Not long ago, I had coffee with a friend of mine (yeah, you got it, my coffee friend who seems to find unique ways to get me out of my zone and now has me blogging, write a devotional book, FB, Twitter and even manages to encourage~ahem~me to continue with learning Japanese. 😉) We talked about family, pets, and life in general. I had shared her about our dog Lucy, and how recently she had become afraid to take walks in the neighborhood. Something she always loved to do with my husband. We talked about different reasons that could have triggered this fear and what to try to encourage her to start taking her walks once more. Once I tried the “give the dog a treat” routine but it didn’t work. She took the treat and ran back inside. If I went with my husband, she would go without being too difficult. My husband didn’t want to force the issue and if she didn’t want to go he didn’t make her.
So my friend shares with me about a dog her family once had and how he loved to roam their neighborhood and visit other houses. She said that they used to give their dog a treat just to come INSIDE the house! 🐶 I had a good laugh because I must admit that was a first. But it gets better. She went on to say that the dog would wake them up in the middle of the night to go outside. Her husband would get up, take the dog outside, and the dog would promptly turn around on the porch, sit down and wait for his treat! 😂 Needless to say, that practice stopped rather quickly.
As I reflected on our conversation that day, I thought about the distractions of life and how easily we can get off track if we aren’t careful. The enemy lurks nearby looking for opportunities to distract us and will sometimes dangle a treat before us taking our eyes of the true prize which is Christ Jesus. He entices us with something so good (or so it seems) that we keep coming back for more. He trains us into thinking we have to have more of what he is offering.
I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.Philippians 3:14
Can you imagine how the enemy must have felt when he heard about this? I can almost imagine him saying something like this: “Who does He think He is? I’m the prize. I’m the one to follow.” I liken his attitude to that of a child not getting his/her way and stomping his/her feet. Don’t get me wrong, the enemy isn’t a child, he is a very dangerous adversary and we need to be on guard. Remember Job? Not only did Satan attack Job’s character, he took Job’s property, his children, and attacked his health. His friends and family were convinced he needed to repent of something.
When Paul wrote to the Philippians, he tells them that he forgets the things of the past and reaches forward to the things ahead. Why do you think he tells us that? The past, it can’t be changed. No matter how hard you try, the past is already a done deal. Now the prize? That’s something worth reaching for. One day we will attain the prize of being with Christ Jesus. Until that time comes, we need to continue pressing forward and doing the things that we are called to do. God bless!