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Saturday, July 13, 2024 at 4:10 AM

The master’s voice

The master’s voice

STUFF ABOUT GOD AND CHRISTIANITY | Dr. Ron Braley

This column represents the thoughts and opinions of Dr. Ron Braley. This is not the opinion of the Taylor Press.

A disciple seeks to be like the master, whom they imitate and then become something worthy of imitation. The process requires studying what is said and shown. My dog Aragon does this.

When I leave the room, he waits and watches in earnest for my return. He stares intently when I’m with him, waiting for the next praise or instruction.

So, he was easy to train.

Listen. Watch and wait.

Imitate. We should be like Aragon in our relationship with God. How? Always listen and watch, waiting on the movement of the Holy Spirit, biblical instructions, or admonishments from other Christ followers. Let’s examine the “listen, wait, imitate” rhythm from a biblical perspective.

Read 1 Kings 19:4-18, and you’ll find a depressed Elijah on the run from Ahab. In verses 10 and 14, he cried to the Lord, “Am I the only one?” He didn’t respond through a great wind and earthquake. He didn’t answer through a fire. Instead, he replied gently, softly. In a small, still voice, the Lord God almighty whispered: “No!

Seven thousand others are like you!” (1 Kings 19:1118).

Aragon knows me.

He knows my voice and responds accordingly. I speak, he listens. I go, he goes. He follows because he knows and trusts me.

Similarly, Jesus knows those who belong to him: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them...”

(John 10:27-28). Besides listening, the obedient to God sometimes must wait patiently for a deed, a word.

Just wait

Aragon will wait patiently for hours for me. When he sees me, he’ll leap into action. The wait is worth it! The same holds for God’s children.

The Psalmist wrote this: “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope” (Psalm 130:5, ESV). We often wait for a word of instruction, admonishment, or comfort from the Lord through his spirit, scriptures or other followers of Jesus.

Imitate and replicate

Training Aragon was easy. He listened, watched, and repeated what he saw. He even tries to make the sounds I make when we play. As imagers of God, we, too, are meant to imitate what we see and hear related to him and repeat the words and behavior.

The apostle Paul confirms it: “Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.

Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you.”

(1Corinthians 11:1-2).

Listen for the master’s voice even if you must wait. Then, just like Aragon with me, imitate what you learn and become something worthy of imitation by others. What’s next? Let’s reverse today’s upsidedown church model with a church of house churches.

While waiting, remember that God wants your loyalty, not your religion.

Blessings and peace,

Dr. Ron Braley, MDiv, DMin.


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