we think!
Even though our lives are not supposed to be about climbing to the top of some ladder of success, I hope this encourages on your daily walk with Jesus, that you can know He will make your steps firm as you listen to His leading. I also pray that you will be on guard for the “chutes” or attacks from the enemy that would cause you to slide backwards.
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will in–His good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2