Friday, July 13, 2007

God's Special Pack of Dogs?

Some people think of themselves as though they were a stubborn and resistant piece of cement and that God could hardly wait to break them. “Jesus! Do whatever it takes to break Ralph Harris; he’s just so hard hearted. I can’t use Him until he’s broken!”

“Yes, Father, I see what you mean. I’ll work up a plan and get the angels on it right away. He’s a tough one, but we’ll get it done.”

Those who think this way often explain the circumstances of their days along these lines, as though the One who had rescued them was now the One resisting them. Rubbish. Everyone born again by the Spirit has been born of a new nature, and has everything in keeping with the terrific new creation they have become. At the core of their being they will never again be unyielding pavement, nor will they have a rebellious spirit, nor will they need to be broken. If believers believe that they have a rock for a heart, then they will interpret most every hardship or difficulty in their day as God working to bust them a good one, getting their attention and securing their allegiance. “Knock that off, son! Or I’ll really give it to you next time!”

Sometimes I give my dog a boot to her backside, sending her a message, but she’s a dog and we do not speak the same language, nor do we have the same nature, nor do I live in her! I may get the behavior I want (and the lowered head and tail between the legs, as well), but so what? Do I get any glory for what I’ve done? Any worship or praise? Is she glad and thankful for the boot? No! She just wants to do whatever it takes to avoid it in the future. Is that how God treats us – like His special pack of dogs?

That’s a dog’s life, but it’s not mine and it’s not yours!

(Excerpted from my book, “Better Off Than You Think,” this comes from chapter 13—The End of Pretending. The point of the chapter is that frustration, suffering and hardship happen to us not because God is displeased or because the Devil has broken through to harass us, but so God Himself may be found in us and do something through us. Frustration, suffering and hardship keep us from pretending we can do anything apart from God, and keep us to knowing Him and finding Him within us…and that’s life.)

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