No matter how the expression is used, it is almost always used as a warning to others--an admonition to pay attention and be careful--so that they might avoid punishment, embarrassment, injury, or a host of other undesirable consequences.
Such warnings are often necessary because when we become familiar with something, we tend to take it for granted. We tend to lower our guard and pay less attention than we should. Because of pride we become careless. In our minds, we know what we are doing and where we are going. Perhaps that is why it is generally conceded that most automobile accidents happen close to home.
Just as we have numerous warnings to watch our step physically, the Bible gives us warnings to watch our step spiritually. In I Corinthians 10:12 for instance, the apostle Paul tells the church at Corinth, "Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall" . In Ephesians 5:15, he exhorts the Christians at Ephesus to "see then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise" . In the Old Testament, Solomon writes, "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall" (Prov. 16:18).
Friends, wise is the person who takes the time to look around and watch his or her step; wise is the person who takes the time to consider the path they are taking. Even wiser is the person who pushes away that form of pride that tells him he cannot fall and heeds the warning to watch his step. The individual who shrugs off caution and blazes forward with little regard will often find himself flat on his back--literally and/or figuratively.
It is of the utmost importance that a Christian watches his step as he travels along the narrow path that leads to righteousness. The importance of this is underscored by one of Paul's closing instructions in his second letter to the saints at Corinth. Paul writes, "Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?--unless indeed you are disqualified" (II Cor. 13:5). The Christian that travels down life's road on "auto pilot" may find himself drifting off the narrow way that leads to life and careening onto the broad road that leads to destruction. Such a person may think he or she is living acceptably before God only to receive a rude awakening at the judgment.
Dear listeners, it is very easy to get so caught up in the business and distractions of this life that we forget to watch our step and make sure that we are still living according to the word of God. As you strive to do God's will and keep His commandments, be sure you watch your step.