Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Willing to be Led

Willing to be Led


I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. Do not be like the horse or like the mule, which have no understanding, which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, else they will not come near you.” – Psalms 32:8-9

Do you know any stubborn people? I laugh at the thought of the question because we all know a few.  We can all name off several people we consider stubborn, but would rarely put ourselves on the list.  It’s hard to recognize our own stubbornness. But stubbornness is something God deals with in His children every minute of every day.  We know the His way is the right way and we know that His way is best for us.  Yet because we’re stubborn, we just refuse to be led.  When He calls we question His voice, turn a deaf ear, and walk away. 
When I was a little girl, about 10 years old or so, my granddaddy pulled into our drive way one day with a horse trailer behind his old red Ford pickup truck.  It was his birthday, but being the loving Granddaddy that he was, he had brought me a present.  I peeked in the horse trailer, and there she was!  She was a bay colored pony with a thick white mane and tail, not too tall, and very gentle.  Her name was Lady.

We kept lady in the pasture between my parent’s and grandparent’s house.  It was about 30 acres or so in all, and as a little girl, I’d walked every inch of it at one time or another!  But there would be no more walking for me! I had a pony to ride!
Lady didn’t come with a saddle or a bridle.  When I wanted to lead her, I just tugged on her mane, and she followed my lead.  When I wanted to ride her, I would lead her to where my granddaddy parked his bush hog.  I’d step up onto the bush hog, and then I would be tall enough to throw a leg over her back and climb on.  Without a bridle I could lead her just by tugging left on her mane to go left, or right to go right.  She was the very best pony, always gentle, and always willing to be led.  I didn’t have to entice her with a carrot on a long pole, or put a bridle in her mouth.  She wanted to go where I went. 

Sometimes I would step out of the house, and see that she was far off in the field.  I could just begin to call her name, “Lady! Lady! Come here girl!”, and she’d pick up her head and come to me.  Even now, when I think of her I have to smile.  Lady and I spent a lot of time together and went all over that pasture!  I loved that pony, and the friendship we had.
In Psalms 32 David is praying to God.  He speaks to God about how his sins had made him feel bad, and when they were unconfessed his “bones grew old” because all day he was groaning, and feeling the conviction from God.  He prays, “For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me”, describing how his spirit was heavy because God was at work, correcting him and trying to lead him.  But his stubbornness left him in pain until he finally cried out in Psalms 32:5 and said “I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”
And You forgave the iniquity of my sin.”
David then says that for this cause, all should confess their sins to God and get relief from His heavy hand. 

But then in Verses 8-9 David hears God’s voice as he speaks to him in prayer and says “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.”  God says, follow me and I’ll teach you the right way to go.  By “My eye”, He refers to the spiritual leading of His Holy Spirit, going before us. 
Then God goes on to give a warning, and says “Do not be like the horse or like the mule, which have no understanding, which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, else they will not come near you.” Horses, can be very stubborn animals.  I’ve seen horses my granddaddy owned buck him off and run away!  There wasn’t a very good relationship between them and my granddad while they were acting that way.  

God is speaking of our stubbornness.  We have no understanding, no spiritual wisdom, no discernment, because we won’t allow His Holy Spirit to lead us.  We won’t come near when He calls, and “must be harnessed with bit and bridle”, forced to submit to His leadership.
Have you ever tried to put a bridle bit in a horse’s mouth?  It’s somewhat of a mix between a wrestling match and tricking the horse.  You have to get them to open their mouth before you can get the bit in.  The bit is a rod of metal that goes from jaw to jaw across the tongue and is attached to the bridle leads.  It doesn’t feel good in their mouth!  They have to be forced to accept it.  But once you have it in, the horse becomes a willing servant that you can lead. 

When we fail to seek God, He will come looking for us - with a bit and bridle.  We’ve all cried out to Him as David did, hurting as our spirit groaned within us because of our circumstances.  God loves us just as we are, but far too much to let us remain this way.  He seeks to have our submission, to have us come near Him of our own will.  He wants an intimate friendship with us that can’t be had if we refuse to listen when He calls. 
How much better would our relationships with God be if we were more like Lady than our stubborn selves?  When He called, we wouldn’t deny His voice.  We would raise our heads and come to Him.  When He wanted to lead, it would only take a tug on the heart, not a bit in the mouth.  We would listen to His will, understand His ways, and be willing to follow His lead.  We would enjoy a fellowship based on love instead of guilty commitments and religion.  Oh, the places we could go if we would allow Him to lead us.

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