"...you know that you have a Master in heaven."
"He tends His flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those that have young."
"But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."
"Keep me on a short leash, Lord. Keep me on the narrow road. Carry me close to Your heart. Keep me abiding in You." This is a prayer of mine. And I mean with all of my heart it because I know it is the only way that leads me to life, His life. It's how His peace fills my heart. It's how He satisfies completely. It's also how He can bear fruit in me.
Yet, sometimes keeping me on a short leash and on the narrow road causes me to be lovingly poked by His mighty right Hand. Yesterday, I was reminded that He is honoring my prayers to keep me on a short leash. You see, in haste and without thinking, I broke a rule...just a smidgen bit...but I broke it nonetheless. And as soon as I did, there was "the boss" watching me. Literally. Thankfully, he handled it with truth, grace and even very good humor. I was immediately convicted, truly remorseful and so very thankful for his grace. I was also thankful for God's faithfulness to not let me get away with breaking a rule, not even a smidgen bit.
I am so grateful I have people in my life who keep me accountable and who can speak the truth in love to me. My husband, who is my covering, keeps me accountable. Honoring God is the desire of our hearts, as individuals, as a married couple and for our family. While we often fall short, we don't want to lower the bar on the Biblical standard of honoring God. By His strength and grace alone can we honor Him.
I am so thankful for pastors and a body of believers at our church who lovingly keep their eyes on us and pray for us.
I cherish precious girlfriends and sisters in Christ who keep me accountable and articulate things so well to me. I am thankful for friends who keep my face towards Him and my feet to the fire. Girlfriends who also do not want to lower the bar. Girlfriends who desire to honor Him. Committed, steadfast girlfriends who allow me to grow and who, without judgment, graciously pick me up, dust me off and encourage me when I have failed.
Often it is painful being on a short leash and staying on the narrow road. But when I wander, I want that leash gently pulled and the fences on the narrow road fortified so I don't step into danger. Often times, He uses people around us to be our fortified fences. I am thankful for those He uses.
Yesterday, He reminded me of my "Keep me on a short leash, Lord" prayer. And I knew my gentle Shepherd was holding me His loving arms and holding me close to His heart. My Master was keeping His promise to me. This puppy is content in His care.
"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing." John 15:5