Our family had a dog that was hit by a car several years ago. Freckles was a Brittany Spaniel and an amazing one at that. Brittany’s are bird dogs. I once saw Freckles grab a bird right out of the air. We buried Freckles in a grove of trees at the back of the property, and I promised Lily that day when she was ready for another dog I would get one for her.
Two months later in February, the day came when Lily approached me ready for another dog. Over the next weeks, we went to several dog shelters, visited rescue agencies online, and window shopped at all the local pet shops. It was at a pet shop we found Belle. Belle was a mix of Chihuahua and Rat Terrier. She was such a cute little puppy. “Was” being the key word. Lily fell in love, and I dropped a load of cash.
Well, Belle grew, and although she is a little dog, there is one problem. Belle thought she owned the house. Belle thought every room was hers and treated it as such. She ran and played throughout the house. Belle slept in all the beds. She even unmade them so she could get under the covers. Belle was notorious for hogging the bed and couch. She always seemed to be underfoot. She thought she has the run of the house, and honestly, she did.
Hey, don’t laugh; at least it wasn’t a cat or my kids. I can’t deal with cats and spoiled children.
While reading one morning, I came across this passage of Scripture.
“God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God, and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becoming at home and mature in us . . . ”
I John 4:17
I often think about our spiritual lives as houses. A house with many rooms, representative of all of the areas of life: work, family, leisure, church, etc.… I have to ask myself what I allow to have run, to have reign, in my spiritual house. Does God’s love? I know at times it hasn’t. I have let greed and lust run rampant in my house. At other times, self-centeredness and selfishness have ruled the roost. During those times I am ashamed to admit that I wasn’t providing God much of a temple in which to reside.
How many times have I handed over the deed of my "will" to God, but found myself like Paul saying:
“And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?”
Can you relate? My desire is to let God, His love, His purity, His grace - everything that is His very nature - have access to my whole being, but I find that instead I succumb to my desires and give them the keys to the palace. Where can I, where can you find relief?
“Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Yes, the answer is Jesus! Coming to Him often, allowing Him full access to our brokenness, placing our desires and very nature before His transforming presence, and surrendering to His will. How thankful I am for grace, His grace.
“My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Father, forgive for the many times I have denied you entrance into my house. Forgive me that I often let my flesh and pride rule. Take my house and rescue it, reclaim it, redeem it, and rebuild it. Take my life and make it yours. I give you all.
Looking to crate the dog… and my flesh.