I saw this riddle one day. It said, “I am something that follows you wherever you go. I normally come in pairs. I get messed up by water, wind, and rain. What am I?” I will give you the answer a little later in this message, but I want to use this to get you to think about things of God that follow those of us who faithfully live for Him.
We can see the answer to this riddle in the book of Joshua. God tells Joshua, “No man shall be able to stand before him all the days of his life. As God was with Moses, so He will be with Joshua. He will not leave Joshua nor forsake him.” This is an astonishing promise that God makes to Joshua. In a time when it seemed man was an enemy to every other man, God tells Joshua don’t worry; no man will be able to harm you, not in all the days of your life. Then He says to Joshua, “Just as I walked with Moses from the time I brought him out of Egypt until his death, I will be there with you.” He reassures Joshua that He will never leave nor forsake him. Amazingly, God is not going to find something better to love than Joshua. By the way, God will not find anything better to love than you, either.
But Joshua was asked to do one thing. Joshua was to depend on the Lord rather than on himself. Seems like a small ask, but it is the one thing that God asks of us that we almost always fall short of in some way. We like to think that we must fight our own battles. We like to think that we have to take care of our own enemies. We like to think that we must make sure people who bother us must pay the full extent of what is possible. We like to think that people who bring hurt and harm into our lives should be removed. And we like to think that if anything good is going to happen in our lives, we must make it happen. But the way we like to think is the way satan likes for us to think. It is not the way God’s wants us to think.
Psalms 23:6 tells us, “Surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. And I will dwell in the house of the Lord, forever.” God wants us to know goodness and mercy are things He gives to us. They are not to be sought after by our own efforts. Rather, they are the product of lives that follow after Him, lives that are dependent on Him for all things. When you follow God, goodness and mercy will follow you. When you love God, Love will follow after you. When you honor God, honor will follow after you. When you are faithful toward the Lord, faithfulness will follow after you. When you favor the Lord, Favor will follow you.
God says, surely these things will follow you when you follow Him. When you allow Him to be your shepherd, goodness and mercy will follow you. When you allow Him to lead you, goodness and mercy will follow you. When you allow Him to set your path, goodness and mercy will follow you. When the Lord is your shepherd, you must be the sheep. When the Lord is your shepherd, your life is His responsibility; your posterity is His responsibility; your safety is His responsibility. Surely then, goodness and mercy shall follow after you wherever you go because He is leading you.
And that brings us to the answer to the riddle. Footprints. Footprints come in pairs and are easily disturbed by rain and the wind and water. But here’s the best part. When Jesus is leading you, the set of footprints that are always following you will be His. He will lead you to step where He has stepped. So what you see before you are the His footprints leading you to places where His goodness and mercy can be found in your life. What you see behind you is goodness and mercy following after you. You can never capture what follows you unless you pursue after the thing that is leading what you seek. Pursue the Lord and you will have goodness and mercy following hard after your life, just like footprints. Live a Delivered Life. Love you.