My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they know Me, and they follow me.~John 10:27 NKJV
From the time I got Sierra as a puppy, she insisted on walking ahead of me.
I would gently guide her by the collar to follow behind me, but it was something she couldn’t comprehend. She would rush by me and take the lead once again. Every room I entered Sierra waited to be the first to exit. If I left the kitchen, she presumed I was heading to the living room. If I left the bedroom, she assumed I was heading to the bathroom. With each step, she was playing catch up, because she had no idea where I was really heading.
When she got older, she started stopping in front of me. Again, I took her by the collar, guided her behind me, and encouraging her with the words, “Get behind.” Over and over I would repeat this process, but to no avail. Either she didn’t get it, or her stubbornness wouldn’t allow her to follow. Looking into those big brown eyes, I’d tell her, “If you follow me, you’ll know where I am going.” But, she would stare at me, wag her tail, and insist on leading the way.
One day, in my frustration with her, I deliberately walked around the house, studying her actions and body cues. When I left a room and she lead the way, her ears would be up and pointed forward. Her tail would wag. Her gait would be bouncy. But within minutes, she would become uncertain. Her gait would slow, and her feet would shuffle. Her ears would pivot back towards me, and her tail would stop wagging. Thinking she knew the way to go, she’d be excited. Becoming unsure, she’d look and listen for clues as to where it is I was actually going.
If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.~Galatians 5:25 ESV
Then it hit me. I gasped and shook my head, asking myself how often do I do that to God? How many times have I thought I knew which way God wanted me to go, only to have to stop because I missed it? I giggled, realizing that in my attempts to teach my dog how to follow, she is the one who taught me how to follow the Lord.
God has a path set before each one of us. He knows where He wants us to go, but many times in our excitement or busyness, we rush ahead of Him.~Sandra Stein, contributing author to Love Knots: Stories of Faith, Family, and Friendships
God has a path set before each one of us. He knows where He wants us to go, but many times in our excitement or busyness, we rush ahead of Him. We get so entangled with our own agendas we don’t stop long enough to listen for His voice.
Friend, when was the last time you stopped long enough to seek God for direction? Thankfully, there is good news. Even when we miss it, God waits for us to turn back to Him. And when we do, He brings us back onto the right path.
Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.~1 Chronicles 16:11 ESV
Sheep follow a shepherd because they know there is safety in his care. If I proclaim Jesus to be my Shepherd, why do I run ahead of Him? Like sheep, there is danger being away from the shepherd. I’ve decided to ask Jesus each day, what His direction is, and how I can best follow Him. Will you join me? That is where our safety is. And when we do this, we will hit the mark every time. We must learn to follow.
How are you doing regarding learning to follow the Lord?
Heavenly Father, thank You that Your ways are perfect. Help me to follow my Shepherd Jesus Christ. I desire to please You, and I want to follow the divine path You have designed for me.
In Jesus’s Name, Amen.
Copyright 2021: Learning to Follow: Sandra Stein: All Rights Reserved.
Meet Our Contributor
Sandra Stein is a devotion writer for VineWords: Devotions and More, and a contributing author to Love Knots: Stories of Faith, Family, and Friendships (VineWords Publishing).
She is published at Vista Magazine (Wesleyan Publishing) and Victory in Grace Magazine. She is a contributing author to the devotionals, Take My Heart O God and Heaven Calling (Zondervan).
Sandra’s work-in-progress is a victim-to-victory true story entitled, Emotionally Uphill. Having been subject to abuse both inside and outside of her home, Sandra felt she had no safe place—that is, until she met Jesus Christ, the Lover of her soul. This book intends to help the reader overcome trauma as Sandra did, by clinging to the One who loves with an everlasting and divine love—Jesus Christ.
Sandra’s heart’s desire is to open a ranch to people who have been bullied or abused, to provide them a place to belong. She envisions emotional and spiritual healings happening through the gentle interaction animals can provide. With her experience as a dog trainer and with horses, she has a vision for combining her love of animals with her passion to help people.
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