“Hey boys, this way!” This command, casually spoken to Waylon and Willy, on our daily dog walk, will usually bring them running in the direction in which I want to go. Sometimes I just give them, “This way.” A hand and arm motion sweeping in the intended direction will guide them, and of course, as they keep an eye on me and see me head in a different way, they usually comply. When a squirrel jumps out of a tree to run across the highway, a sharp, loud, urgent, “Waylon! Willy! NO!” has stopped the pursuit many times. Do they sometimes miss my commands or doodle around before they respond. Yes and yes. I will speak again to help them to “hear” and “remember”. Sometimes they get so caught up in doing their own thing, just being the dog that they are, they need the reminder. A loud “Hey!” or a sharp handclap will get their attention when distracted. They can tell by the attitude of my voice and actions of what kind of business I mean. The sheer repetition of these commands and responses happening in daily life has trained them so there is a verbal guide and leash with them that guides into good things and protects from bad things. With this, they are a pleasure to walk each day.
If we have accepted the cleansing blood of Jesus for our sins, the number one goal should be for us to be sensitive to hear and be quick to respond in obedience to the Holy Spirit. If we give ourselves to be immersed into his presence, receiving him as a gift from God, we can then walk with him, hearing his voice to be guided by him. He will guide us only in good and protection. As we walk with him daily, we are trained to be responsive so we receive the good things he has for us and his protection. He will give a word to not pursue when “the squirrel” is heading for the highway. It is our responsibility to pay attention and obey. Do we sometimes miss it and do our own thing just being the person we are, and suffer loss? Yes. Does he continue to work with us? Yes. As we continue to walk with him, we grow up, hearing his voice, obeying him, and pleasing him as we enjoy the good things he has for us. This way!