The training of a puppy is critically important to support proper behavioral development. We start with very short lessons with basic commands and encouragement that won’t overwhelm the dog. If we present ourselves with a calm spirit, give gentle direction, and firm but loving correction the puppy begins to respond. Ultimately we see the fruit of our efforts and enjoy watching the willing responses to our commands.
Why do we invest our time to sow these behavioral boundaries? For me it is my heart’s desire to lead my dogs to work at their highest and best performance, and to assure proper boundaries are respected that will protect their lives. (Proverbs 12:10 “A righteous man regards the life of his animal.”) I know if I am willing to remain consistent with a training schedule I am always amazed to see the animal advance far beyond what I thought possible.
In my heart I see the Lord’s relationship with me as similar to my relationship to my dogs. I lead and the dogs follow. If we all are willing to follow the Lord’s direction we will live in His protection, operate in His amazing blessings and grow far beyond what we can dare hope ask or imagine. (Eph 3:20 “ God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us. (The Message))
When I accepted Jesus as my Savior and Lord I came to Him as a new babe, much like a young puppy. When I clumsily bounded into His presence hungry for food and attention. He faithfully fed my spirit with His mercy, love and grace, always standing by to lead me. The more I came into His presence the more He lovingly guided or chastised me setting me back on his course of protection. Like a puppy I continued to grow and often resisted His gentle leash. On many occasions I’d plant myself firmly in rebellion, pull my head right out of the collar and wander at my own in risk of hurt and danger. My rebellion always resulted in a bad end. But, the Lord is always faithful and never left me. He didn’t give up, would pick me up and put me back on track.
It takes time to learn new things and to understand why they are beneficial for our lives. Commands are spoken to give dogs direction or to guide them into protection. The same is true for all of us. When Jesus stays “ Sit and Stay” it is always in our best interest to willingly obey!