During my morning devotions this morning I read the following illustration from the book,  “The Good and Beautiful God” by James Bryan Smith.

“Country dogs live in wide open spaces with a great deal of freedom to roam.  They can go down to the creek, wrestle with a skunk, sleep in a sunny pasture or forage for food.  And at first they do.  But after a while the country dog stays in the same old place, day after day: on the master’s porch.  The country dog has been “to Paris” as they say.  He has gotten into a few scrapes and has seen the open range for what it is. Now, the country dog is content to stay near the master.  After all, he may get a biscuit or a pat on the head or a belly rub. 

The city dog is quite different.  The city dog lives cooped up in a house and is forbidden to leave the home.  The city dog has one aim: getting out!  The city dog has learned when and how the doors will be opened, and how to nudge it just so in the hope of escape.  The moment the door is cracked open, the city dog makes a run for it.  The master may have to run after the dog or even get in the car and search the neighborhood for the fugitive, constantly yelling the dog’s name, begging it to come home.  If the master sees the dog, he or she will likely have to bribe the dog with a biscuit or lasso the dog with a leash in order to get it home. 

Those who approach the Christian life with a set of rules and laws and do’s and don’ts are like the city dog.  My experience is that many Christians feel cramped and confined, and would love to escape their rules. 

Those who understand their identity in Christ are like the country dog.  They know that they are not under the law, and they know that they can sin, but having sinned before, they know better.  They are more content living close to the Master.”

But to all who received Him, who believed in His name, He gave power to become children of God.  John 1:12

And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit.                 2 Corinthians 3:18