The other morning I came downstairs and I was greeted by Bandit the dog who said to me, “This morning I went outside without my collar!” Just kidding. It was actually Farmer Jay who spoke those words for the grinning dog.
Why would it matter if the dog went out without a collar? Because if left to his own devices, Bandit is his own worst enemy.
Our farm borders a state highway and railroad tracks and both of these present a life-threatening danger to pooches if they are allowed to roam free. When we became dog owners we decided to invest in a wireless radio remote system that creates an unseen boundary to keep our dogs safe. This boundary has been the difference between life and death for our dear doggy friend Bandit. The system is nearly fool proof as long as the dog chooses to play by the rules and not run through the shock emitted at the edge of the border. We had another dog who from chose not to play by the rules and eventually, she paid the ultimate price.
Hello, my name is Christine Davis and left to my own devices I am my own worst enemy.
My life borders the roads the roads of good and evil and both of these present a life-threatening danger to me if left to roam free. Luckily, when my folks became parents they decided to invest in following Jesus which provided for us an unseen fence of unconditional love coupled with an absolute moral code to keep us safe. This rescue mission through faith in Christ and obedience to the unenforceable is nearly foolproof as long as humans choose to play by the rules. Which has been for me and many before me, the difference between life and paying the ultimate price for my folly.
On both sides of the veil.
The “thou shalt nots” trip me up much of my human life and that’s where I chose the evil road. I think that is called temptation. Tell me I should not and I want to. What’s up with that? I am in good company, the Apostle Paul who wrote nearly all the New Testament said he did the things he didn’t want to do and didn’t do the things he wanted to. No one is exempt. Well, there was one exception and he got hung on a cross to cover my wandering ways (yours too if you only just believe it).
Such rebellion doesn’t make God angry it breaks his heart. The Psalms tell us God says:” So I gave them up unto their own heart’s lust: and they walked in their own counsel.” In other words, he allows me to make my own choices, right or wrong and wander around trying to heal my sick mind with my own sick mind. I liken that sort of behavior to beating myself over the head with a hammer to relieve myself of a headache. Which never works. Like when I left the road of following evil and hopped on the good road also known as the self-righteous, earning my way to heaven and looking down my snoot at others road. This is the road that tends to anger the God I see in Jesus Christ.
Most of the trouble in my life was self-created and I don’t doubt for a minute these are lessons I could have learned a softer way had I begun life in close relationship with my Creator. But I was just too stubborn to believe it is that simple. Because I knew (know, still struggling, but less so) better. Jesus said he came to save sinners not the righteous. And my armor of self-righteousness made it impossible for his light to penetrate the hardness of my heart. His amazing grace wasn’t able to save a wretch like me until I was able to confess that I was (still am) a wretch.
And the closer I get to him and the more he shines his light over my life, the more and more obvious my character defects became. Which is a humbling experience. A humbling experience called repentance. And repentance simply means I change direction and stop, when I get to the boundary of God’s spiritual principles. Doesn’t mean I won’t have trouble. But I do have less fear and more peace in the midst of trouble. And I become less of the problem and more of the solution while an earthling.
If I don’t stay within the border of this personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ by reading His Living Word- the Bible, through prayer, through fellowship with other believers, through regular confession and worship (worship of God that is, not worship of self, stuff or others) I will go right back to being the spiritually sick chick I used to be. There is no forgiveness with out repentance because if nothing changes, nothing changes.
It is a one day at time, in a row, gig to keep me from being my own worst enemy, and probably yours too. ©
Be joy filled always,