Rules Or Relationship

walking the dog
Originally uploaded by Yersinia
Not that we are adequate in ourselves...
2 Corinthians 3:5

Have you ever watched someone walking a dog on a lead, when the dog doesn't want to go where its owner is going? The owner is constantly tugging on the lead, pulling the dog from here and there, telling it to 'stop that' and 'come back here.' That's the way a lot of us live. We are on a 'law lead.' Our lives consist of 'Stop that; come back here; don't do that.' Only it's in terms of 'Read your Bible; pray; go to church; pay your tithes; witness.' Now, these are certainly the things we should be doing, but God never meant us to do them at the end of a lead. What a difference when you see a dog and its owner that have a strong relationship. The dog doesn't need a lead to go for a walk. Its owner can just speak a word and the dog responds. Now we're not comparing ourselves to dogs, we're comparing performance-based Christian living to relationship-based Christian living. Big, big difference!

Paul writes: 'Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.' When God redeemed you, He wrote His law in your heart and mind (Hebrews 10:16). That means He wants to relate to you from the inside. You shouldn't need an external system of rules to 'keep you in line,' because you have internalised God's Word and you have a desire to obey and please Him from your heart.

Used with permission from UCB Word for Today. Free issues are available here for the UK and Republic of Ireland.


GrandmaK said…
What a wonderful analogy! Thank you! Then next time I walk Dutchess I will remember this! Helps to have personal experiences to help relate to the lessons of God! Cathy
Wanda said…
Good devotional time Mike.

I think following the Shepherd, is better that dog routine.

Great way to look at this passage.
Pietro said…
True words. I think the basis is to love God and our neighbour, and this must be necessarily in our heart and mind.
Gudl said…
very true.
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