Our dogs were use to being able to run free in Mississippi. We lived in the middle of a National Forest consisting of thousands of acres. But now their environment is somewhat different. Annie is confined to a small backyard and leashed walks around the neighborhood. Otis (Abigail’s Maltese) has free range of the house as well as the backyard. However, in the one month we’ve lived here Otis has escaped several times. The little fugitive will slip out the front door when no one is looking. We’ll send out a search party and find him wandering all over the neighborhood. The scenario has quickly become old.
A few days ago Otis attempted to runaway again. I caught him this time at the next door neighbor’s house. When I called for him, he looked at me in disdain. He had no intentions of returning home until he had made his rounds. Determined to not be outwitted by a dog I said the magic word – TREAT. “Otis, Do you want a treat?” Would you believe that he was in the kitchen before I could turn around? He sat with his tail wagging and eyes fixed upon the cabinet where treats are found.
As I was sharing this story with my husband this morning, he made a profound statement. He said, “How many times are we just like Otis? When our Master calls we ignore Him and do what we want to do, that is, until there is hope for a blessing.” I know this has been true in my life. Often my obedience is based on the amount of blessings I expect to receive. While we are promised blessings through obedience, (A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day, Deu 11:27) should that be our only motive? Psalms 32 paints a striking picture of the relationship between us and our Master. “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee, Psalm 32:8-9. What exactly is the Lord saying here? Simply put I believe He is saying that we should not act like a dumb animal that must be bribed or enticed to come near. Our eyes should be fixed upon Him and not upon what He can give us. Scripture tells us to seek Lord’s face (I Chronicles 16:11, 2 Chronicles 7:14, Psalms 24:6, Psalms 27:8, Psalms 105:4, Proverbs 7:15, Hosea 5:15) not His hands. Yet, many times I come to Him seeking only what He can give.
I am thankful that my Master is much more understanding than Otis’ master. This dog is in the doghouse! He is not in good graces with me. But I can learn something from him. His actions can serve as a great reminder. Lord, help me to seek Your face. Help me to draw near. Help mine eyes to stay fixed upon You. And let my obedience come from a heart’s desire to please You in all things.
“Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens. Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us, Psalm 123:1-2.