May 6th Devotion

Lean In
by Annie Yorty


“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8a NASB1995).

Jake’s massive weight almost knocked me over. The gentle giant, an English mastiff, pressed hard against my legs as I stood talking with his owner. “He’s really taken a shine to you,” she remarked as I stumbled back, trying to counterbalance the two-hundred-plus pounds pushing against me.

I’ve noticed the same interesting behavior in my furry beast labradoodle. When I rise in the morning, Misha prances to my side, pressing the length of his body against my legs dangling off the bed. As I sit at the table for lunch, he sidles up, inclining his long warm body against my thigh. If I’m standing at the front door chatting with visitors, he leans in hard against my hip. Thankfully, Misha weighs only fifty pounds.

Comfortable with the contact, Misha simply leans, looking ahead, waiting. If I fail to notice him within a moment or two, he twists his head around to implore me with round poodle eyes charmingly obscured by bushy black eyebrows. Inevitably, my hand will drift down to him, tousling soft floppy ears or scratching his skinny poodle rump. His satisfaction palpable, Misha leans in harder.

Canine experts say dogs press against their humans for a variety of reasons. Anxious dogs come close to feel more protected and secure. Playful pups lean in to reciprocate love when receiving treats or attention. But most dogs simply crave human nearness. They revel in the touch of their master. I believe we may have something to learn from our furry friends.

Are we most like the anxious dog, waiting until we’re at our wit’s end before we turn to God? Do we try to withstand the stress of life by reliance on ourselves? Eventually, the pressure drives us to lean into Him for help, security, and provision. Of course, we can and should sprint to God during times of struggle the moment we realize our need. The Bible is clear that God stands ready to supply anyone who cries out to Him. “He gives strength to the weary, and to the one who lacks might He increases power” (Isaiah 40:29 NASB1995).

Perhaps like the second dog, we only notice God when He gives a blessing. We flit through our days, distracted by busyness, not thinking much about God until He captures our attention with a “treat.” Finally, sensing His care, we move back in to offer thanks and express love to Him.

But shouldn’t we be more like Misha, not waiting for a crisis to force us, or enticement to draw us, to our Master’s side? In Proverbs, God warns us what not to lean on—our own understanding. “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 your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NASB). Leaning on ourselves proves completely unreliable, throwing us constantly off balance.

This verse also instructs us to lean on God in all our ways. Every day. Constantly. Not just when we run dry and need something. What if we pressed into God morning, noon, and night, sticking close to His side whenever He moves? So close that God’s presence, His touch, is unmistakable. Perhaps if we stayed near perpetually, we wouldn’t get so worn out and discouraged by the cares of life.

There’s something else we can learn from Misha. He doesn’t know the meaning of shame. Just a minute after gulping down one of my socks for the umpteenth time, he butts into my irritation with a cold, wet nose seeking my unconditional love. But when we have strayed into sin, we often distance ourselves from God. We wonder if He will forgive us, if He will still love us.

Like Misha, I crave my Master’s presence, His touch. When I draw near to Him, I feel His guidance, His strength, His love. His hand upon me, I am secure. God’s simple command, given through Jesus to His first disciples, is “Follow Me” (Matthew 4:19 NASB). Stick close. Lean in. He is all we need.
Posted in

No Comments


Recent

Archive

 2022

Categories

Tags

10 nations 5th bowl judgment 6th Bowl Anxiety Armageddon Attributes of God Autism Battles Battle Be on Guard Be still Bearing with one another Being Still Bible Blessing God Bowl Judgment #2 Bow Busyness Comfort Coming of Jesus Contentment Content Courage Crown of righteousness Directing our paths Disappointment Discipleship Earthquakes Easter Encouragement End times Eric Lidell Eternity Evil Exemplary prayer Faith over fear Faith wavers Faithful with Litlle Feeding the Fire Fellowship with God Free Generosity Giants Gideon Giving thanks God at work God in our midst God is working God's Help God's Holiness God's Involvment God's Timing God's Whispers God's call on your life God's delays God's direction God's pleasure God's will Grattitude Guarding our words Hearing from God Heart of Service Heart of the problem Hidden Blessings His Love Hope If Only Incomparable Word Jesus' Kingdom Jesus' return Jesus Lightning Listen for His voice Listening Little by little Living godly Love Loving God's word Moments More Need New Covenant Not Looking back Obstacles One world religion People Persistence in prayer Pour in spirit Power Praising God Pray without ceasing Prayer life Prayer Pray Progress Protection Proverbs Purpose Rainbows Reading the bible Reason Redemption Rejoicing Rock Self-Focus Serviing Setbacks Shepherd Singing Spiritual Vitamins Standing tall Stepping out Still on the throne Striving Thank God Thankfulness The Good News The Prize The Tongue The Word The gift Thunder Time with God Trumpet Two witnesses Vision Waiting patiently Waterfall Weak Weary Soul Wisdom Worry Worship You matter Your race all together antichrist assumptions balancing things best laid plans blessings coming of the Lord continuing in sin daily bible study darkness delight in the word of God delight distractions doubt drinking water endurance everyday faith family breakdown fear forest for the trees godlessness godliness godly life good times grace growing up grumbling hard times hearts towards heaven heat joy kings of the east knowledge lasting Covenant living for Jesus longing for God loving one another make a way mark of the beast miracles missing names of God needing Answers nothing goes right patience peace pleasing God prepared provision rapture relationships running searing seas turned to blood season set example setting out sing unto the Lord sin spend time with Jesus sunburn thanksgiving thanksgivi thought life trusting God two-witnesses unanswered prayers understanding unfulfilled desires waiting walk faithfully walk in the light walk with God walking with God want water to blood waver in prayers weapon white horse willingness word of God world chaos yes to God