What separates and divides…
A girl and her horse.
A child and their heavenly Father.
What causes a disconnect, void, or gap between?
Like many things in life connection, communication, and relationship are often lost somewhere between lawlessness and legalism.
Let’s explore this concept with our horses first.
The extreme of lawlessness and disorder in horses can look like believing we should ask nothing of our horses. The belief that there is no kind, compassionate, dignified way to ride, train, engage, or interact with horses.
There are people who feel that sitting in the presence of horses or viewing them from afar is the only way to be with horses. Therefore believing that having boundaries or rules of engagement outside of a horse being a horse is in a sense lawlessness. Having horses in a domestic environment without teaching them boundaries would be disorderly and as a result, aligns with the understanding of lawlessness.
Whereas the flip side or opposite extreme would be legalism. In relation to horses, this reflects endless systems, methods, techniques, and training strategies that control, manage, and manipulate the horse’s behavior and actions.
You’re surrounded by the extremes of lawlessness and legalism
Lawlessness is rampant and all around us… and yet so is legalism. In our daily lives, these extremes can be spotted in countless ways.
Indulging in overeating, overdrinking, overspending, lack of self-care, not getting enough sleep, being lazy, lust, porn, overworking… ALL forms of lawlessness in our day to day life.
Legalism is rigid, heavy, never enough. Where lawlessness is a lack of boundaries, legalism is walls, rules, expectations, and an escalator of high standards that can never be met. Simply put legalism is works of the flesh…
What isn’t faith is sin.
I don’t know about you but legalism and works of the flesh is a tough one for me.
I want to do all the “right things”. And often fall into the trap of, “I just need to work harder, do more, be more, study more, achieve more. This is most certainly an area of prayer and letting go for me!
For God so loved the world…
Standing between lawlessness and legalism is salvation. Salvation is an invitation to having a personal relationship with Jesus.
It’s not a pass into lawlessness nor is it the shackles of religion or burden of never measuring up to righteousness.
What is the magic between a girl and her horse?
Do you know your horse?
Do you know Jesus?
Do you know the heart of your Heavenly Father?
Or do you know about them…
Most frustration, fear, anger, threat, or defensiveness that you might feel when you think of Jesus or God… And most of those same emotions combined with perceived danger or lack of confidence around your horse stem from not knowing them at a relationship level.
Knowledge – Understanding – Wisdom
The Lord by His wisdom has founded the earth; by His understanding He has established the heavens.
By His knowledge the deeps were broken up and the clouds drip with dew. ~Proverbs 3:19-20
To experience connection, bond, communication, and relationship there must be trust, wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. If we wish to keep our ears attentive to wisdom, apply our hearts to understanding, and continually seek and pursue these things, we must ask God and He will provide them. (Proverbs 2:1-10)
But we first must seek and pursue. The answers are there when we are open to Him revealing them to us.
To grow in your relationship with your horse, with God, and even with yourself… start seeking the answers to questions like. What knowledge, wisdom, and understanding do I have of God, of my horse, of myself?
Start with where you feel afraid, unsure, or frustrated. Lean into those areas. Pray. Read the Word. Listen to God, your horse, and your own intuition (which will be guided by the Holy Spirit when you’re seeking God for guidance and wisdom).
One of my strengths is being a learner… I love to read, study, and research. It’s important whatever we seek to learn more about we take it back to God.
As I sought to learn about horses and discover what career path I wanted to take, I stopped seeking God on what I learned about horses… At least from a training perspective. The health side of horses I continually prayed about and sought God’s guidance for. Yet somehow I seemed to forget that the best horseman in the world would likely be the one who created them in the first place.
Trust in and rely confidently on the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him, And He will make your paths straight and smooth [removing obstacles that block your way]. ~Proverbs 3:5-6
I went through a phase of being frustrated in my horsemanship. Sudden fear, lack of confidence, and self-doubt had overtaken the very aspect of my life I had always felt strong and assured in. When out of desperation I finally turned this area of my life back over to God, He started revealing to me things about myself and about my horses that I had blind to from worldly views and my own insights and perceptions of what was happening.
The areas of your life that are troubling you right now, seek God, and cast them over to Him. ALL of your worries, cares, and anxieties… YES, even the ones around your horse. They matter to Him because they matter to you. He cares about you with the deepest affection and is ready to guide you where you need to go next. (1 Peter 5:7)
I pray that you continually seek wisdom, understanding, and knowledge of God, yourself, and your horse. From that place trust, bond, and connection will be established and you will once again return to the simplicity of a girl and her horse and a child and their heavenly Father.