Where the head goes, the whole body tends to follow.
I’m leash training my puppy. A neighbor suggested a Gentle Leader, a collar that rests high behind the ears with another strap fitting over the nose. The leash attaches underneath so that when you pull, you pull the head and not the neck, similar to the bit and bridle for horses. It takes those strong shoulder muscles out of the picture. End result? You lead him instead of being dragged behind him.
The Gentle Leader allows me to direct Valor’s attention, because his tummy, toes, and tail follow his eyes, mouth, and nose. Scripture likewise cautions us as to what we set before our eyes, because God knows all too well, our emotions, will, and reason will follow. Let’s train with Valor this week. Here are a few of his favorite—or not so favorite—commands:
Leave it! This covers everything from road kill to the ant-covered lollipop stuck to the sidewalk. Psalm 101:3 reads, “I will not look with approval on anything that is vile. I hate what faithless people do; I will have no part in it.” What has snuck into your life that has no place there? Ask the Holy Spirit what you need to leave alone.
Give! Valor’s reach is growing as he does. Most of what he can reach he has no business with: my sandwich, my homework, my favorite socks. Psalm 119:37 says, “Turn my eyes away from worthless things.” These things aren’t bad, but they aren’t best. Often they are time-stealers as well. What eats your time, energy, and brainpower, but is giving little to no return? Ask God what needs to give.
Come! Coming is good. It can mean a walk, dinnertime, or playing fetch. Yes, sometimes, it means a trip to the vet, but that’s a good thing too—Parvo is no picnic. Scripture shows us where to put our focus.
Check out these two passages: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8-9)
“ . . . fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” (Hebrews 12:2-3)
Are you making relationship time for the Master? Are you choosing things that will please Him?
Valor has a choice between his chew toys, my running shoe, or the dead bird in the yard. I often feel like I’m not choosing at all, just deflecting what comes at me through the day. Yet, I choose what I give my time to. I choose what I listen, read, and watch.
What will you choose?
Nail your spiritual workouts this week and change your corner of the gym.
Workout of the Week: The Toes Follow the Nose
Memory Verse: “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’” (Isaiah 30:21)
Meditation Passage: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8-9)
Just Do It: Allow the Holy Spirit to be your Gentle Leader.