On A Leash

August 1, 2016
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Psalm 119:67 – I used to wander off until you disciplined me; but now I closely follow your word. (NLT)

One was large and the other small, but they both needed to learn a lesson. I once owned an Eskimo Spitz. My family owned a much larger dog that I inherited when they moved away. I lived in the country. There were no leash laws to abide by, so they scampered through the woods and open fields, played in the swamps, and chased wild animals. Then it happened. They took up with a pack of wild dogs. Previously, they had returned home every night; now, they came home only periodically. The next time that my Eskimo Spitz came home, I leashed him. I was never able to catch the larger dog, and he soon became wild like the ones that he followed. When I moved away, one dog came with me; the other continued to run wild.

I'm not much different than my two dogs were. I have a tendency to wander. While there's nothing inherently wrong with a little innocent wandering, the wandering that I've done wasn't innocent, and it wasn't in God's plan. Sometimes, the wandering didn't start off sinfully, but it quickly led there. I knew Who provided for me, just as my dogs knew, yet I wandered anyway.

For my Eskimo Spitz, the discipline came in the form of a leash. It was the only way that I could keep him at the house and away from unsuitable company. Had I unleashed him, he would have run away again. Wandering was in his nature.

God deals with my wandering nature through the leash of discipline. The forms that He uses vary, but they are each perfectly designed to accomplish His purpose of keeping me home and away from unsuitable company — whether people or things. Closely following the teachings of His Word will go a long way in keeping me focused on spiritual pursuits rather than on fleshly escapades.

The leash that I used was literal. God's comes in other forms, but it is designed to accomplish the same purpose. Thank God that He loves you enough to discipline you when you stray. Then, stay close to His Word so that your tendency to wander will be tamed.

Prayer: Father, we ask You to leash our sinful wanderings and keep us on the path of godliness. Amen.

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Martin Wiles <mandmwiles@gmail.com>
Greenwood, South Carolina, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    God to leash you.

    Except for the dogs and the surroundings, you just wrote my biography!

    Thank you for this lovely message!

    Martin, just looked up the Eskimo Spitz – wonderful dog – wonderful analogy too!

    Martin, thanks for sharing such an appropriate message. Yes, our true freedom comes from being leashed the to Christ Jesus. Blessings.

    You analogy in today’s devotional certainly hit the spot. Thank you for a well-written and thoughtful devotional.

    Thank you, Martin. Prone to wander, Lord I feel it. Prone to leave the One I love. Here’s my heart, now take and seal it; Seal it for Thy courts above. (I started singing this hymn as I read your tender and insightful devotional.
    God bless you.

    Wise words Martin. I certainly understand the wanderings of an Eskimo Spitz, had one for 7 years, he was way quicker than me when he decided to wander.
    I like your analogy re our wanderings. Sometimes God has to pull us up by the bootstraps to get our attention when we wander away, I have experienced this, so know exactly what you are talking about. I used to think of a different analogy — slackening and/or tightening the reins on a team of horses – a little slack but not so much that they get into trouble. Thank you for another great devotional.

    Wonderful analogy Martin. It’s funny though how we kick against restrictions … until they cut us loose, and then we miss them. It seems that we don’t appreciate things until we lose them, possibly because we don’t realize how restrictions in one area open up doors to other areas of our lives. Thanks for your reflection. It always amazes me how one person’s simple story can jolt me out of something that I’ve been praying about or struggling with, while my prayers and Bible study have been unable to get through.
    Today’s thought for the day says that our relationships will always be a part of our development, or words to that effect. I think our relationships with others are far more significant than we realize. Every part of life is so integrated with everything else … it’s all very complex! Sometimes it all seems too much, but then the Word steps in and the Lord smooths things out again. Thank God for each and every part of our lives. May we appreciate its complexity and continually thank Him for His care. I’m really glad the little dog came home to you, and I really hope the big one is free to be his real self … in a good way, the way God created him to be, and not just wild and off the right path.

    This gives much food for thought Martin. Thank-you for sharing. I have passed this on to another.


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