Oh, that dear, sweet, little boy of ours. He was definitely a one-of-a-kind…tenderhearted, with a propensity to roam about our neighborhood in search of helpless, abandoned critters of all shapes and sizes, and then take upon himself the responsibility of rescuing them. One such rescue was a black Labrador retriever, a puppy. When our son showed up at the back door with this muddy creature, we desperately hoped that this pooch belonged to someone, anyone, since she was so friendly, social, and sweet-natured. Much to my son’s displeasure, we contacted animal control, who arrived on the scene soon after to retrieve this retriever. As his patrol car left the driveway with that sappy, sad-eyed dog gazing out the back window and my son weeping in the driveway, we knew that it was too late, the connection had been made. Two days later, the dog reappeared at my son’s side, never to leave her beloved master and friend again. We succumbed to the fact that Lucky was ours for keeps, like it or not. Every morning, Lucky and her adopted owner would trek off into the woods looking for adventure. But as Lucky grew (and my, did she grow), those leashed walks became more like tug-of-wars, battles that my son was doomed to lose. I still giggle as I recall scenes of Lucky dashing through the back yard, my son clinging helplessly to that lease, flying through the air resembling a Saturday morning cartoon character.
As I replay that humorous scene in my mind and I remember that out-of-control leash, I ponder the warning of James as he writes, “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.” Just as my young son was drawn away by a leash he could not control, we can be pulled along by a desire or passion that rules our life. Jesus warns His followers to beware of “lasciviousness,” which is translated unbridled lust. We all have natural desires that, in themselves, are not wicked. But when they are allowed to control the leash of our lives, when they are unbridled, we can find ourselves in serious spiritual danger. The Bible is brimming with examples of folks who allowed their passions to pull their leashes. Samson is one study in unfulfilled potential, designated by God to be His chosen vessel, yet we are told time and again that Samson allowed himself to be controlled by his anger, his bent for revenge, his insatiable desire for female companionship, and his seething temper. His lack of self-control would eventually lead him to blindness and bondage.
But there are many other desires which can control our leash if allowed to reign in our lives. Isaac would be deceived by his son and see his family torn apart due to a simple love of food, more precisely, “savoury meat.” King Solomon would do evil “in the sight of the LORD,” for he “loved many strange women,” and those idol-worshiping wives would eventually turn the heart of this wise man from the true God. And Jesus would encounter a rich, young ruler, and this young man would ultimately walk away from the Messiah because he “was very rich,” and those riches controlled his leash.
What controls my leash? What has my focus and attention? Is it something career related, love of money, pride, hobbies, social media, food, appearances, family ties? Do I find more excitement in the world of sports and entertainment than I do sitting at the feet of Jesus? Anything that draws me away controls me, and can open the door to unwise choices that carry unwanted consequences. If I allow something to control my time and attention, it controls me. Let’s allow the Holy Spirit to control the leash of our lives, for He will always lead us toward the Father’s will.
Proverbs 25:28 He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down and without walls.
Lord, help me to be cautious of who or what controls me. May I always be sensitive to Your Spirit’s leading, always allowing You to lead and direct in my life.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-1544-62bc03086d25c' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=1544&origin=wordpress.grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-1544-62bc03086d25c' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-1544-62bc03086d25c' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>