Five months ago we rescued a two month old male Labrador. At the age of seven months Jack walks without a leash. He heels, he sits, he comes, he drops things from his mouth when told to. He is the envy of the other dogs that see him each day because he is not shackled to his leash. He runs ahead of me, or lingers behind, he runs the fields and the tree line. He loves to run in the tall grass and I love to watch him zig zag through the grass. He runs into the forest chasing rabbits and chases squirrels up trees. Even in full flight of rabbits he will cut short the chase when commanded.
Now to get to the point we are at now took discipline and consistency. There was a sternness to my voice when needed and punishment too when required. Yet, now that Jack and I have the right relationship, now that he understands his need to submit, his need for obedience, his brokenness so to speak, it is Jack that reaps the rewards. I would say that he has more freedom than any other dog in the neighborhood.
You know, this has been my experience with the Lord. I am sure some will object to the master/dog analogy but for me it really fits. As a young man and a young Christian ( came to the Lord at 27) I was very headstrong, rebellious and undisciplined. I marvel at the patience of my Master, my trainer. I too experienced discipline and I would say that it came mostly in the Lord allowing me to suffer the consequences of my actions. If He had shielded me from them I doubt I would have ever learned a thing.
Another aspect of my dog is that he always keeps me in his line of sight. He could be fifty yards away but as long as he can see me, as long as he knows I am there, he is at rest in his activities. He can be dashing around the tall grass and suddenly his head will come up, see where I am, and then he his back to his activities. His world revolves around his proximity to his master and all is right with his world as long as he can see me and is close to me.
Now, consider the un-disciplined dog. He walks with his leash and is always straining against it. He never gets to run, he never gets to explore, his master cannot trust him and always has to keep him on a tight leash. The disobedient dog will never experience freedom. The unruly dog is forever confined. He is constantly being choked as he pulls against his leash. Can I suggest that this is the experience of the immature saint, the saint who would not yield to discipline, who would not be mastered, whose will is forever clashing with the will of the Master.
To be free in the Lord Jesus is to be obedient. The broken-hearted and the contrite saint is the free saint. We have been called to freedom. It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery (Gal 5:1) For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives (Heb 12:6) Will you be free? Then will you bow the knee? It is in the bowing of the knee, the yielding of the spirit and the obedience to His word and voice that throws of the shackles of sin and produces a peace that surpasses understanding. And that peace comes from trust and faith in Jesus, not only as our Saviour which He most certainly is, but above all our Lord and Master in whom we follow and obey all the days of our lives......bro Frank