This article has nothing to do with dogs, but with something we share with dogs. I have had dogs in my home-country and have observed how others have trained dogs. Dogs there stay outside and served mainly for one purpose to be a guard for their homeowners. So to have a dog that is obedient to homeowners but aggressive towards the strangers, specifically the burglars.
Beating was not uncommon to dogs to teach them who is on charge.
This picture came today in my mind as I have been reflecting on the way how the church is acting today. Not related with the coronavirus problem but with the power problem. It is not uncommon to hear preachers and churchgoers claiming how we need to go back to the practices of the first century church. I was one of them. I was looking towards on the “how’s” and “what’s” but rarely to the “why’s”. It was a season that I was looking towards the power gifts in the Church to see miracles, and the truth is that we have seen many of those miracles. I remember how I started doubting inside the possibility that we see the power of God manifested today like in the time of the Acts of the Apostles. Started with my friend, Tani. I first met him at his house, invited by his older brother who has come in contact with the church. A gangster who was struck by cancer. The fear was there. I preached the gospel of hope, the gospel that everything is possible for those who believe. God touched Tani’s heart. He believed, was baptized and joined the church gladly. His radical change attracted his family members too and some of his friends and their families. God was working. We had start believing God for his healing from cancer. I had no doubt that God is going to do that for his glory’s sake. Tani became an evangelist and despise his pains he was a strong young man. I remembered praying for him in the beginning with faith and later with hope and in the end with desperation. When he died three years later, my heart was crushed. I couldn’t go anymore to his house where the rest of the family lived. Next year I visited it when his mother passed away from the bitterness. The doctor was surprised when he heard Tani’s passing away. He believed that he had been gone long time ago. God somehow did a miracle for prolonging Tani’s life. But in me, something was crushed.
Without putting the finger, I knew that my assurance to God’s intervention has changed. I felt like a beaten dog. From that moment, I started being more careful when I preached the Gospel. I would swallow when I would preach that God can heal today like in the time of apostles. I’ve seen healings during these times, but I’ve seen myself with increased doubts. That has led me to study deeper the scriptures regarding the manifestation of the healings today. I have dismissed the argument that it was God’s will that Tani and people like him are not healed after fervent prayers. I have seen more and more the other factors that impact our praying, believing and receiving of God’s gifts. This will be materials for another post. Today, I wanted to confess what I have felt during the last two decades. And I’ve seen that in many pastors. I’m not sure if they have been discouraged like me or they are taught through other discouraged teachers and doubts have become part of the normal teaching. There are others I know that although they say faith-filled prayers they don’t believe that God will answer them.
I’m not sure how many beaten dogs are trying to find their real identity as roaring lions or they already have settled into a humiliated servant-hood attitude. What are your thoughts?