Yesterday afternoon when we went for our walk we took Lucy with us for a walk, or more literally, a pull. She still strains against the leash something fierce. She wants to do things her way. For example when a vehicle passes us, she wants to run right into it and attack or greet it or something. But the leash holds her back.
I was thinking about the Law and about the Gospel in this walk yesterday. The Law does hold us back, the curb function, from some really stupid and dangerous behaviors. But even more, I was thinking how God gave us the law as leash to accomplish a training function. Unlike Lucy, God wants His people to be trained to WANT what He wills with their own will. To desire what He desires so that they can "walk" with Him without running off like a silly beagle into all kinds of trouble and danger. "Be not like a horse or a mule (or a beagle), without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle, or it will not stay near you. Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the Lord." Psalm 32:9,10
This is the preparation for the Age that is coming - that we grow in our desire for that Age and all it will bring with it, and the Church is God's training grounds for enjoying it. The Law helps us a bit in that regard, but it is through His Holy Gospel when God takes the leash off and we simply walk beside Him because we WANT to walk beside Him in the joy of His presence and have no desire to run off from Him, chasing whatever rabbits or passing pleasures would allure us. Woof, woof.