The Law of God is a good thing, a picture of righteousness. The problem is, our hearts are rebellious and we do not like to be told what we can and cannot do. “We were held captive under the law” (Galatians 3:23), writes Paul, and we don’t like fences.
Lucy, our basset hound, is a city dog. She stays indoors and sleeps in a kennel in the corner of my office. Lucy is a city dog and she does not roam free. She is not allowed to. She is confined, but she longs to run. Every so often, a door is open, unwatched. Lucy breaks for freedom and away she goes and does not return. Fortunately, our neighbors know Lucy and bring her home. Lucy obeys our rules until she thinks we are not looking. Unless something changes, we are like a city dog.
The Law does not and cannot make us righteous, rather, “the righteous shall live by faith” (Galatians 3:12), and through faith comes the change we need, a change of heart from rebellion to love. “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20), and with faith in Christ comes freedom to live.
Faith is the life of the country dog. My cousins live in the country. Tramp, their yellow Labrador, is free to roam, and he does. Wherever he wants, whenever he wants, doing whatever he wants. Tramp is a country dog. Sometimes he leaves in the morning and returns at night. But return he does, every night. Tramp can sleep anywhere he wants, and he does. He sleeps on the back porch. That’s where he wants to be. He is happy to be home.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. ~Psalm 23:6
Father God, You have set me free from the burden and bondage of sin. Thank You so much! I am now enslaved to love, a willing servant of Your goodness and grace. Forgive me, God, when I turn my liberty into a religion of do’s and don’ts, or I turn my freedom into a license to sin.
I love You, God, not from force or fear, but because I desire You so much. I follow You, because this is where I find life, a life abundant and good. With You, I am at home.