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Obedience Training

He replied, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it."  Luke 11:28 NIV

Photo courtesy of pixabay.I was the proud owner of a golden retriever.

Goldie came to me as a five-month-old puppy, but as he grew into an adult dog, taking him for walks challenged me. An eighty-five-pound woman was no match for an eighty-five-pound golden retriever who decided he wanted to take her for a walk. Which end of the leash he or I was on didn’t matter.

I enrolled Goldie in a six-week dog obedience course at the local park every Wednesday evening—perfect for cool summer evenings. The first week, we learned the rudiments of leash holding and voice modulating and were assigned weekly homework that reviewed the commands and routines.

During the first week, I spent twenty minutes a day getting Goldie accustomed to the leash with me in command. The second and third week, we worked twenty minutes a day for four days. By the fourth week, Goldie only received fifteen minutes of practice for three days. At every class session, he performed perfectly. I was proud of my dog. The fifth week had only two home practice sessions, and the sixth week was the graduation test. I was sure Goldie would pass.

On graduation day, we did a practice run of all the commands. All dogs were commanded to “down and stay” while each owner took their dog through the paces. I waited with full confidence that Goldie would step up and strut his stuff.

When I commanded him to “heel,” he stayed on the ground and looked at me. I commanded with authority and pulled on the leash. He didn’t budge. What’s with this dog! I finally persuaded him to move a few feet, but then he went into the “down” position again. We failed the test. Since Goldie had limited practice obeying his master’s voice, he followed what the other dogs were doing rather than the commands of his master.

Becoming a disciple of Christ takes practice so we can learn to hear His voice and obey His commands. When a test comes, we can do what we see other Christians do—which might be right or wrong—or we can obey our Master’s voice.

Think of one way you can better train yourself to obey God’s voice. 

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

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Marcia Vogl

Marcia Vogl is the founder and director of Bethany Projects and is the author of The Path Forward. She is an ordained minister who partners with Hidden with Christ Ministries of Tustin, CA. She also ministers through personal prayer sessions, mentoring workshops, and retreats. She holds a B.A. and an M.S. in music education and has trained at Elijah House. Marcia has completed both a Master and a Doctorate of Practical Ministry degree at Wagner Leadership Institute, with a specialty in women's ministry, deliverance, and workplace ministries. Other career experiences include being a music teacher for grades K-8, a college instructor for teacher credentials candidates, a full time mom, and a document supervisor in the mortgage industry. You can follow her at http://bethanyprojects.org and https://www.facebook.com/bethanyprojects.