This morning I woke up with a list of things to do which included cleaning the fish we caught the night before. After pouring a custom Starbucks quality coffee in my cup, I went out on our back deck and proceeded to size up these tasks. Gus (our senior citizen dog) came along for the fresh air as I opened up the ice filled cooler. It was full of fish ready for the knife and as I looked over at Gus, he had the biggest smile on his face. I then glanced back at the fish and shared a victorious smile with Mr. Gustavo. This was a moment of reflection for me as I became submerged into deep thought.
Obviously our dog wouldn’t know what to do with a fish unless it wasn’t processed into dog food and placed in his bowl. In fact, if he were to be relocated out in the wild and was forced to fend for himself, the pour guy wouldn’t make it. This got me thinking about myself and if I was transplanted into a primitive situation, would I have the survival skills to sustain life. This past weekend we took the family on a camping trip, ate wood fired food and slept in tents but it was only for a few days. Embarrassingly I mustered up the strength to complain about the air mattress and fishing arrangements.
There’s less than a one percent DNA difference between everyone who has ever has, is and will live on this earth. With that being said a question is presented, “Have I become domesticated like this dog?”
It’s natural to compare yourself to other people and although they look like me, there’s often a huge difference. It’s kinda like the side by side comparison of a dog and a wolf. You’ll also find less than a one percent difference between a dog and a wolf while they are very different in behavioral aspects. Let’s explore these creations and see if God is saying something here.
1. The wolf matures considerable faster than the dog and can process or digest more food. The wolf can break up and hold between 10 to 20 pounds of raw meat as the dog usually has a cup in the morning and a cup in the afternoon.
2. A dog can breed several times a year as the wolf only breeds once between February and mid March. These wolf pups are born between April and May which interestingly coincides with our resurrection celebration. For those who do not know, Easter is the first full moon after March 21st and the Sunday that follows it. Lastly, the dog is solely dependent on it’s mother as the wolf is supported with a mother and father system.
3. A dog will learn to obey commands like “sit and stay” to receive a treat as where a wolf has the ability and would rather get it’s own food. Another interesting point experts have discovered is that a dog will not share it’s food as the wolf will wait until it’s pack can join in on the feast.
This was very interesting to me as the Bible clearly informs us that there should be a difference between a Christian and a non-believer. Unfortunately, we witness many times our brothers and sisters are disguised so well that you’re unable to tell them apart from unbelievers. In fact the sad thing is, I’m thinking about myself and wondering if I’m lacking to make an impact for the Kingdom. Let’s look at ways to put our faith in action and bring God’s supernatural in our lives.
1. Can you break down and process spiritual food or are you still living on the milk of the word? Do you constantly need to be entertained and led to Christ through music, talented teachers and videos? Are you a Sunday only Christian? Do you spend time praying and living the Word and reflect the biblical values in your life? When I compare a former me from years ago, does my life illustrate GROWTH. Being fully transparent, I have thought about what Church we will be attending on Sunday and debate with myself. The worship is awesome here or there, this one the preacher is boring, this other one is just goes on too long. What makes us choose a particular place of worship?
Let’s reflect on Acts:2:42-47 to be exact. They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching AND to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. They learned what God said as they sat together to share a meal. They reasoned with one another, prayed for one another and bore one another’s burdens. They sold all they owned to care for one another much like the example given in the wolf pack. They never left anyone behind like Christ taught about the one sheep missing from the 99. Where is that today? Some churches do get this right in some aspects with “home groups” and allow their members to “share the meat” through fellowship.
2. Am I being the father that my children need? Do I resemble the qualities that our Heavenly Father has installed for a man of God? A percentage of our society has become poverty stricken from single moms struggling on their own. Much as the female dogs raises the pups on her own, our men are not taking their place in their families either. Where have we lost our way here? We need to raise up men who lead the way for their pack like it says in Titus 2. Men, let’s set an example for the younger men and hold each other accountable. Galatians 6:1-2 “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
3. Are we stewarding our blessings with a Kingdom mindset or trying to “get all we can, can all we get and sit on our can”? Are you sharing your “Food” with others? Are we a replica of Christ as He is a great example of a selfless servant leader?
With this enlightenment, I wonder how many Christians could survive without having their spiritual food spoon fed to them. What I mean is, if you took away everything including your Bible, could you still have a relationship with the Lord? Much like the wolf and the dog, is there a difference between you and a non-believer? Have we become spiritually domesticated and have lost the ability to survive on our own? My thought is we have gotten so far away from New Testament Church living that this would be very difficult for most of us. I’m not talking about “you,” I’m referring to “us.” With all of the scriptures that we have memorized, are we confident that we could return to an Acts way of living. Can I look at my walk and say that through prayer and listening to the Holy Spirit I could be lead without my Bible? That’s certainly a good goal to set for ourselves.
Brother Lawrence from ‘The Practice of the Presence of God’ wrote: “There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful, than that of a continual conversation with God; those only can comprehend it who practice and experience it.” I want that. To elaborate a bit further, I witnessed during my trip to prison last year a brother who wanted a relationship with God like Moses. Brother Perry wanted his face to shine so bright from being in His presence that he would need to be veiled from the people. This man of God became a mentor of mine as now a year later I continue to challenge myself, my family and you. I believe that each of us in the body of Christ can make a difference towards a GREAT spiritual awakening. Beloved, it is time for such as time as this. You were brought to this place for a purpose!
May the Lord bless you, keep you and be glorified through our faith in action.