Saturday, March 1, 2014

Obedience Training? Really?

Did you ever try to train a dog to walk properly?
It takes work.
And a strong leash.
But a loving owner has to do it, as unpleasant as it can sometimes be.
The dog will pull and drag and jump and try to run away, even though he likes going out and being with you. He's so excited. He has tons to do and a very definite agenda. He's glad you're along for the ride but, well, it's his ride.
He has no clue.

That's what obedience training is for.
It's the owner's job to hold on tight until the dog learns what is best for him and ultimately, for everybody. And, even after he's learned, he still needs a firm hand because without it, you know exactly what will happen.

Woo hoo! I'm outa here!

And sometimes, the dog never does learn. That's when he lives in a kennel or stays tied up in the back yard.

So who restrains me? Who keeps me from getting in trouble?
That, my friends, is the job of the Holy Spirit. 
And He does it not only for me, but for everybody else. And that's what I'm thinking about today.

The mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains it will do so until He is taken out of the way.--2Thessalonians 2:7

The Holy Spirit holds our leash. As a believer, He holds mine to the extent my free will allows Him, but he also holds back the effects of general evil among the unbelieving world, a world that benefits from a restraint they don't understand and don't recognize.

Do you remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining that He may be revealed in His own time.--2Thessalonians 2:5

I can't imagine a world in which evil is not restrained.
It's bad enough the way things are.
Megalomaniacs. Serial Killers. Genocide. They are rare. Truly. That's why we notice them and are outraged. What would the world be like if atrocities were our daily fare? I can't. I don't think anybody really can. The world could be overrun by evil, but it isn't.
The Holy Spirit is holding the leash of evil. 
And waiting.

Someday, He will let go of His leash, but until then, I can use this time if I understand what it is for. It is within the bounds of His restraint that I can use what He teaches me to form a healthy conscience. I can learn to follow His laws. I can learn to enjoy and share His love. I can learn holiness. Holiness. Communion with a holy God. If I really were a dog, it might look like this:



  1. Wise words, JoAnne. Night is coming when no one can work. Have a blessed week!

    1. Night is coming. Yes, I guess it is. A new way to think about it all. Thanks for your insight.

  2. I know there are times I need a strong leash! And sometimes, I tend to take myself off of it and then come back with a guilty look on my face. But, I am thankful for His grace and how He always lets me back on.

    1. No kidding. Just imagining that guilty look, and so familiar with it. Thanks, Jen.

  3. Really good analogy! I'm so glad our Heavenly Father keeps a firm grip on us even when I try to get loose.

    1. Yes, ma'am. Until we keep pulling so long that He lets us go our own way for awhile. That's when we can get in real trouble. Thanks, Alecia!

  4. wow that is a great analogy. Thank you for sharing your sweet blog at the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop ♥