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Who Doesn't Love A Belly Rub?

Submission Humility Comfort

Source: “Expert reveals why dogs love belly rubs and what it actually means when they roll over” by Nia Dalton, published mirror.co.uk.com, retrieved 4/22/22

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2022-05-20

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 16:19 ; 1 Peter 5:5

Author: Illustration Exchange
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ILLUSTRATION

Almost every dog does it! At the first hint of a potential belly rub, they immediately roll over, splay their legs, and wait for the incoming pats of perfection leading to belly blissfulness.

But what is REALLY happening here? Do all dogs universally love belly rubs? Is this purely about gratification? Or is something else going on here?

Dog behaviourist and trainer, Adem Fehmi, explains that, at its core, this posture is actually not so much an invitation to affection, but rather an act of submission.

"Us humans often see this as an invitation to stroke a dog’s belly, as if the dog is 'asking' us by assuming this position.” But actually, he explains, "The behaviour of rolling over and exposing their belly often starts from submission, as this stance is a submissive position in dog body language.”

Now, that doesn’t mean most dogs don’t love a good belly rub. I mean, who doesn’t?!

Yet, what starts as an act of submission results in the reception of affection, affirmation, comfort, and consolation. Thus, the response becomes both an act of submission AND a learned response and reflexive action in anticipation of the comfort, affection, pleasure to come.

 

APPLICATION

Dogs are man’s best friends on so many levels. We can learn so much from them. We can even learn what our relationship with our Heavenly Father should look like.

God’s desire is to reach down and touch us, to love on us, to affirm us, to comfort and console us. But before we can rightly receive any of those blessings, we must first posture ourselves into a position of submission. 

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God?  You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20, ESV).

“But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble’” (James 4:6, NIV).

“In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud  but shows favor to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:5-6, NIV).

“Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification” (Romans 6:16-19, ESV).

Created to be Free

Love (Divine) Freedom Submission

Source: “Created to be Free” by Todd Pierce, posted on Crossroads.net, retrieved May 9, 2022.

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2022-05-20

Scripture: John 8:36 ; John 15:5

Author: Todd Pierce
3

ILLUSTRATION

Todd Pierce is a professional cowboy, rodeo rider, and horse trainer. Over the years he has come to discover that his experience with taming wild horses is indeed a picture of God’s great love and care for us as He reaches down to tame our own wild hearts, making us fit for His service and setting us free to experience our true potential. 

The following is a partial transcript of one of his demonstration videos wherein he films himself gently wooing and taming a wild horse, explaining step by step how the process relates to our own relationship with God, and calling us to “leave behind our wildness and embrace the freedom that a loving God offers.”

The following are excerpts from the transcript of the video. For the fullest experience and understanding, please be sure to follow this link to view the entire video. The demonstration begins at marker 00:01:01.

The scene opens with Todd alone in a small training ring, making his first approach to a wild horse, a filly, who’d been brought in the previous evening, and he makes the observation that “because she hadn't had any handling, she thought that she was actually doing really well, because she just lived in a pasture, got deep grass, and that was her life.” 

He continues:

Unfortunately, that's where I believe a lot of people live, is they've settled for this ability to stay alive and survive, but they don't actually know what they're capable of and the potential that's hidden inside of them.  And you can't forgive yourself. You can't bring out the greatness inside of you. That's something that is reserved for Jesus alone.  So we'll let her move around because I want her to know that she's actually free.  I can't control her.

And now that she's looking at me, she's probably asking the question of why it is that she's here and what do I want from her? A wild horse, even the wild horses that we have in our country, they don't live near as long or near the quality of lives of horses that are actually cared for.

If you’re gonna go round up a wild horse, it will take a tame horse to do it, because one tame horse can overcome fifty wild horses simply because it’s partnered with man. 

It probably never even crossed her mind that I would want something from her. If she knew what my dream was for her, there wouldn’t be any hesitation in this at all. And what she’s gonna get to encounter today is not just a look from me, not just a knowledge of me, but such a connection that everything that’s inside of her, as far as all of her gifts, all of her potential is gonna get released. She’s super nervous about this, and she’s got a reason to be. All of her instincts say that, “I wanna stay in control of my own world.” 

She’s paying just enough attention to me so that she can be comfortable. But if we’re gonna get anywhere today, she’s gonna have to understand that we’re gonna have to become one. And that oneness is gonna take a lot of courage on her side, and a lot of kindness and patience on my side. ...

The rope isn’t here to control her. It’ like the Holy Spirit that draws us to Him. … If we use fear and intimidation so that we can dominate her and manipulate her to make her do what we want, then we’ve got a broken animal. We don’t want a broken animal. We want a healed animal. And her nature would actually work against that healing if all she listens to was her instincts.  ….

She’s got her boundaries. She comfortable with me around her, petting her … [but she's thinking], "This is unsafe. Someone’s gonna hurt me. Someone’s gonna take something from me. How do I stay in control?"

She wants to know me. She just doesn’t know what it will look like to give up all of herself so that she can have all of me.

