Heel, Please.

(Galatians 5:25 ESV) If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.

At Christmas last year (2016), I added a member to our household. I’ve always loved dogs, and have enjoyed their company through the years. Enter Boom Choca-latte Baker, better known as Boomer. He is a multi-colored, chocolate and white, labradoodle. At the time of this writing, he is 4 months old and in the middle of being trained. He picked up the house training very quickly and also knows where his “home” is and willingly goes to his crate when asked.

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Because he is a puppy, his impulses are sometimes too much for him to contain. For instance, he just can’t control himself when the grandchildren come into the house. He jumps, and whimpers, and barks until I have to physically restrain him and make him “go home” until he calms down.

I’m training him to “heel” right now. For a puppy to heel means that he knows to walk beside the owner without biting and pulling against the leash, or running ahead of the pacesetter. He actually is progressing very nicely, except when those pesky puppy impulses bubble up. Because he will grow into a large dog, it is important for him to learn this discipline. He must become comfortable with the perimeters established by the leash, the pace of the leader, and the ability to ignore distractions that capture his attention. Like most puppies, he struggles with the necessary focus to accomplish the task.

As I read the passage of scripture in Galatians 5, I thought about how much I can be like Boomer. I want to live by the Spirit… it’s the keeping in step with Him that is sometimes a challenge. Like Boomer, I sometimes want to be the pacesetter instead following the pace of the Spirit. I find myself biting the leash in an attempt to free myself from its restraint. I’m maturing, but my impulses still have to be controlled.

Maturity is a wonderful thing! As I have grown in Christ, I have found it much easier to respond to the voice of the Spirit. I’ve learned that His restraints are not to control me, but to direct me. His perimeters establish a “safe zone” for me to live in. He is developing (training) me to become more like Him. And, it is working! They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but I beg to differ! For the Spirit-filled follower of Christ, we learn new disciplines every day which serve to make us more like Him.

As you live in the Spirit TODAY, learn to appreciate keeping in step with Him. It will create a pleasant experience for you and the Spirit!

PRAYER: Father, teach me to walk in Your ways. My ears are attentive to Your loving voice which often commands, “Heel, please!” Help me to be willing to obey so I can experience Your best blessings each day. Amen.

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