Dog On A Lead

Tuesday, July 5, 2016
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Listen while you read: "O Beautiful For Spacious Skies"1 (Lyrics)

Colossians 1:9b-10 – We have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. (ESV)

Most often, I am an "all-or-nothing" person: either in or out. Whilst I happily recognize the reality of shades of grey in life's arena, I make my choices: I am impulsive, impatient, and confrontational. I want everything done ASAP, successfully completed! I am task-orientated. Sadly for me, spiritual life is not always that simple. It seems to be a relentless process of coming close to God, taking Him for granted and becoming distanced, and then coming close to God again in a new way or with a deeper understanding of what we have already learned.

We are in the midst of moving house, and if left to me, I would have bought and sold this house several times over in the time taken so far. Fortunately, I have experience being a Christian for over forty years now: God's grace, love, and wisdom have made inroads into my shortcomings. In some manner, God is preparing me for heaven, and saving others from my ire in the interim.

Without wishing to appear deprecating, I think we can learn from dogs on the lead. Some dogs walk by their human leader, side-by-side, checking their position as they go, with a loose lead. Other dogs do not require a lead; they check their pace and walk side by side. They look and listen to their leader. Still others are always chasing something, scampering off in front, straining at the leash. That is definitely me — sometimes!

Sometimes, I long to go off and play, and leave someone else to be sensible and do the hard stuff, but that is not going to happen. I know that God has called me not to run ahead, but to persist and overcome, and not just about moving house. So being task-orientated, I am like a dog with a bone. I won't lay it down until I am done, gnawing away at it until the task is finished.

Just like dogs that scamper off when given the opportunity to express their own freedom to explore, I enjoy the good stuff of life, and having found Jesus, I listen to my Master's voice, to keep in step, until the day when, face-to-face, I am able completely and freely to stay happily with Him. In the meantime, with obedience come God's favour, safety, blessing, and encouragement to keep on keeping on. Even at death's door, I believe our Master's voice will lead us on and keep us close.

Prayer: Lord, we rejoice that we are not alone. Come walk with us today as we enjoy the blessings that You send us. Grant us courage to find You with us through the bad, the painful, or the frustratingly slow or horrid stuff. Thank You for loving us and for setting us free to walk by Your side, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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About the author:

Rod Marshall <>
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Well said!

    Let God lead you.

    I’m with you Rod.

    Wonderful to hear from you again and to read your message! God bless!

    Really great devotional today Rod! So good to read another of your encouraging devotionals.

    Thanks, Rod, for an interesting analogy.

    Thanks, Rod. I agree. We will be aware of Jesus’ voice and nearness even at death, portal.
    God bless.

    Great illustration and message; it cheered me right up!
    May God continue to use your insights to bless others through your musings.

    Thank you Rod, for sharing this devotional with us. I can relate to the dog on a lead. I’m the one trying to pull my Master in the direction that is tempting me. Praise God, He’s ever so much stronger and checks my wayward impulses. Blessings.

    What a God-send your words are to me at this moment. Thank you Rod for sharing your life stories with others, and thank you Lord for these stories that strengthen our own resolve as we strive to overcome our own faults and failings, and to be reconciled with those who have suffered from our words, spoken in haste and in the heat of the moment.

    That’s a good one, Rod! I too want things done yesterday. I’m praying your move goes along successfully.

    Very interesting comparison Rod. I had a border collie once that literally use to drag me down the road as we went for our daily stroll.
    Yes our impulsiveness can get us into trouble sometime when we fail to wait on the Lord.
    Thanks for the neat devotional!

    Rod – thanks for sharing this devotional. I could have written the 2nd paragraph myself about me Right now I am feeling frustrated spiritually and physically. I need to remind myself that “In some manner, God is preparing me for heaven, and saving others from my ire in the interim.” This is JUST SO APPROPRIATE!!! God bless you during your house journey and always.

    Rod – Thank you for this devotional. I feel as you do that the Lord is using our time on this earth to be tried by fire, if need be, to prepare us for the New Heaven and New Earth. As Christians, following His lead, we can do this – you are I are proof of this.

    What an excellent devotional, Rod, both in the message, which certainly applies to all of us at one time or another, and in various degrees of intensity, but in its composition as well. Most people are not as glaringly honest about their short comings as you are, but you certainly got my attention. Possibly that was because I see a few parallels.
    I hope you take time to use your talent for the enjoyment of those of us who love reading more than all of the electronic gadgets people waste their time with.

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