Today, you’re taking steps. Steps that are leading you somewhere. If you look down the path you’re currently on, is it taking you where you want to be in your life? Are you on a trajectory that even slightly resembles the good plans God has for you? And what do you do if, in your moment of honesty, you realize the steps you’re taking are leading to destruction? You’re building more and more debt, more and more weight, more and more dysfunction, more and more distance, more and more regret. How do you change that?
I assure you, God has more for you. More purpose. More fulfillment. More joy. More impact. More connection. And when you realize the more you’re heading to isn’t aligning with the list of more God has for you, this is when you make a U-Turn. Change your steps! Literally, change your daily actions and intentionally turn in a different direction. Before it’s too late, Sis, change this.
Have you ever heard the story of Samson in the Bible? Samson was known for his supernatural strength. He was like a Biblical Hercules. Samson was set apart from birth because he was the miracle baby of a couple that couldn’t have children. Miracle babies like this were called Nazarites. Nazarite means to be consecrated to God and separated from others. As a Nazarite, you are held to specific vows to never drink alcohol, never touch anything unclean, and never cut your hair. All of this because from birth, you are considered very special.
And Samson was indeed special. He was freakishly strong. He alone could do what an army of hundreds could not. And God had good plans for Samson. The problem was, Samson was rebellious and often running out of alignment with those good plans. And there’s one sentence about the life of Samson that encapsulates the beginning of his downward trajectory. Judges 16:1, “One day Samson went to the Philistine town of Gaza and spent the night with a prostitute.” This was the beginning of the end for Samson. He was heading towards disaster.
So, how do you know when you’re making choices leading to your own destruction? How do you change the downward trajectory of just going wherever you’re going and doing what you’ve been doing? Are you walking straight into a disaster right now?
I’m currently reading a book called The Power To Change. It says, “Disasters are rarely the result of an isolated decision. They are almost always the end of a slippery slope.” Samson was walking to a town called Gaza where he would spend the night with a prostitute. This was his slippery slope. And guess how far it was from where he lived? 25 miles. He walked his slippery slope for 25 miles to the beginning of his disaster. There are approximately 56,250 steps in 25 miles. Each one of those steps was a choice. 56,250 opportunities to turn around. 56,250 steps in the wrong direction toward total destruction.
There, Samson would sleep with this prostitute and then fall in love with another woman. A woman who’s name is forever linked to Samson. Delilah. The woman who would trick Samson, cut his hair, breaking his Nazarite vow, and cause him to lose his strength.
Samson, this man with tremendous potential, set apart by God from the very beginning, loses everything. And it took 56,250 steps on a slippery slope to get him there.
Are you on a slippery slope right now? Thousands of little thoughts and little decisions deteriorating your relationship with God, breaking down your own integrity and commitment. Realize where this leads. All these little thoughts and little decisions are steps that lead to a weakened place where you will be willing to do something outside of God’s will.
Step by step, Samson’s small bad decisions and compromising habits led him to ruin his life. And the same can happen to you and I. Maybe it’s already happening and God is here to wake us up today.
Your life doesn’t get wrecked all at once, it’s all the little steps in the wrong direction that lead to the wreck. No one wakes up one day and says I’m going to be a heroin addict. That happened over thousands of steps made of little decisions. No one wakes up one day in an affair without the steps that brought them there. I watch enough Dateline to know it’s the little things that lead to major disasters and lives gone wrong.
It’s all that innocent flirting. His compliments make you feel so good. Your husband doesn’t compliment you like that anymore. And then you want more, so you dress a certain way. Then you strategically plan to allow your paths to cross more often. Then you start texting. Then one day, you are sitting in the middle of absolute destruction in divorce court trying to decide who gets the kids for Christmas. Every step on that slippery slope is what led there. And every single step was an opportunity to look up and see where it was leading and decide to stop. You can stop this now before destruction. Girl, stop.
It’s the Amazon purchase you don’t really need, then deciding you need it in several colors. It’s the TJ Maxx clearance rack on your lunch break. It’s another dinner out when you swore this week you were cooking at home. And it all builds up, little by little to a cluttered life where you’re overwhelmed with all you have and how you’re going to make the payments on it. Now you’re stuck in the job you don’t want to be in, because that paycheck is already spent on the payments you have to make to just survive. That’s not the life you want. How did you get here? Every step on that slippy slope led here. And every single step was an opportunity to look up and see where it was leading and decide to stop. Today is another step you can stop.
You say it’s already bad and it’s too late to save? What, you think it can’t get worse? I assure you, you can make this worse. Continuing the same steps that created this disaster will make it worse. You’ll light this sucker up and create an explosion. Oh, it can get worse. But, it can also get better. You decide. What step are you taking next.
What if Samson who have stopped on one of his 56,250 steps toward Gaza where he would sleep with this prostitute? He would have never met Delilah. He would have never been tricked into cutting his hair and breaking his vow. He would have never lost his strength. We would know a totally different story.
And here God shows up so divinely for each of us, with the offer of a different story. We don’t have to continue taking steps toward disaster. We don’t have to go down the same path we’ve been walking when we know it’s not leading to the full and abundant life Jesus came to give us. We can change our steps today.
Have you been consistently gaining weight? Every week and every month, you’re a little less of who you want to be and more of this other person who no longer resembles you?
Or maybe it’s not weight, but it’s negativity. You’ve been growing more and more negative. You don’t even like you anymore. You’re in a funk and every day you go to bed with this empty, disgusted feeling.
You drink to unwind, now you can’t feel calm without that drink. You can’t feel confident without it either. You can’t enjoy tacos without that margarita. Sunsets … well sunsets are perfectly paired with a glass of wine. You say you can control it, but you know you didn’t control it yesterday, it controlled you. This is becoming a problem, isn’t it?
Sis, don’t take another step in that direction! I don’t know how many miles you’ve traveled like this, but I know for sure God says you don’t have to continue. You don’t want that life, and God doesn’t want that for you.
Isaiah 48:17, ““I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is good for you and leads you along the paths you should follow.”
God, you’ve been trying to teach me, and maybe I haven’t been listening. I know every time I buy another thing, indulge in that thing, or talk to that person, I shouldn’t. I feel that in my gut. I know it’s not right, but I don’t know how to stop. Will you help me to change my steps? Will you set me on the right path, before I get to the place that ruins my life? Stop me here, Lord.
Maybe you’ve already created a mess and you’re thinking you already screwed up beyond repair. There’s no hope for you. Wrong. It could get worse if you continue in this direction, and it will. You think you’re in a mess now, there’s a bigger mess at the end of this road. But you don’t have to take another step on this road.
There were 56,250 steps Samson took on his slippery slope that led to a weakened place where he was willing to do something outside of God’s will. He didn’t just wake up one morning and screw things up. He took steps to get there. And so do we. You woke up today to a God who desperately wants to help you turn this around. A God who wants to stop you before the destruction. And if you’ve already reached destruction, he wants to restore you now and redeem this mess.
May our prayer be: Lord, you are my God. You teach me what is good. You lead me along the path I should follow. Change my steps today. This is my stop step. Stop me here.