Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Obedience (01/31/05)
TITLE: "Sit ! Dog Sit!"
By Josephus van den Hoek
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If there is one amazing thing about animals it has got to be that they can be tamed. “Sit” is probably the most common word used in obedience training of dogs. This is followed by “say hello” ( the dog lifts his paw) and “roll over”. Breaking the will of a horse to make it obedient to a riders instructions however takes much more time and effort sweat and hard work.
This brings the question to my mind about how easy it is to train us for obedience. As a married man I have accepted some level of obedience to the sound of my wife’s voice. "Do the dishes, get some milk on the way home, lock the doors before you go to bed"; these are all simple daily tasks that require some level of obedience in order to prevent chaos breaking out in the family.
There are so many more levels of obedience that are required to keep our peace with God. The challenge to be obedient to God is in one way different. That is that He does not place any immediate consequences upon us for disobedience. “When God says come to me” He leaves it up to us to make the decision to come or not. He does not threaten us with any kind of punishment. He does not force us to comply. What He does seek from us is that we come to Him out of love for Him.
For an “ungodly” man to come to God there must be some level of curiosity or emptiness which he believes that God can fill. Today God is commonly falling further and further into the background of life rather than to the fore. This in itself is disobedience. When God calls us He may also point out our sinfulness which may cause us to distance ourselves from Him because of our unwillingness to be obedient to His will or instructions. After all, much of what He asks from us is contrary to the ways of our world or as He puts it “the flesh”. God presents us with simple challenges of obedience every day. Do we change the channel during sex scenes on T.V.? Do we delete the cable service because of what it offers? Do we flirt with a good looking stranger? How truthfully do we fill out our tax return?
Obedience to His ways means that we have to turn from our ways. A non Christian person has to learn to submit to “the master”. We are not animals but people with a free will option. We can consciously choose disobedience at any time. The good news is that we can always be forgiven and that it is never to late. This in itself is an amazing gift of grace from the master. Recognizing that God offers us gifts out of love, kindness, grace and relationship and then even offers eternal life with Him,even though we can never be obedient enough, makes obedience to Him all the more attractive.
Thank God that He is unlikely to ask us to “sit” or to “roll over”.
Thank God that He gives us a “disobedience is permitted and I will still love you anyway” clause in our relationship with Him.
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