We recently adopted a new dog named Chief. When he first arrived, his desire to please us was so great that we were able to allow him to run off lead because he would come immediately when called. He loved his freedom, and we loved watching him enjoy it.
As he became more comfortable in his new surroundings and more secure in our affections, he began judging our commands to determine if he wanted to obey them or not. There were times the desire to chase a squirrel across the street would trump our command that he come or stay. Eventually he would heed our call, but not immediately as he did in the beginning.
Yes we forgave him. And yes we still love him. But the result of his ongoing disobedience (because remember that delayed obedience is still disobedience) is that he’s no longer allowed outside off lead. He misses the freedom, and we miss the joy of watching him. These are the consequences of his disobedience.
We hope that at some point he will earn our trust again so we can once again give him his freedom, but he will need to demonstrate his ability to handle the responsibility by obeying the commands he’s given.
In the same way, there are consequences to our sin. In the same way, our sin can block a blessing that God wants us to have, or cause a delay in our receiving it.
We love Chief. We have nice chunk of land for him to run on and explore, but he decided to try to claim the use of what wasn’t his. This could result in his injury or him hurting someone else by accident (I say by accident because even though he’s big, he’s very good natured and wouldn’t intentionally hurt anyone). Our commands were there to protect him and his freedom.
In other words, our commands were for his own good. Just as God’s commands are for our own good. When we trust our Master, obeying Him isn’t difficult because we know He has reasons for what He commands, and though we may not always know what those reasons are, we don’t need to because we know Him and know He is good.
Father, forgive us for thinking we know better than You what is good for us. We trust You. We trust Your heart for us. Help us to choose wisely – to choose obedience. We trust obeying You will bring freedom, and we know that doing so will not be burdensome. Be glorified in our lives and through our walks. Amen.
1 John 5:3 (TPT) True love for God means obeying his commands, and his commands don’t weigh us down as heavy burdens.
Consequences of abuse of freedom: