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.
Rod Marshall Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England