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A little leash training required

I am considering a keyless entry lock in my garage and have been reading the online reviews, as well as the user manuals for these various models. The instruction manuals of some seem very basic, while others look like they would be more for the use of the Space Station in orbit! Isn't it amazing how some instructions can be so plainly written - easy to grasp and even easier to put into use - while others can be so vague or complex that you just struggle and struggle to make sense of it all? The Word of God isn't supposed to be one of those 'manuals' that we struggle with, but rather something we can turn to, easily embracing what is written within and easily putting it into practice in our lives. Yet, we make the commands of God so complex, don't we? We complicate them with our rules or conditions we want to 'add to' the simplicity of God's instructions. Whenever we 'add to' God's simple instructions, we are not going to find the Word bringing order to our lives, but rather a sense of chaos and disorder.

Here’s my instruction: walk in the Spirit, and let the Spirit bring order to your life. If you do, you will never give in to your selfish and sinful cravings. For everything the flesh desires goes against the Spirit, and everything the Spirit desires goes against the flesh. There is a constant battle raging between them that prevents you from doing the good you want to do. But when you are led by the Spirit, you are no longer subject to the law. (Galatians 5:16-18)

Order comes into our lives when we allow the Spirit of God to actually create order out of the chaos of our lives. We have all made decisions we regret, taken actions we wish would never have been acted upon, and thought things that we have had trouble breaking free from. We all have 'added to' God's Word in some form - all because we aren't relying upon the Spirit of God to 'tutor' us - to guide us in such a way so as to bring 'order' where there has been disorder. We wonder why we are giving into our sinful cravings all the time - forgetting that we cannot overcome these without the tutelage of the Spirit in our lives! The 'constancy' of the battle to follow the commands of God for our lives and the desires of our flesh are just going to present a 'clash of the wills' in us until we allow God's Spirit to 'remodel' our priorities, desires, and thoughts.

I don't have a dog any longer, but I remember taking my dog for a walk, leash securely attached to the collar around her neck. Actually, if you want to know the truth...she took me for a walk! She pulled continuously against that leash, dragging me this way and that. Why? I never did any 'leash training' with her when she was young and she learned this 'leash pulling' thing was okay. She could have learned the value of being on the leash, but instead pulled against it, desiring to explore all the things she needed to stay away from. She'd put her nose where it didn't belong, venture into places she should have stayed out of, and attempted to leave her mark in places she didn't have a right to leave a mark on! All because she was not aware of the safety and privilege of the leash.

Now, we don't wear a leash, but it is an apt illustration of how the Spirit of God helps us stay within places of safety - avoiding those places where we should never leave a mark, or allow to become a mark upon our lives! God doesn't desire us to pull against the leash of the tutelage of the Spirit in our lives, but we do anyway. When we do, he does a little 'leash training' to get us comfortable with the leash - to become obedient to the commands he gives. This isn't discipline - it is training. There is a difference, you know! One thing we can count on - God isn't going to be pulled hither and yon by us. He is going to 'train us up' in the ways we should walk and then he expects us to actually heed his commands. Imagine that! Just sayin...

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