I don’t wanna get too far away from her here for a second, because I don’t want her to think that every time she gets scared that the only way she can feel safe is to get away from me, because, eventually, when she gets scared she actually gonna start lookin’ for me.

If she felt like I was gonna put her in a corner or force her to do something, this would have had an entirely different outcome. Just because you’re in authority, doesn’t mean that you have to dominate [people].

It’s nothing short of a miracle. This is what love does. It creates safety. It creates power. It creates a whole new world of opportunity. ...

As he slips on the saddle for the first time, he makes this powerful observation:

She don’t know yet that this is a gift, but she’ll learn. … It’s not because she was forced; it’s because she was loved.

 

APPLICATION

As he is finally able to mount her, ride her, control her movements, her speed, her direction, he makes the following observations:

Because God was so kind, ... He showed up in human form and Jesus walked around and He interacted with people, He just gave invitations. He never told them what to do or what not to do. He just said, "Would you come and follow me?" And that following looked like something. It required them to walk away from one thing so that they could pursue something else. And that pursuit was Jesus.

And so today, while you watch this and you watch her deal with her own concerns and misunderstandings, that you can look at your life again and say, "In what areas is [it] that I've just actually limited God, and I've wanted to keep Him at some distance because that's where I feel safe?"

But she wants to know me. She just doesn't know what it's going to look like for her to actually give up all of herself so that she can have all of me.

God is perfect love. He's the perfect Father. And I see a world that's filled with people that just don't -- they've never encountered that. They don't understand that the creator of heaven and Earth is actually desiring such an intimate connection with you.

The other approach to doing this was that I would actually have to establish dominance with her. I'd have to make her feel like I'm more powerful than her in a really intimidating way. That's just not the way that Jesus operated. He had all the power of heaven to do whatever it is He wanted to do to the people around Him. Yet He chose this way and He said, "Come and follow Me. …

So Jesus had a lot of people following Him. And they would follow Him the way they would follow another man.It's okay that we know how to follow, but I don't want her to just learn how to follow me around like a puppy on a string. She's got too much power. She can do stuff with me now that she's never even dreamt that she could do. This horse is not my slave. She's actually made a decision for herself that even with all of the back story and all the things that she's been through, her saying yes to me became a turning point for everything that's going to happen from here on out.

Won't YOU say "yes" to Jeusus? Won't you let him tame your wild heart and release all the potential within you? Potential that can only be realized when you submit your life to His loving, gentle control. Won't you let Jesus set you FREE to be all you can be?

"So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed" (John 8:36, NIV).

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:5, NIV).

"Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls" (Matthew 11:29, NIV).

Real Success Is Always Attainable

Success Discouragement Submission

Source: Stories To Touch The Heart by Russ Lawson, p. 65

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2021-10-01

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 3:8

Author: Mother Teresa / Illustration Exchange
12

ILLUSTRATION

"No, I do not become discouraged.  You see, God has not called me to a ministry of success. He has called me to a ministry of mercy."

- Mother Teresa

APPLICATION

Mother Teresa possessed a clear understanding of God's priority versus the world's priorities.  She understood that real success is doing God's will. As a result, she was protected from two tragic errors: First, she avoided the temptation to waste her life on things that don't really matter. Second, she avoided the discouragement that comes from failing to experience the world's idea of success.

One of the wonderful things about living for God is that when we seek His will, we seek something that is always completely attainable.

Mother Teresa might have had cause to become discouraged if she had allowed the world to define success for her.  But, since she left that to God, success was always within her reach.  

"The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God's service; you are God's field, God's building" (1 Corinthians 3:8-9).

Illustration Exchange

Getting Ahead of God

Guidance Patience Submission

Contributed By: James Augustine | Date Posted: 2020-05-10

Scripture: Psalms 139:24 ; Psalms 5:8

Author: James Augustine
5

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Rejecting Jesus' Authority

Jesus' Authority Submission Rebellion

Contributed By: Shane Waldron | Date Posted: 2019-10-12

Scripture: Proverbs 28:25 ; Jeremiah 17:7

Author: Shane Waldron
6

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"The Moscow Rules"

Satan Spiritual Warfare Submission

Contributed By: Neal Pollard | Date Posted: 2018-12-29

Scripture: James 4:7 ; 2 Corinthians 2:11

Author: Neal Pollard
3

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The Church Is The People

Unity Church/Body of Christ Submission

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-11-09

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 3:16

Author: Illustration Exchange
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Voluntary Suffering

Suffering Submission Worship

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-06-17

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 10:31

Author: C.S. Lewis / Mitchell Dillon
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From My Cold Dead Hands

Control Submission Die To Self

Contributed By: Mitchell Dillon | Date Posted: 2015-02-10

Scripture: Romans 5:12 ; Romans 8:13

Author: Mitchell Dillon
4

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Where Is Your Bethlehem

Christmas Submission Trust (In God)

Contributed By: Barnett Gushin | Date Posted: 2014-12-22

Scripture: Luke 2:4

Author: Marilyn Ehle
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