05 November, 2013
Devotional and Practical Meditations on the Book of Ecclesiastes
"Guard your steps when you go to the house of God." Ecclesiastes 5:1
The Preacher says, "Guard your steps!" A prophet says the same, "Keep your feet from being unshod." (Jeremiah 2:25.) The advice is good. To walk unshod is a sure way to pierce yourself with many sorrows. For slip-shod grace will never advantage you — and never less so than in going to the house of prayer. Leave not your Gospel shoes at home; nor lose them along the way. If so, you will not find them when you come to worship.
What do you think of, and speak of, along the way to the house of God? If earthly things engage the mind — the doings of the past or coming week; the dress or manners of the passers by; the news you have heard; the letters you have had — if thoughts like these are in your mind up to the very threshold of the church door — this will hinder your devotions.
God's worship must begin before you leave your home; your thoughts, your speech, your eyes — must be focused on God. Fix them on Jesus — and then you will not have them to bestow on other things. Make Christ your company along the way — and He'll accompany you in the house of God; then all its acts shall savor of His presence.
In private worship, or in social prayer, we cannot be dwelling on worldly things — and then spring at once from earth to Heaven. Oh, there is a preparation of the heart; a setting of the countenance heavenwards; a girding the loins for fellowship with God; a deep conviction of His majesty; a pausing on the threshold of His presence — that the first word of prayer may have His blessing. If you would "guard your feet" in seasons of devotion, be sure you keep them well at other times. As is your daily walk — your prayers will be. A careless walk begets a wandering mind, unfit to gather in its thoughts, and settle them in prayer. Prayer and the daily walk act, and react, on one another. He who is much in prayer will guard his feet; and he who guard his feet properly, be much in prayer.
Nothing feeds the soul like meditation — the habit of reflecting on our ways, and Scripture truths. This leads alike to holiness, and converse with the Lord. Then, child of God, at all times "guard your feet;" not only when you go to the house of prayer.