As a dog trainer, I must continually decide which dogs to take to the championship. So, with many great dogs to choose from, how do I choose my champions? I must use careful discernment because the championship is not the only thing on the line, additionally my reputation will be put to the test. My value will be judged based upon the responses of my dogs to me, my commands, and how well they deny their own will and follow me.
Mindful of my reputation, what single most outstanding, even necessary characteristic do you think I look for? Which would you look for? Common characteristics such as color, gender, intellect, and athletic ability are great however, which one is the most important? Would it be wise to pick a potential champion based solely on color, or gender, or intellect? Of course not!
So how are champions chosen? I choose them the same way that I believe our God chooses us. I choose the most obedient. I choose my warrior dogs, my show down never quit stand in the gap show no fear fire breathers based on their obedience. Those are the dogs that love me more than safety or self. Those dogs place me as their greatest treasure in life. Those are the ones that put my will above their own. I choose those precious few that will follow my commands in total faith never questioning my word or the difficulty of the challenge.
If you have never trained dogs and stood before thousands waiting to see if your servant was going to serve himself or bring honor to you then you cannot imagine how great my love is for those that are obedient to my word. And if a simple man can love a simple dog with that much passion, can you imagine the amount of love that our Lord and creator has for us?
So why then should our God choose us any differently and how much more marvelous must his love be for us? America may be diminishing the value of the words loyalty, faithfulness, and obedience, but God still loves those words. He says in 2 Chronicles 16:9, “For the eyes of the Lord search back and forth across the whole Earth, looking for people whose hearts are perfect (loyal, faithful, obedient) towards Him.”
The real question is not about my dogs but about you and me. When the Lord’s eyes are cast upon us what will he see? Will he see obedience, loyalty, honor, faithfulness? Or, will he see just another dog passing through life serving themselves? It is not your color, gender, or intellect that he is looking for. It is your obedience to his word.
What kind of dog are you? There aren’t many champions but you can choose to be one. Just keep your eyes on the master if you want to win the prize. I hope to see you at the championships.