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Walking Unleashed

Most evenings my dog Wesley and I take a walk through the neighborhood. Other than riding in the truck with the windows rolled down, the walk is the highlight of his day. During these walks, I had always kept a tight leash on him. He was not allowed to walk anywhere but right by my side. I was a stickler for the rules, and he was never quite content with that. Always wanting more, Wesley would pull, stretch, and tug with no success. He wanted freedom.

One warm evening I decided to give little Wesley the taste of freedom he craved. When I unfastened his leash from his collar, I honestly expected him to bolt. I could just see him scrambling off into a vacant lot, rolling around in something dead, or performing matters of personal business in someone’s neatly manicured lawn. I thought for sure that he would take advantage of his freedom. I was wrong.

Instead of sowing his wild oats he stayed right by my side. When I walked faster, he sped up. When I ran, he kept pace. When I grew tired of running (which unfortunately didn’t take long), to my amazement Wesley slowed down, too. There were occasional distractions along the way for him, but for the most part, he never abused his freedom.

Many people act as though God is “walking” us on His leash. They live in fear that if they make one wrong move, their Father is going to yank them back in line. They see Christianity as a list of should do’s and don’t do’s and believe that God’s acceptance is based on how well they stay in line. In reality, God never intended us to live as if we have a leash around our neck.

Being on a leash causes dogs to desire escape from their master. Yet, when freedom is finally granted, they often realize what they really wanted was to walk close to their master. Likewise, when we constantly focus on the leash, on what we can and cannot do, we are tempted to sin in a much greater way. On the other hand, when we understand the freedom and grace associated with the Christian Life, we desire nothing more than to be close to our Master, not because of the “law leash” but because of the Spirit living inside us. You might call it a “Spirit leash”.

“When we were controlled by our old nature, sinful desires were at work within us, and the law aroused these evil desires that produced sinful deeds, resulting in death. But now we have been released from the law, for we died with Christ, and we are no longer captive to its power. Now we can really serve God, not in the old way by obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way, by the Spirit.” – Romans 7:5,6 (New Living Translation)

Andy Knight

About the Author

Andy is the user interface designer for YouVersion, the Bible App. He has a passion for sharing God's story of grace and freedom through the internet. Andy lives in Roswell, GA, with his wife and three sons. You can follow him on Twitter at @andyknight.