How to Lose Control in 4 Easy Steps!
My family recently adopted a dog from the humane society. She was raised by a family that couldn’t control her, so she had some bad habits. It took her awhile to warm up to us, to get the rules, and abide by them.
But now, after being taken care of, trained, played with, and fed for three months, she has grown to love us. Our dog shows affection to us by grooming us with her tongue. She is constantly licking us. This is her way of letting us know we are family.
This is all very cute (if not somewhat gross to have dog spit all over my arm) and makes it sound like our dog is now perfect. She is not. She’s close to perfect, until I put her on a leash to go for a walk.
On a leash, there is no grooming. She hardly knows I’m there. She pays attention to every sound, movement, and shadow of anything except for me. When the leash is on, she is in her own little world trying to chase and kill everything that moves. After all her pulling and lunging, I am shocked my left arm is still attached to my body.
I assume that when she’s on a walk she thinks she’s on her own. She is in charge. I am nothing; she must attack all-comers. I have tried teaching her in many ways to pay attention to me, to not pull, and to relax when deer and squirrels scamper around.
She has none of it.
Taking her on walks is not enjoyable. No one in the family will take her on walks anymore except me. No one wants to be with a rebellious, out of control dog yanking their arm off.
When our dog is home she’s well-behaved. She knows we’re in control and abides by our rules. But on a leash she forgets who I am, stops paying attention to me, and does her own crazy thing.
This is much like humanity’s relationship with God! When things are comfortable and our needs are met, we’re pretty good. But as soon as we feel we’re on our own, we forget God and go nuts, freaking out about everything.
“For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.” –Romans 1:21
The Apostle Paul says that everyone knows who God is, there is no excuse for not knowing God, based on the evidence for Him in creation (Romans 1:20). Yet despite this knowledge, people turn from God. The first step is not glorifying Him. Instead of worshipping Him, we turn to other things—idols, coveting material things, philosophy, etc. We forget who God is.
The next step is a loss of gratitude. If God is not worthy of glory, then why thank Him?
After that we get carried away in our imaginations. We invent other theories about how things got here: evolutionary processes, hard work and determination, humanistic progress, etc. We imagine we are on our own, fending for ourselves.
If we stop glorifying God, being thankful, and get lost in our wrong imaginations, soon our heart is darkened. We fall into all manner of sin and disobedience. Why listen to God? I’m in control now.
The rest of Romans 1 details the grossness of our sin.
The first step in falling into sin is not glorifying God, followed by not being thankful. Then our minds get carried away and we freak out and do sin.
Don’t be like my dog. Remember that God loves you, cares for you, and promises great things to those who abide with Him. There’s no need to get sucked into imaginary theories and philosophies. There’s no need to fall into sin and get freaked out by every movement of the world.
Trust God. Glorify God. Thank God. Obey God. That’s the formula for peace. Give it a try! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go ice my left arm.
Pray for increasing knowledge of who God is that will increase your desire to glorify Him.
Thank Him for who He is.
- Thank God for His great love for you on display in the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
- Pray for a sound mind, satisfied in and thankful for who God is, that will lead you to avoid sin and freaking out!