Thursday, July 26, 2012

Trained Disciples

A few weeks ago my Pastor (hubby) began a Bible Study on the book of Joshua.  And in the first chapter, the Bible tells us on four different occasions to be strong, be courageous, be of good courage, and do not fear, in some form or fashion.  The second week of the Bible Study my husband had to go away so I had to teach.  And as I shared with our Bible Study class that evening, I was reminded of this picture that I had seen several years ago that was the epitome (the perfect representation) of courage.  This cat walking in the midst of some German shepherds.  And the cat is almost strolling, as if he is not afraid at all or taken aback by what he has to go through.  And although that night I didn’t have the picture, it was so vivid in my head I tried to explain as best I could.  Courage is having the strength, the mindset, to face danger, fear, or opposition with a bold confidence, just like this cat.  And as I said that, I promised that I would find the picture, and bring it to church.

A couple of weeks went by and at every opportunity he had, my grandson would try and remind me of the picture.  Finally last Sunday I remembered it, printed it out and brought it to church.  After teaching Sunday school, I showed it first to my grandson since he was so eagerly waiting to see.  But as I presented it to him and began looking at the picture again, God spoke this to my Spirit: “We need to be so focused and determined to get what God has for us, that we do not allow distractions to take us off course.”

And as I thought about that,   I was reminded how I found the picture.  That I put in a search for a picture of cats with German shepherds and what came up was “Dog Training.”  In particular, training German shepherds to be police dogs.  The article went on to explain that in order for them to learn how to focus on their mission, their purpose, they had to be taught, had to be disciplined so as not to chase after distractions.  One of them being a cat.  And what made these dogs stay away from the cat, was the reward that they were to receive for their obedience.  Some of these dogs, if you look at the picture, are taking great refrain to not go after that cat.  Some of them, you can see, are looking straight through the cat, almost as if he is not bothering them.   But both groups knew that if they just hung in there, if they just stayed focused, on the other side of their obedience, they would receive their reward. 

God said that we are much like those dogs.  That we are being taught. We are Disciples of Christ, being disciplined to obey.  And we have an even greater reward than these dogs, because we have the promises of God, which are ALL yea and amen.  But we need to stay focused on the end product, our reward, so that we do not allow things to distract us from getting them.

These dogs were being trained that if they stay focused on their reward, be it a biscuit, a steak or whatever, they will get it if they do not give in to the distraction.  And because they were so set on receiving that reward, I believe they had their eyes set on it.  Their mouths were probably watering over it.  And because they did not lose focus of that, they were able to refrain from going after that cat (their distraction). 

We are on a mission.  God has filled us with purpose.  And He promises that if we do not give in, if we do not give up, if we stay on our course, if we keep our eyes on the prize, we will receive the promise.  So when things come along to distract us, and yes, there are many things and there will be much more, we must stay focused knowing that we have a great reward on the other side of our obedience.  Just as those dogs did. 

I will say this again… We need to be so focused and determined to get what God has for us that NOTHING or NO ONE will distract us or keep us from getting it!”  Especially not our enemy!    There is a great reward waiting if we would just obey.

God is good!  And He’s real!  Oh, yes He is!

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