One of the most beautiful sights to see is a well-trained dog walking alongside its master. The dog could be ugly, short, missing a leg or it could be very average or it could be beautiful. The outside package does not matter. When we see him in his master’s shadow with no leash – happily walking beside his master, attentive to the most subtlest of clues….We all want that relationship!! It does not matter the breed of dog, we all stop and look. Secretly, everyone of us wishes our dog would do that. Most of us watch a dog owner being yanked around and pulled everywhichway. The dog in total control of its owner. The dog will not listen because it has not been taught obedience. Some of us will teach our dogs up to a certain point and then say “good enough.” We know they will obey to a point, looks good to others, is impressive to most, but deep down you know you cannot trust that dog to fully obey. You just got tired of spending time training the dog. Some owners try to circumvent the training process altogether…..they will buy an invisible fence, use “shock collars” or a pinch collar. These dogs obey out of fear….fear of punishment if they do not obey.
I believe that this parable is so pertinent to people today.
The Ultimate Master is God, the “owner” represents people and the “dog” is our inner selfish nature based on feelings or our soul. There are three types of dog owners….Pre-Christian or those that do not have a knowledge of God, the “church” or professing christians, who proclaim knowledge of God but are truly limited to Sunday attendance, good deeds or outward “signs” of piety like bumper stickers, logos, and religious adornments. Finally, there are those whose “walk” truly reflect their heart and obedience to following Jesus, laying down their own desires and wants to be obedient to a calling God has on their life.
Hosea 4:6 “My people perish for lack of knowledge…….”
The “pre-christian” is the dog dragging its owner around, it has no knowledge of its Master because they do not know the Truth. John 14:6 “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” This dog is in total control, leading its owner wherever it wants; pulling and dragging the owner around town. Leading by its feelings at the moment.
The “Churched” dog owner is the dog that is obedient to a point. The owner has taken the dog manual (Bible), and pulled out what they need, when they need it, to get the dog (inner selfish soul) trained to a “good enough” point. They are also the ones that will use shock collars and invisible fences to “force” obedience through pain. However, what happens is that some dogs will endure a moment of pain to run through the barrier to get what it wants on the other side of the fence. A moment of pain is worth the reward they see on the other side because their heart is not to be obedient to the Master. “Churched” dog owners have religion and rules but no relationship with the MASTER.
Finally there are the “Dog Masters”, those that have laid down their agenda, feelings, and wants to read the whole “dog manual” (the Bible), to have a relationship with the Ultimate Master, the Father, God the Creator. They have given their obedience to the Master through His son’s payment for our sins on the cross. They are walking in freedom that obedience to the Master brings…they walk freely next to Him with No leash, focusing all their attention on His path for them that day. That is why we all are amazed at the obedient dog to its master. It is a beautiful relationship that was God’s intent all along.
2 Peter 1:2 “Grace and peace be multiplied in you in the knowledge of God and in Jesus our Lord.”