Jack, our dog, and I were walking through a wooded area where trees grow tall and foliage scents the air with luscious earthy smells. Jack was happily looking for squirrels jumping from branch to branch. We were soon coming to a road we would cross before continuing our wooded walk on the other side. Jack normally begins slowing his pace so I can hook his leash to his harness. We then cross the road in safety. However, I could see he was not stopping. I called him. Nothing. A car swished by. I called again. Nothing. If he crossed the road on his own it was anyone’s guess what would happen. He may cross safely with no car in sight or he may get hit. I sternly called again. To my relief, he stopped. I hooked him to his leash, and we proceeded safely to the other side, where I let him run free through the woods again. I love to see him run happy and free, but he must listen to my guidance for his own good. I love my dog and want him to be safe and happy. It’s no different than what our Heavenly Father desires for us.
Father God loves for us to be happy and run free, but for our own good, because He loves us so much, He sets guidelines. Is it because He is a control freak? Of course not. It’s because He sees the dangers ahead, just as I knew there were cars in the road that could harm Jack. He knows what will happen should we decide to ignore His call, His guidance, and His commands that will keep us safe. When He utters a “thou shalt not,” it’s only because He loves us immeasurably. He knows His ways are perfect. Our ways may see us getting hit by a car, ending up in a pile of wreckage. Therefore, it stands to reason that when we follow the perfect way, we will walk safely and be filled with peace and joy. That’s a good measuring stick to know if you’re doing what is right in His sight or not. Are you joyful inside or filled with turmoil? Are you breathing in peace or sighing in despair? Is you heart light or weighed down in guilt?
Remember, His commands are never grievous nor harsh. They are set forth to guide us deeper into a joy that the world can never give. Obedience brings blessings, not some of the time, but all of the time. Are you about to cross a road without the safety of God’s loving leash to guide you? Are you ignoring His call, ready to run into the road to take your chances like a lucky spin on a roulette wheel? Please remember, the only reason God gives you commands is solely because of His love for you. He said in Deuteronomy 12:28, “Be careful to obey all my commands, so that all will go well with you and your children after you.” What does that mean, “and your children after you?” Who is watching you more than your own children? If they see you choosing to obey God, they will consider it’s important. If they see you taking your chances, running disobediently into the road of possible danger, they will see obeying God is perhaps not so important after all. Imagine the day when we all stand before the Lord and we hear someone say, “my parents became Christians, but they didn’t do what you said, so I didn’t think it mattered.” Someone is always watching, be it our children, neighbors, colleagues. Take care — for your own joy and peace — and for those observing you. Focus on your Father as you head to the road.
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