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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Almost Obedient Little Dog

Buddy is a sweet old dog. He’s not going to win any beauty prizes. He’s just a cute stubby little dog. He’s blind in one eye, and his teeth are worn down, but he’s a lovable little guy and has many friends.

You see, Buddy lives on a Bible college campus, and he’s at home with the students and faculty. He wanders into the main building, up to the office door, and spends his afternoon snoozing on a blanket on the floor.

This evening, everyone was eating supper in the dining hall, and in came Buddy. Now, Buddy isn’t allowed in the dining hall—and he knows it. But, there he was, in and under the tables, trying to socialize. The director of the school told Buddy to “Go out.”

Buddy obeyed . . . kind of. The little dog decided that several inches inside the door was good enough for “out.” So he lay down there, looking a little bit guilty.

The director told him again, “Buddy, go out.” So he went to the door, turned around, and his front two paws and head were “in” and his hind parts were “out.” It was hilarious, and we all laughed at the little half-obedient dog.

Immediately, one of the young ladies said, “Isn’t that just like people? They want to maintain one foot in the world and also one foot in the things of the Lord.”

Do you remember the church in Laodicea? God wasn’t pleased with their wishy-washy approach to obedience. He said, I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth (Revelation 3:15-16).

All through Scripture we read of people who “partially obeyed” but weren’t honored for their obedience.

We think of Saul. When told to completely wipe out Amalek, he saved the best animals and the king. (Saul’s excuse was that he was going to sacrifice those animals to the Lord. I always wondered what he thought he’d do with Agag.) God’s prophet Samuel was clear about God’s opinion. Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams (1 Samuel 15:22).

Jesus said, If ye love me, keep my commandments (John 14:15).

God wants us to listen and obey.

He wants the very best for us, so His commands are always for our good—even if we don’t understand them at the moment. They’re to be fully obeyed.

Unlike little Buddy who pushes the boundaries and partially obeys, we should joy in obeying God, fully and willingly. We don’t need to lie down at the door or stop with a couple of paws in and two out.

If ye keep my commandments,
ye shall abide in my love;
even as I have kept my Father’s commandments,
and abide in his love.
These things have I spoken unto you,
that my joy might remain in you,
and that your joy might be full (John 15:10-11).


  1. A si hemos hecho muchos al principio y algunos lo hacen siempre, cuesta pero se puede hacer. La mejor manera es no mirando atrás, solo hacia adelante. En el camino por el que el Señor nos guía.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Tere. May God bless you!

  2. Great story about the dog - very easy to see how I've only ½ obeyed like that.

    1. Oh yes, if we're honest, we've all half obeyed from time to time. Sad, isn't it, that we need to be reminded that God's commands are for our good. Thanks for your comment, Lauren.


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