Mel's Heart

My thoughts about God, living for Him, being a writer, wife, mom, and child of God

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Follow the Leader

Emma, the one year old, follows her leader, Jenna, as this picture illustrates. Emma knows that Jenna is the Alpha dog in the house, and she just is happy to go where Jenna goes, as she's showing in the pool, dog-paddling behing Jenna. She does the same thing on walks - she will not bound into the woods unless Jenna goes first.

This has been such a good thing in training - and I use that word loosely as we all know Emma is not really trained. Jenna is such a well-behaved dog and Emma has adopted so many of her good habits. I'll just attribute her bad habits to her dad/master scott.:)

So I have been sensing the Holy Spirit reminding me to follow my Leader, not to go ahead or lag behind.

I was reading this morning in Isaiah 30: 1- 5 where God speaks harshly: "'Woe to the rebellious children,' declares the Lord, 'Who execute a plan, but not Mine.' And make an alliance, but not of My Spirit, in order to add sin to sin; who proceed down to Egypt without consulting Me, to take refuge in safety of Pharaoh and to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt, your humiliation...shame...and reproach.'"

God reminds me in these verses about the dangers of executing a plan that is not His. In other words my own plans, my desires, my own agenda. And the result is awful - humiliation, shame, reproach.

God wants us to consult Him, to follow His commandments because He loves us. His commandments are for our good and for our protection. His will is perfect. As I follow Him, I become who He created me to be. I can remember in my younger years, and even some now, when following God's ways seemed restrictive rather than freeing to me. I believed the lie that becoming a woman for God would rob me of who I was meant to be.

Instead, quite the opposite is true. As I obey God, I become more and more the woman He created me to be. As I obey I experience freedom from sin's stronghold, I abide in His love, and I find myself delighting in His ways for me.

In the above verses where God refers to the people returning to Egypt and the safety of Pharaoh, I think about the old ways I'm tempted to return to. Old ways of the flesh, strongholds of sin. These old ways are so familiar, so ingrained in me, that I find myself responding, reacting automatically. I have compromised the promises of God, a place that is not necessarily a place I can figure out or control, for the false safety and security of my old ways, simply because they are familiar.

More and more I grieve if I do this, and more and more I pray for the blood of Christ to cover me and the power of His resurrection to free me from strongholds.

The same chapter of Isaiah offers a path to follow completely opposite of returning to Egypt. Isaiah 30:15 "In repentance and rest you will be saved, in quietness and trust is your strength."

The Lord longs to be gracious to us, waits to have compassion on us (is 30:18) He's waiting for us to turn to Him, not to return to Egypt. Then He will show us exactly how to walk. "'This is the way, walk in it, whenever you turn to the right or left.'"

Thank you Lord, that You promise that when we seek You we will find you, we will hear your voice, and You will show us the way.


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