Jan 7, 2016

Quieting The Dog

At the risk of losing some readers I must state upfront that I am not a dog lover. Dogs seem to like me (or most of them) but I don’t like them.

Dogs are too much work for people like me who are blessed with OCD. They leave droppings that someone has to pick up and make messes that someone has to repair or clean up.

No, I’m not a dog lover. I watch what they do to the lawns of people who live in my neighborhood. I even see what they do to my yard when their owners are not responsible and choose to ignore it when their dogs leave a deposit on my lawn; only to be discovered by me as I am cutting the grass.

So, it won’t surprise you that when my next door neighbor got dogs I wasn’t exactly thrilled. I like my neighbor and am glad that she and her family still live in the same house she was raised in.

She moved in after her father died (whom I still miss) and because of her compassionate heart, she has allowed her adult children to keep their dogs with her. And, as though you didn’t already know, one of them LOVES to bark; EACH AND EVERYTIME I GO OUTSIDE.

Not the kind of bark that says; “Hi neighbor, I’m glad to see you.” No, that dog lives across the street or down the block and comes over usually with its owner.

No, I get the dog that is little and annoying and yips and yaps and growls at me EACH AND EVERYTIME I GO OUTSIDE. The dog is there, taunting me, waiting to pounce on me and if it could, sink its teeth in me.

Its yips and yaps and growls at me so aggressively that oftentimes it will actually charge me by running into the chain link fence. Its desire is for me, but I am the one who is supposed to rule over the dog.

I am the human, and the dog, well, is the dog. I am the “master” and the dog, well, is still the dog, and yet it still lays waiting to pounce on me.

Sin is like that. It may seem little, but it is annoying as each and every time we go to places we shouldn’t go (as well as should go), it is waiting there, taunting, waiting to pounce and sink its teeth in.

And yet, unlike me with the dog, with sin, God tells us to master it. We are in charge, not sin.

“And if you don’t do well, sin is lying in wait for you, ready to pounce; it’s out to get you, you’ve got to master it.” (Genesis 4:7)

You might be thinking; “How do I do that? Even though it is a little problem or is small (like the dog) it won’t go way. It is annoying and yips and yaps and growls at me even though I say no

The Bible exhorts us to:

“…let God work His will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and He’ll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet.. (James 4:7-10)

In other words;

  1. Submit to God.
  2. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
  3. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

My friend, although it may not seem like there is anything you can do, there is ALWAYS another way. The Bible encourages us:

No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; He’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; He’ll always be there to help you come through it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)

My friends, it’s time to quiet the “dog” in every area of our lives. I may not able to master my neighbor’s dog, but with the Lord’s help (according to scripture) I CAN master sin’s attempt to control me.

All Scripture taken from MESSAGE Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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