Bit and Bridle

Several years ago, Doug Milholland, a world class horse trainer, invited me to ride one of his highly trained horses.  He explained the horse I was riding was so sensitive that she didn’t need a bridle. I could actually guide her by shifting in the saddle or a gentle nudge with my knee.  As we rode we discussed how that is a great word picture of how Romans 8:14 identifies sensitivity as an essential mark of being a “son of God” or a Christ-centered believer. This is also the condition that will bring us the most joy.

I recently attended an event that focused on recalibration.  That is defined as going back to the roots, the original mission or fundamentals and realigning what has gotten out of line.  The speaker, Troy Jones, pointed out it is essential for a person, business or organization to continually recalibrate.  Interestingly, when a person does, new out of alignment issues emerge that need to also go through the recalibration process.  It became obvious that I needed to recalibrate several areas of my life; my devotional life, my marriage, my time management, and especially my personal intimacy with God.

If your goal is to get a just little closer to God in the next months or year, you may read your Bible or serve others a little more or attend church more regularly.  But if you set your goal to experience the joy of knowing Him well enough that you respond quickly to His gentle nudge, you will be far more aggressive in making serious changes in your attitude or lifestyle.  The great news is, this type of relationship is very doable.

If this sounds interesting, here’s God’s invitation to you.  Psalm 32:8-9 (NKJV) “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…”

Remember as a child when you started to do something wrong and mom gave you ‘that look’?  Or, that rush of youth adrenaline when that gorgeous guy/gal gave you that certain look that told you she/he had an interest in you too?  It was just Jesus’ look that caused Peter to go out and weep bitterly!

God says the alternative to being sensitive to just a look from God would be the “bit and bridle” which a horseperson knows means ‘pain’!  My friend explained that a horse doesn’t like the pain, so they sometimes will position the bit between their teeth to minimize the pain the rider might inflict to get their attention and change directions.  Could it be we use rationalization or justification to minimize the pain God has to use to get us to change directions?

I can’t speak for you, but I know in my case, I’ve been guilty of getting ‘the bit between my teeth’ only to find my way didn’t turn out the way I had hoped.  I am recommitting myself to paying more attention to God’s eyes, so I can go where and when He knows I need to go.  How about you?

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