April 25, 2012

Trained By a Dog

Self discipline.  When I take my dog for a walk, it seems more like he is walking me than me walking him!  He gets so excited to be out and about and walks full steam ahead with his nose to the ground.  I find myself  walking as fast as I can, arm fully extended because of the pull on the leash. I hope against hope that he doesn't pull my arm out of socket, or cause me to totally lose my balance toppling over, finding myself being dragged through the streets behind a German shepherd on a mission!  On one such walk, I passed a neighbor on the street who said, "Are you walking him, or is he walking you?"

This scenario doesn't play out when my husband walks our dog.  Why?  Because my husband has trained him to be obedient to his voice.  He did the hard work early on to bring our dog under submission.  That sweet puppy walks and heals and stops and stays depending upon the command he is given by his master.  My husband disciplines him and trains him to do what he wants him to do.  Me?  I let him run right over me!  I like the fun parts of dog ownership; the wet kisses, the lovin', the playin', the warm fuzzy comfortable parts.

Unfortunately this is how I have been about myself for many years.  During my prayer time several weeks ago I told the Lord that I knew I was playing around the edges of self-discipline, that even with the progress I've made and the goals that have been attained, I still feel like I'm in a battle. It's like I'm fighting myself constantly and being dragged to and fro.  That's when the Lord gave me this picture of my dog pulling me down the street! "Yes!"  That's exactly what it's like!  God is so faithful to speak and answer when we are praying according to his will.  He makes it so clear if we will just seek his wisdom.

I'm in training. I have to do the hard work, but even when the initial training is over, I will have to listen to God's voice and continue to obediently bring my "self" under submission. If I don't, chaos will ensue.

This is the path I've been on for several weeks.  This path of self-discipline.  When old ruts have been driven deep in the hard clay of my mind, it is hard to pave a new path, but God has walked with me each step of the way with constant encouragement form his word, reminding me daily what I need to do to.

Just this morning I read these words in my devotional book and afterwords I simply said, "Wow!"  I've been hit right between the eyes, but I am encouraged and reminded that he is still with me on this path.  He continues to speak.  Here are the words I read:

"Be instant in season, out of season." 2 Timothy 4:2

The word instant here actually means persistent.  Oswald Chambers says this, "Be instant in season, out of season, whether we feel like it or not.  If we do only what we feel inclined to do, some of us would do nothing forever and ever.  The proof that we are rightly related to God is that we do our best whether we feel inspired or not."

I am to be a woman of self-control and self-discipline and am not to be dragged to and fro.  And I am definitely not to be ruled by my feelings or lack of feelings at any given moment.

God never fails.  He gives a picture, a word, a thought, an illustration, an experience, a person, whatever it takes to teach us the truth we need.


  1. Hi Stephani! Look who's back blogging! So good to "see" you again! You've been in my prayers all through Lent, before, and since. I can say a big AMEN to this one, friend. I was being walked by circumstances rather than being self-controlled. I had to cut much off during Lent, and the LORD blessed my commitment. Now is the real test for me though...can I continue to remain self-disciplined now. So far so good, but man the limitations are hard to abide by in my personal areas of weakness. Thank you for sharing this picture!
    By the way, I am about 99% sure I won't return to my own blog, so I wanted to share with you that I am preggers too! TOTAL surprise...I'm 8 weeks along! We are shocked and thrilled and nervous at our age! But it's in the LORD's hands and we trust His plan. And what IS it about puppy dogs like yours that just DO ME IN? Oh he's so cute and I miss having pups so much...still hoping one day soon that Sam will be able to tolerate a dog without much allergies!
    It's great to see you here again, and on Pinterest! :o) Missed you!
    Love & Blessings,

  2. Well, this was the perfect illustration for me...though I am guessing your dog pulls more than mine. I love your last two lines...yes, God always finds a way to teach an old dog (me) new tricks.

  3. great post, i totally know what you mean! i reading a book right now for a review called "blind hope" about a woman who learned about God's grace and life lessons from her dog.

    God bless~

  4. Hi there! I'm working on those exact same qualities - self control and self discipline. Yowza - those are tough sometimes. Your dog is beautiful!

  5. that is such an awesome analogy! I know what you mean! Not in the sense of being dragged all over the place, but I would let people take advantage of me...I really like your blog!
    Have a beautiful day!

  6. that is such an awesome analogy! I know what you mean! Not in the sense of being dragged all over the place, but I would let people take advantage of me...I really like your blog!
    Have a beautiful day!

  7. Just taking in that verse in 2 Timothy. I love the intensity that it evokes.


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