Do you realize all of this has been training? Training that will prepare you for greater opportunities. Training that will allow you to live bigger. Training by the Master to follow his commands, and then you can be trusted with off-leash adventures.

Any good dog left untrained becomes a bad dog. An untrained dog cannot be trusted. An untrained dog will wreck your house in 5 minutes. An untrained dog will run away and good luck ever finding them again. So, from the time they’re a puppy, you begin training them. And what do you start with? Simple commands. Come. Sit. Stay.

Ahhhhh girl, don’t you see, that’s what the Master has been trying to teach you? Come. Sit. Now stay. Come further. Stayyyyyy.

Our dog Tank is about the best thing you will ever encounter. He is 130 pounds of pure love and joy. He has the ability to wreck havoc and destroy everything in his path, but he doesn’t. He has two goals in life, please his Master, and chase squirrels. For many years, the secondary desire took control and he lost all ability to listen to his Master when a squirrel was on scene. More training was required. Training of come. Training of sit. Training of stay. And a whole lot of, “No, I didn’t tell you to go. Get back here. Listen. Let’s do this right.”

Now, he is trusted with everything we have. He is trusted inside and outside. He is allowed off leash. We will literally seek out opportunities and plan entire trips around destinations where he can run off leash and have an adventure. Why? Because he knows how to come, he knows when to sit, he knows how to stay, and his Master is pleased. When the Master is pleased, his life gets a whole lot better.

Oh, but it wasn’t always this way. Tank’s first trip to the beach pulled his Master’s shoulder out of place when he was chasing those beach squirrels we call seagulls. A shorter leash was required and a lot more training. Living on the ranch, we would let Tank out for a quick potty break, and it would turn into a 5 hour hunt to find him 2 miles away. That always earned him less freedom and more training.

Understand, God’s desire for you is to live off leash, Sis. He wants you to be free! But when your freedom causes you to get lost, he searches for you, brings you back home, and puts you back in training. Can you see how you got a little lost in your freedom? Can you see how you went wild with that, and maybe pulled God’s shoulder out of place with that one? Can you see now that he wasn’t trying to limit you, he was trying to train you for MORE. There were wide open fields, trails along the river, and new unexplored beaches all in your future, but you weren’t ready for them quite yet.




How are you doing with those commands now? Are you learning to start you days by seeking his guidance? Are you learning to look to him before running off in a new direction? Are you learning to stay close to him, knowing good things come from his hand?

Training a 130 pound dog involves a whole lot of treats. We call them candies. Tank will wake up from a dead sleep if you say candies. He will stop smelling butts, he will cease his game of chase, he will drop every ball, just say candies. Candies brings him to my side because he knows, good things come from my hand.

Have you learned that good things come from your Master’s hand? The BEST things. In fact, I’ve learned, if it doesn’t come from God, I really don’t even want it. Only the best comes from him, and as you get a little older, you learn it’s a waste of energy to go chasing that other crap. We want quality, and quality comes from the Master. Come. Sit. Stay. This is where the best of life is.

Jesus tells the story of a Father who had two sons. The younger son decides he wants his inheritance early and he proceeds to wreck his life. The older son stays with his Father. After some time, the younger one has wasted everything he was given and finds himself just wishing he could eat the food the pigs get, and that’s when he decides to come on home.

Did you ever have a dog that was lost come back? Growing up, we had a beagle named Buster. Buster was gone for years, then one day he comes walking back to our house. We couldn’t believe he was back! Where had he been? How had he survived? None of that mattered, he was home!

That’s what it was like for this Father and his lost son. Nothing else mattered when the son decided to come back home. But if you remember the story, you know the older son grew jealous when the Father threw a party for the wayward little brother. Luke 15: 29-31, the older son says “All these years I’ve served you and never once refused to do a single thing you told me to. And in all that time you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my friends. Yet when this son of yours comes back after squandering your money on prostitutes, you celebrate by killing the fattened calf!’ His father said to him, ‘Look, dear son, you have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours.'”

So maybe you look around and you see others who haven’t been as faithful as you, and they’re getting candies, and you wonder why … it’s because they’re in training. But you, when you stay with the Father, EVERYTHING HE HAS IS YOURS. That is his desire for you, to give you everything he has. To entrust you with power. To entrust you with treasure. To entrust you with time. To give you freedom. Some of us are in training, and we’re still needing little candies to train us and keep us coming to the Master’s hand. Others have never left him, yet fail to realize we have always had everything right here for us!

Come. Sit. Stay.

Learn these commands and freedom is yours. Continue to obey these commands, and everything the Master has is yours.

Remember when the disciples were on the boat and they’re fighting against the wind and waves, then Jesus comes walking up to them on the water? This was a training exercise with an invitation. Peter wanted to do the impossible with Jesus, so he says “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.” And Jesus responds with one word. Matthew 14:29 “Come.”

Come. It was a command and an invitation. Come. Trust me and come to me. Come with me. Join me in this. Stop trying to understand it, and come. Peter, you’re about to walk on water and you’re never going to be able to make sense of it again, just come.

Peter was the only one that day that got to walk on the water with Jesus. Why? He was the only one bold enough to ask, and the only one willing to obey the command when the command didn’t make sense.

My Sister, today, Jesus says “COME. Come on. Trust me. Follow me. Stay close to me. I’m going to ask you to sit when there’s chaos going on. I’m going to tell you to stay when you want to run off. Good things come from my hand. Come to me now.”

This is your invitation for off leash living. You’ve been going through all of this training to see if you will stay. Stay like the older brother who never left the Father. Stay and understand you already have EVERYTHING the Father has. He wants to give it all to you.

Take the next step when the way looks impossible, but you know God is going before you and now inviting you to come. Come expecting good things, because good things come from the Master’s hands. Come knowing where he is leading you is better than anywhere you could have wandered off to on your own.

And sit, girl. Slow down. Be still. Be close and listen for his next command.

Off leash living will be yours when you can be trusted to follow his commands.

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