On being both the horse and the rider...

Sharing and capturing on Clean Hands, Pure Heart

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ScottPart2
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On being both the horse and the rider...

Post by ScottPart2 » Mon Aug 06, 2007 10:51 am


Romans, Chapter 12

1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.



CHPH, page 5 & 6

“Finally, in a moment of overwhelming despair, I went to the Lord and pled with Him to relieve me of the “disposition” or desire to sin, begging Him to take it away. Much to my surprise and relief, I found the compulsion was lifted...

“...Unaware of the truth that one must continue to exercise faith in Christ in order to retain this changed heart, I became complacent, assuming that everything was “taken care of.” Soon, however, the tensions and insecurities of everyday life began to build up again -- and having no idea that I could take those feelings to the Lord also, my need for escape began to reassert itself, and I fell again...”

“...It wasn’t that my repentance wasn’t sincere; it was sincere as far as it went. It just didn’t go far enough. It would be years before I learned there must be a complete remission of sin administered by the Lord Himself if I was to have a changed heart. Trying to change my habits simply wasn’t enough.”



I am struck by the reminder in Romans to present my body as a living sacrifice and perhaps, in regards to my particular challenges, to sacrifice the “needs” or wants of this physical body. The challenge is that unlike the picture of “bridling our passions” which makes me think of a rider controlling a horse, in this case the rider (spirit/mind/heart) is an actual part of the horse (body). And while a rider may deprive his mount of rest, food, and water without experiencing the debilitating effects himself, my mind and spirit and body are all bound together and have developed attitudes and patterns together. They share in each other’s pain and discomfort.

Does anyone else have trouble thinking clearly on Fast Sunday? My body tries, but can hardly even sing when there is a Fast Sunday choir practice, or during the hymn singing -- even when I’m not feeling particularly hungry.

I know some are puzzled by those with this addiction and think, “Well, p~rn and mb are bad for you, so just stop.” They mean, just pull up on the reins and the horse will comply. I can do that with food, sleep, and many other things, but I need the Lord’s help with this weakness -- because I am the mind, body, spirit, and whatever else is in the mix. I am trying to let the Lord’s Spirit enter in and be the rider because I do not know or have forgotten how to guide the horse. In this case, the rider (mind and heart) are in pain and want peace and relief every bit as much as the body, maybe more.

In CHPH I read of the author’s plea for a change in disposition and receiving it, then finding that the repentance, while sincere, wasn’t deep enough. I’m not sure what it means “that one must continue to exercise faith in Christ in order to retain this changed heart.” What is does that mean? Does it just mean living the commandments? Doing His will as you understand it?

How do I receive a “complete remission of sin”?

That is what I am seeking, what I am yearning for.

Dear Lord,

I feel I have been forgiven for the past, but how do I now break free of the established patterns of that past which invade and control my present? Lord, please take the reins and teach me other ways to be. Please help me be willing for my mind and heart to sacrifice and experience pain while their wants, as well as those of the body, are denied and retrained.

Please grant me the disposition to do good, please grant me a remission of sins -- that “mighty change of heart.”

Lord, what is thy will for me today?

(waiting and listening for a while...)

Dear Lord,

I don’t sense any direction or communication from Thee, but I will try to follow Thy will as written in the commandments. I will continue praying and listening throughout the day in case there is direction I can receive from thee.

Amen.

-Scott

Colleen H.
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How to Stop a Runaway Horse

Post by Colleen H. » Sun Aug 12, 2007 12:34 pm

Scott,

Imagine my surprise, Scott, after a lifetime of longing to own my own horse and learn to work with these beautiful, powerful animals, when I got one and learned this fact:

When you want to stop a horse (or slow one down), you do NOT pull back on the reins in one long, tough, demanding pull. You pump or bump the reins--giving little, brief bumps against the bit in your horse's mouth. The horse responds by slowing down.

What happens if you pull steadily and long and harder---and harder and harder--to get him to stop? The horse automatically responds by pulling back againt the restrain. He stiffens his neck, bows it even. He locks his jaw. He tenses his back (and you hope he doesn't decide to "kink" his back because that's called a buck--up come's his backend and you're hitting your bottom.), . . . and he pulls back against you---and do you know how much hope you (an approximately 200 lb human) have against a 1,000 lb horse? Zero.

And so how do you stop a horse that is even refusing to respond to your bumps, to your requests to slow down or stop? What if he keeps going in the direction you don't want him to, and even starts to go faster?

Now, get ready for this. It is so counter-intuititive to the greenie horse person: You pull on only ONE rein as hard as you can which has the effect of turning his nose around until he's turning in as tight a circle as you can get him in. He has to slow down to go in a circle.

It's called the "one rein stop," or the "emergency brake" in horsemanship.

So, recently (over the last several years) the Lord has had to bring me around in a circle--to where I am covering the same ground over and over, until I'm finally ready to stop the direction I seemed locked into pursuing.

I hope the metaphor (comparison) isn't too rough.

It's just that sometimes when we feel that we're going in circles--slipping over and over, even--we might need to realize that the Lord's the one doing the "gentling" of our souls, and He's the one "on top," riding our "horse" around and around--until "our horse" is ready to stand still (be still and know that I am God), and unbow our necks, get the stiffness out---and become soft and malable, willing to let go and trust and follow our Master's gentle requests.

The parallels between horsemanship and coming to a right relationship with our Lord (our Master) Jesus Christ go on and on.

With love,
Colleen

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