My wife and I once owned a schnauzer named Rags. He was your typical cute little dog that followed us around the house, ate our food if we left it on the coffee table, and had that little yippy bark that made your ears bleed if someone knocked on the front door. We adopted him from some friends of ours that were moving to Hawaii and couldn’t take him. It was either us or the Humane Society…so we took him. My wife loved that dog. She would get him groomed and put bandanas around his neck. He owned a couple sweaters. He never was wanting or without everything a dog could possibly need to be happy and healthy.
Rags was a house dog. He slept on our furniture and sat on our bed and rolled around on our carpet. In the eyes of my wife and our friends he was the poster dog for cute and adorable dogs. Then one day he went outside to do his “business” and when I went out to yell for him…no Rags. So I trudge out in to the cold, “Rags! Come here!….Rags! Come on!” Then I saw him. “RAGS NO!! GET INSIDE NOW!”
Rags, our cute, adorable, house dog was at the edge of our yard, at the edge of the woods, rolling around in a nasty, smelly, rotting….deer carcass. Yep, our cute little dog that got bandanas and perfumes put on him and wore precious little sweaters every now and then was free and out of his mind diving around getting as much wet, putrid, stinky deer funk on him as quickly as he possibly could…then wanted to come in my house and lay on the couch.
You know what? We’re all Rags. God adopts us, brings us into His family, lets us live in His house, gives us everything we could possibly ever need and then whenever we get the chance…we find the first nasty deer carcass we can find and roll around in it…then we want to come back in the house and have Daddy love on us. Romans 7:21-23 says:
“So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.”
Christ died to set us free, that we might live as children of God, yet we continually run back to the world. The Spirit is leading us in the way of Christ and our flesh is pulling back, tempting us to go the way of the world. So where is the hope, for the Rags of the world?
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:1-2)
The lure of the world is strong, but through faith in Jesus Christ we are free from the law of sin and death. He gives us the ability to serve Him, love Him, and desire Him more than the cheap pleasures of the world. There’s a war going on inside of us, between the flesh and the Spirit, but if we place our hope firmly in the cross and continue to fight, we have already won, in Christ. We still fall, we still fail, we still roll around in a carcass occasionally, but our loving Father “keeps” us (Jude 24) and nothing will separate us from His love (Romans 8:38-39)…including the occasional deer funk.
May we strive to walk by the Spirit, not gratifying the flesh.
May we continually look to Jesus, our superior Pleasure.
May we learn to follow.