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. Learning to follow was a lesson I had to teach her.
Using her collar, I gently tried to guide her to follow behind me, but it was something she couldn’t comprehend. She would rush by me and take the lead once again. In every room I entered, Sierra waited to be the first to exit. When 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 encouraged 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, I deliberately walked around the house and studied her actions and body cues. When I left a room and she led 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 I was 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 I do that to God. How many times have I thought I knew which way He wanted me to go, only to stop because I missed it? I giggled, realizing that in my attempts to train my dog how to follow, she is the one who taught me how to follow the Lord.
God has a path set before each 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 to His voice.
When was the last time you stopped long enough to seek God’s 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 as my Shepherd, why do I run ahead of Him? Like sheep, I place myself in danger when I leave the shepherd. I 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 can you do a better job of 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’ name, amen.
Copyright 2021: Learning to Follow: Sandra Stein: All Rights Reserved.