Wednesday, January 22, 2014

365 Days with God - Day 33: Chomping at the bit

I'm giving myself a challenge. Read the Bible each day for a whole year, following the ESV Study Guide 1-year plan. Each day, I will post whatever God has revealed to me in His Word, and how it is changing me. A friend of mine once said that nothing has changed her life as much as reading the bible each day - and I'm excited for how this will change me. Join me on an adventure into the heart of God - and day by day, we can learn more about who He is and what that means to us!

- Andy Catts

Day 33, January 22, 2014
Readings: Psalm 32, Genesis 29:1-30, 2 Chronicles 6, Luke 22:47-71, Luke 23:1-25

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a horse? Saddled up, bit and bridle, controlled by an unseen being, and no idea where you're going? Some days, that sounds really, really familiar. Uncomfortably so. After all, if I've given up on the illusion of control (see my previous posts,) then I really don't know where I'm going, or where I'll end up, or if there will be tasty green grass at the end of the road.

But I'm not the first one to use this analogy. David shares this wisdom with us in Psalm 32:

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my eye upon you.

Be not like a horse or a mule, 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 32:8-10)

Three things are evident in this passage:
1) God will instruct us and show us the way
2) We need to listen to His guidance, or He will correct us
3) Wickedness earns it's just rewards, but the love of God blesses us when we trust Him.

When I think of a bit and bridle, it really doesn't sound very comfortable. Some hunk of metal in my teeth? Forcing me to go one way or another? I think I'd rather not need it. And many view the guidance of the Lord as this bit and bridle. Many disregard God's guidance as needlessly archaic rules and regulations, designed to rid life of all fun.

But not all are "curbed with bit and bridle" - we have the choice. We can listen to God's counsel. We can trust in the Lord, and His leading. Only when I buck and reject God's counsel is this needed. The beauty of God's bit is that it can be removed. When I am following Him, no bit is needed, and therefore no bit is present. I am free to enjoy life when I follow the path that God has directed me down.

Earlier in the Psalms, David says that God leads us to green pastures besides still waters. If I trust that He will keep His promise, I have no need to reject the way God is taking me. For He knows what I need and will bring me to it. He promised His steadfast love and affection. All I have to do is believe in Him, and accept His teaching. Will you follow the instruction of the Lord? Or will you grind against His bit and bridle?

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