March 6, 2010
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14
Folks who read the Daily Devotions make my life easier by sending me all kinds of their favorite stories. Here's one of those stories -- one which is about 1900 years old.
It begins with a man who bought a dog which was to be primarily used for hunting. Anxious to see how the dog would perform, he and a friend went out into the fields. It didn't take too long before the dog picked up the scent of a bear. The men knew it was a bear because they could see the tracks.
All went well until the dog stopped, sniffed, and started out in a new direction. The tracks said he was now following a deer.
A few moments later the dog halted and switched directions again. This time the dog had picked up the scent of a rabbit which had crossed the path of the deer. Again and again, the dog switched his prey.
Finally, the breathless hunters managed to catch up with their canine, who was triumphantly barking at the hole of a mouse.
It's a grand story, made the more so because it describes much of humanity. Too many people start out with great plans and giant aspirations. Sadly, the devil, the world, and the flesh do some serious distracting. One after another those temptations show up under our noses and folks eagerly, gladly follow them.
Yes, following those distractions seems like a good and grand idea at the time. But, in retrospect it is easy to see how a lot of ground was covered, but not much was accomplished.
Thankfully, it doesn't have to be that way. As St. Paul says to the church at Philippi, by the Holy Spirit's power we can press on toward the goal the Lord has given us. Distractions can be ignored and the goal can be pursued. It is possible not because we're so good; it is possible because the Holy Spirit is there to help us.
Every moment of every day He is there to provide the power, the wisdom, the guidance, the direction, and the persistence we need to remain faithful. True, faithfulness may not seem as intriguing as some novelty, but the end of the hunt does make it all worthwhile.
Now I wonder, are you thinking to yourself, "I'm a Christian. I know the Savior and I know my job is to be faithful." If you did know all of this, I am glad. But how many people in your family or in your circle of friends are chasing after one thing and then another?
How many have no direction?
Won't you please share this devotion with them? Let them know you don't want to see them spend their days chasing after things as inconsequential as a field mouse.
Tell them of the Savior who kept His eye on the goal of our salvation. Tell them and
then pray that they may see Jesus whose commitment kept Him unerringly on the path which gives all who believe forgiveness and eternal life.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, send the Holy Spirit so I may press on. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries