“That’s right. If you diligently keep all this commandment that I command you to obey—love God, your God, do what he tells you, stick close to him—God on his part will drive out all these nations that stand in your way.” –Deuteronomy 11:22-23 (The Message)
One of our dog trainers from the Humane Society suggested using baby food to teach Lexi to walk by my side. First I froze a meat-flavored baby food in its jar. Then I held the jar at my side while Lexi walked beside me. She stuck close to me so she could lick the baby food. Eventually, the trainer assured me, she would form the habit of walking by my side, even without the inducement of frozen baby food. Likewise, God wants us to learn to walk by his side. He appealed to the Israelites by promising to drive out their enemies if they stuck close to him. Ultimately he hoped they would form the habit of faithfulness and devotion. As we continue to learn to walk with God, we realize that he rewards us when we stick close to him. He blesses us with peace, hope, and mercy. In turn, we become ever more faithful and devoted. Faithfulness is walking by God’s side.