So you have some bright ideas and good plans, and you’re desperately trying to get God to co-sign on the whole deal. We’re like, “God, if you’ll just jump in on this, it will all work out.” You need a co-signer on your crazy, and girl, you’re just crazy enough to think God can be tricked into it.
You know what we’re like? We’re like a wild little chihuahua on a leash, kicking up dirt pulling their own way. We run hard after what we want, then we hit the end of that leash and we do a back flip. And we don’t land on our feet. We face plant. And we sit there dazed and confused, wondering why it always feels like God is against us. Why won’t God just let me go here? Why won’t he let me do this? Why does he keep pulling on my leash and holding me back?
But wild little chihuahuas don’t give up easily. They get drug sideways, fixated on what they think they want, rarely agreeing to walk in obedience. Isn’t that us?
Girl, God really doesn’t want to drag your butt through life, but you’re making it really hard on yourself. God has been trying to show you his good plans, but you’re so focused on what’s going on over there that you don’t even realize where he is leading you.
What’s happening for each of us is we’re in obedience school. We’re learning how to obey. And the biggest key to obedience is the one thing we sometimes struggle with the most … TRUST. It’s trusting the one who is in charge knows things we don’t know, things we’re not capable of understanding, and he is only trying to lead us where is best. We simply can’t be obedient to God until we trust him.
Psalm 32:8, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.” And I feel like the psalmist left out three final words there … and a leash. I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you and a leash. Why? Because you’re a wild chihuahua hell bent on chasing crap you don’t need to chase. The leash is there to protect you.
Our dog Tank is a beautiful, massive yellow lab. In his prime he was 130 pounds of pure muscle, and a little too much snacks. For the first 2 years of his life he grew up on a ranch. Ranch life meant the absence of a leash. He ran wild. He swam in the river. He chased squirrels. He rolled around in dead stuff. He occasionally got lost. It’s a miracle he survived. Then, we took him on his first roadtrip and vacation with us. Country boy went to the beach in Southern California. There, he had to have a leash. But Tank wasn’t leash trained yet, and Tank really loved chasing seagulls and inappropriately smelling every dog within 50 feet of him. That vacation, he spent the majority of his time choking and barely able to breathe because he was pulling so hard. That vacation, he also dislocated my husband’s shoulder.
And isn’t that us sometimes? We’re wondering why we’re so stressed and having trouble breathing … girl, how hard are you pulling? How desperately are you trying to do this your way? Don’t you understand your master holds the leash and he knows what you do not know? You can twist and contort this any way you want, but God knows it’s crazy and he’s not going to be tricked into co-signing crazy. He’s not going there. He’s not letting go. He’s not giving up.
Megan, calm down.
Whitney, chill out.
Kimberly, just stop.
You, wild little chihuahua, God is teaching you the way you should go. TRUST HIM.
Obedience school can feel like punishment, but ultimately it’s for our freedom. When we learn to trust, we learn to stay close. When we learn to stay close, we are granted freedom. Freedom off leash. When we prove we trust our master, then we too can be trusted.
Our dog Tank went through obedience school. It was a lot of hard work, miserable walks, and a ton of treats, but eventually he learned he could trust we’re always taking him somewhere good. Now, he’s so trusting of our guidance, that a simple command will keep him close and going in the right direction… most of the time. Unless there’s an iguana. Iguanas are the squirrels of the island and they’re simply irresistible. We’re working on that.
Girls, can’t you see this is what God is teaching us. Through all of this hardship and struggle, he is teaching us to stay close to him. To listen to his voice. To obey the prompting of his Spirit. And to simply trust. Trust he knows what we don’t know. Trust he is leading us somewhere good. Trust if we knew what he knows, we would choose it ourselves, but since we don’t know what he knows, we trust his guidance even when it doesn’t make sense.
And maybe we’re doing a whole lot better than we used to, but there’s still a few little things we have trouble not chasing after. God’s still working with us, and that’s okay.
Proverbs 3: 5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” You know when our paths are not straight? When we’re walking sideways, resisting where God is leading us. When we’re pulling and fighting and hyper focused on what we want, instead of obediently walking where God is leading us. Think of the dog pulling to go in their own direction, fighting the leash, choking themselves out. That’s us leaning on our own understanding. That’s us fighting the leash. That’s us not trusting our master.
But when we trust God, we stop pulling. We stop finding it so hard to breathe. We stop chasing crazy and spending all our energy trying to get God to co-sign our crazy. Girl, he is not co-signing that. It’s not right and you know it. It’s not good for you and he’s not excusing it. It’s not where he is leading you and you’re not going to convince God you know better. Stop trying to paint it up pretty so he will let you drag it home. Stop trying to twist and contort it to make it fit. Trust God. When you trust him, you stay close to him. When you stay close to him, you obey him. And when he sees that you will obey him, he lets you off leash. God will give you freedom when he knows you trust him.
Tank now gets to go everywhere with us. This dog lives the absolute best life. Why? Because we can trust him. Why can we trust him? Because he finally learned to trust us.
God is leading you somewhere good. I know you don’t see it yet and it doesn’t make sense to you, but you have to trust him. If you will fully trust him, God can trust you, and oh the places he will take you! Oh the life you will live! Oh the things he will show you! It’s more than you can possibly imagine.
God has brought us each to this place of realizing we can no longer try to get him to co-sign on our crazy. This isn’t about trying to convince God to let us do what we want to do and go where we want to go. That’s what we did when we were young pups who didn’t trust our master. But now, we’re learning to trust him. And when we trust him, we stay close. We listen. We obey. And live gets so much better.