Walking And Talking With God
A t time of writing, the United Kingdom has been in lockdown for more than two months since the outbreak of the COVID-19 Corona Virus became a worldwide pandemic.
During time of lockdown, God put it on my heart to start writing a Christian blog and so the #ChristianDogWalker blog which you are now reading was born.
My Secret Place
We've lived in the same house in Telford for several decades now and always had dogs. Dog walking is not so much a necessity for our dogs as an excuse for me to take pleasure in God's creation and to pray.
The fields and woods near our house have become my prayer closet, the place where I go to pray "in secret". It's where I go to walk and talk with God.
I partly kid myself that it's also a place I go to for exercise. I say "kid myself" because the bible says that "bodily exercise profiteth little" (1 Timothy 4:8) and therefore exercise isn't a major priority in my life.
You may have thought that prayer was a one-way conversation where a believer mouths a few words upwards towards God in hope that their petition might be answered in some form in the earthly realm. Sometimes that's exactly what happens but God has so much more to offer because Christianity is a relationship not a religion.
God is a person and He seeks relationship with people, especially His children. God speaks and the bible is full of examples. Jesus said "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me" (John 10:27).
God Wants To Meet And Speak With You
To know someone is to spend time with them. To go places with them. To eat and drink with them and especially to talk with them. Knowing about someone is not the same as knowing them personally. Knowing someone requires first hand relationship over a period of time.
When I talk with God I don't hear an audible voice but I do hear a voice in my head that often calls me by name and am able to engage in conversation. It's precious! I'm blessed and it's available 24x7 wherever I go.
This blessing isn't limited to me. You can have this too! God is willing to meet with you right now, just as you are and wherever you are.
Here's your official invitation from Jesus: "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." (Revelation 3:20).
The Enemy Speaks Too
If you think it's far fetched to have a conversation with God then I challenge you to deny that you have heard the enemy speaking to you.
By "the enemy" I mean the devil (Satan) and his helpers. I don't like to use his name because he deserves no respect. He's pure evil and the last person you would ever want to meet or take advice from.
Try to recall when a crazy thought or temptation came into your head to do something that you knew was totally wrong. That's the enemy speaking! He's not called "the tempter" for nothing.
I was once at the top of a steep escalator in London with an old lady standing on the step below and in front of me. As we descended I heard a voice in my head say "push her down the stairs". I burst out laughing. I knew exactly who was speaking.
The enemy often even speaks to you in the first person with a voice that sounds like your own voice to make you think it's you speaking to yourself. He's a nasty piece of work and no friend of yours no matter what he says. Don't listen to him.
As a dog walker, I get to observe the seasons changing. The changes are mostly gradual and subtle but occasionally they emerge quite abruptly.
I love seeing God's living handywork. To me there's such an obvious difference between man-made and God-made.
Creator God paints nature like no artist ever could. He's way beyond "3D". He uses colour, infinite shades, movement, sound, smell, light intensity, shadows, temperature, ambience, even the wind on your face etc. not to mention living things.
Walking our dogs has allowed me to witness the passing seasons many times over the years. Even though every day is unique, you start to recognise the familiar chain of events marking the end of one season and the start of the next.
Whether it's light nights and long days, tall grass, the arrival of butterflies and bees, leaves falling from trees or new ones growing, a noticeable change in temperature, rain, hail, sleet or snow, they each seem strangely familiar and serve as reminders that time passes quickly and we need to use our time well.
A New And Unexpected Season
I was out praying one day and after observing a seasonal change I marvelled and remember saying to the Lord "even though things are changing, they are following the same familiar pattern as before". The Lord immediately responded and said "things may appear to be following a familiar pattern but they are not continuing as before". That was mid-way through 2019 and it got me curious. (It wasn't until the start of 2020 that I would begin to see just what that meant.)
In the mean time, we had recently helped with the start-up of a new church (All Nations Telford) which was in full swing and beginning to find its stride. We were all excited and greatly looking forward to celebrating the church's first birthday at the end of March 2020. That was until the arrival of the COVID-19 Corona Virus mid-March. Suddenly our church was unexpectedly closed. 😒
7th June, 2020