He is a dog. I know this. But to have lived with him as part of our family for almost eight years, the term “dog” seems too…primitive. To me he is, well, just Moses.
Each new day allows him to prove how “un dog-like” he is. Not too many dogs beg for a microscopic dab of toothpaste on their nose while his owner is brushing her teeth.
Dogs usually don’t babysit the pet rabbit and give her firm discipline when she begins to misbehave.
Dogs don’t usually purposefully walk into the path of the leaf blower to cool off after his owners mow the grass.
And bird dogs definitely don’t usually submissively play tag with a rooster.
You know what it’s like. Those small special moments you have with your pet that lock your bond with him. He knows your next move and you know what he is thinking. For the doubters out there who think dogs don’t know what you say when you tell them how much you love them, I disagree. I am confident Moses relishes my praises and my affectionate words.
For him to be so “un dog-like” most of the time, it comes as somewhat of a shock to me when he acts very, well, “dog-like”.
The other night I followed my usual bed time routine. Checked all the doors to make sure they were locked. Then I let Moses out for his last bathroom break of the night. As soon as we walked outside, I noticed it.
The white tail, the long bony legs, and the tall antlers. This wasn’t the first time a deer had been seen grazing in our yard. Coyotes and other such night time prowlers often come a bit too close to our house for comfort. This was the first time, however, Moses seemed extremely offended that Bambi found our grass forage worthy.
After completing his business, Moses suddenly realized the presence of the visitor. Usually a warning chase to the end of the yard is satisfactory enough for Moses. This night, however, he intended to make sure the deer left the county.
After disappearing for what seemed like minutes, Moses made his way back to the front porch. His posture and his eyes begged for me to tell him how impressive he truly is. He proudly pranced back inside probably hoping I would brag about his daring chase. Instead, I scolded him for leaving our property.
Events such as deer chasing remind me that this bird dog is a… bird dog. Take away the cuddles, the lap sitting, the soul searching eyes, and the submission to a hedgehog, and you have the real deal… a bird dog. His true nature does not often parade itself. But when it does, I am reminded that his pure bred tendencies still exist.
Does this remind you of…you? You try to do right. You try to live a life holy and pleasing in the Lord’s sight. But then you mess up again. You have been forgiven of a past, but it won’t stop reminding you that it used to own you. You try to do what Colossians 3 tells us…
“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature…You used to walk in thee ways, in the life you once lived…You have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.”- Colossians 3:5-10 (summarized)
And then you mess up again. It seems like with each small victory, the enemy is right there to whisper to you how unworthy you are, how unholy you are, and how hopeless you are. In fact, in the eyes of many, for you to act so “un Christian-like” so much of the time, it comes as a shock to them when you act very, well, “Christian-like”.
It’s time for a refresher course on your true identity. If you are indeed saved, you need to look at this checklist below. The whispers of the enemy can be hushed by the shouts of God’s perception of you.
You are God’s child (John 1:12)
You have been justified (Romans 5:1)
You are Christ’s friend (John 15:15)
You belong to God (1 Corinthians 6:20)
You are a citizen of heaven (Philippians 3:20)
You were chosen before the creation of the world (Ephesians 1:4,11)
You are forgiven (Ephesians 1:8)
You have purpose (Ephesians 1:9)
You have hope (Ephesians 1:12)
You are included (Ephesians 1:13)
You have access to the Father (Ephesians 2:18)
You can bring glory to God (Ephesians 3:21)
You can forgive others (Ephesians 4:32)
You are not alone (Hebrews 13:5)
This list could almost be never ending. I could continue. Look in the bible. God does continue. One of my personal favorite ones is that I am promised eternal life (John 6:47) I once was lost but now I’m found.
Until we shed this flesh, and our true self, our soul, is in heaven, we will continue to struggle with this flesh. We will make mistakes. We will fall short. Like a bird dog acting like a bird dog, we will act very…human. Thank goodness our goodness is not what it takes to get us to heaven. It is only by redemption through Christ’s blood that we are called children of God.
“So that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”- Titus 3:7