Christian Devotions is where you can cooperate with God to come into rest and living spirit led.
There is a victorious life in the Spirit that comes in a more practical way than we might have imagined.
There are two ways to train a horse. The traditional method is to put the animal in small pen, strap on a saddle, climb aboard and ride it out until he quits rearing up and bucking. He eventually wears himself out and breaks down. Methods such as these are called “breaking” a horse. The title says it all.
I asked a friend who has worked with horses in these ways what differences she sees in them. She related that he horses that are trained through “whispering” are very different in maturity than those broken through force. They are willing and genuinely wanting to be with the rider, even having joy and anticipation to work with them. The “broken” horses may have a respect for the rider, but it is totally fear based.
This is a great picture of the deeper Christian life. God’s gentleness makes us great (Ps.18:35), not his severity. Jesus shows us who Father God is in the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15. The father gave the inheritance even though the prodigal son was in rebellion. In the story, the father truly wanted heart relationship, not fear-based conformity.
Often we hear teachings about casting down wrong thoughts, denying emotions, and exercising faith, and these approaches are good when they work. However, when they don’t, we frequently move into struggling. If we would simply hold our hearts open before the Lord, He would help us see the deeper issues that are causing the triggering thoughts and emotions. As we find the root of our triggers and allow God to touch that, the wrong thoughts and emotions just go away.
Think of golf. You have to have good form, but then your swings success only happens if you are relaxed. Struggling gets you nowhere! In the Christian life, our form is knowing we are loved by God and that it is normal to need ministry and work through issues. Having “issues” is part of being human; these things do not affect our identity.
There is a place of such sensitivity to the Spirit that we can be in any situation, be aware of all the behaviors and corresponding emotions at hand, and respond with agape love. In the midst of traffic, heavy workloads, strong-willed children, or people that act controlling toward us, we can tap into God’s love. This happens, not because we’ve have resisted enough or fasted enough, it happens because we have allowed God to work deep in our hearts. This is what brings us to a victorious Spirit-led life.