Have you ever watched a dog show? Or even perhaps seen a hunter with his four-legged partner? I’m always in amazement of how the dogs are taught to heel and fetch, drop and stay with simple commands. If you’ve ever owned a dog, you understand the absolute wonder of this accomplishment.
I used to have a dog – a yellow lab. Labradors are known for their intelligence and are often used for hunting dogs. We tried teaching our dog to shake and speak on command. No luck. And as much as our sweet Comet loved running after whatever we threw in the yard – balls, Frisbees, sticks, toys – she would never return them. Instead, she’d run to a corner to chew on her prize for a while.
The problem wasn’t with our dog; it was with us.
Dogs who can obey on command are wonderful, but the real amazement should go to the trainers – those who can somehow turn obstinate into obedient.
We can all agree that dog trainers are awe-inspiring. Think about how that animal instructor stands in one spot and looks almost effortless as he calls a command or whistles. Now imagine if your doctor had that same trait. When you walk in his office with a sore throat, he doesn’t move from his chair and says, “It’s better.” You swallow and realize he is correct.
Wouldn’t that be amazing?
Or how about someone who could blink and cause the flowers to bloom or whose sigh could change the seasons.
There is someone who can do all of that.
The further removed we are from the time when Jesus walked the earth, the more we convince ourselves the things of the Bible are fairy tales, and God is mundane. We throw His name around without reverence. See shoes you absolutely love? “Oh my God, I love those shoes!” or “Oh God, you scared me!”
May the Creator of the universe forgive us for tossing his name into our conversations like salt on fries. He is more than a condiment.
He is. That’s it. He simply is.
Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”
God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’”
God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’
“This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation.” Exodus 3:13-15 NIV
In reading Matthew 8 about Jesus healing people, I almost glazed over the Almighty. I’ve been a Christian a long time. I’ve heard about, read about, watched puppet shows, made popsicle stick renditions of, and sang songs complete with hand motions of the miracles of Christ and the greatness of God.
But today, God stopped me. He slowed me down as I read, asking me to re-read the words.
When Jesus came into Peter’s house, he saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him.
When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. Matthew 8:14-16 NIV
Jesus touched Peter’s mother-in-law and healed her. She felt well enough to immediately get up and cook Jesus and Peter some supper. Earlier that day, Jesus had been in the temple when a demon-possessed man came up to him. The Son of God cast out the demon from the man with a simple command – as simple as the dog trainer’s “fetch” or “leave it.” Jesus said, “Leave him” and the demon did. Word traveled fast, because after supper that night at Peter’s, all kinds of people needing healing started showing up.
And “with a word” Jesus healed all the sick. Do you truly comprehend the magnitude of that? The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, because his father, God, created the entire universe with words.
Friends, it’s about time we stopped throwing God around like seasoning and recognized Him for the omnipotent, omnipresent, almighty GOD He is. He is the Alpha and Omega – the beginning and the end.
It’s time we showed a little reverence to the true King of Kings. Can I get an Amen?
He isn’t a condiment. I love that. And I hate that it is true – we DO throw His name around, forgetting the power behind His name, the reverence and AWE it should inspire.
He has been speaking to me (again, because this old dog is apparently slow to learn) on being reverently and responsively obedient. He says it; I do it. Because of WHO He is. Because I love Him and trust Him.
Love you, friend. You AND your heart for Him.