I am not sure how many people read my blog entry each week (when I don’t forget to write one), but I am fairly sure that anyone that visits the church website this week will be surprised to see this blog title at the top of the page.
Nonetheless . . . it is a problem. My dog will not come anymore. He used to come, but has decided against it in recent months. When Dana and I first got our dog, Spencer, we took him to dog obedience classes where he learned to come, sit, lay down, walk on a leash and various other beneficial skills. And I remember the instructor telling us that the primary goal of the dog obedience class was not the various skills, but getting our dog to a point where he trusted us enough to submit to us. The instructor said that if Spencer submitted, then he would simply do as we said without hesitation. He could overcome his doggy desires and learn simply to respond to our commands.
As I reflect on this week’s text in James 4, I wonder how similar we are to Spencer who refuses to come to his master anymore. The truth is that I don’t just want Spencer to come to me because I need to demonstrate my power . . . it is for his own protection. If my dog is running towards the road or towards some other danger I want to be able to rescue him away by calling him. It is the same with God.
God does not ask us to submit to Him because he wants to demonstrate His power and supremecy over us. God calls to us to submit because he knows what is best for us and desires to guide us towards what is good and right. God wants us to submit so that we do not have to rest upon our own limited knowledge and strength, but can instead experience the wisdom and power of God working through us.
My grandpa had a submissive dog. He used to balance a hamburger on his dog’s nose and then tell the dog to stay. As badly as the dog wanted to eat the hamburger, he would not until given the command by my grandpa.
May we learn to push away our wants and desires this week, wait for the Lord’s guidance, and trust that our Master is truly good and wholly worthy of our submission. And may our Master "do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us." Ephesians 3:20