Thursday, October 7, 2021

Dressage and My Walk with the Lord

 Psalm 51:9 "Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities." 

I accepted God's gift of salvation as a child of about seven or eight. I don't remember exactly because it was around my birthday. However, I do remember having a great sense of urgency to be sure I was saved. At that young age I hadn't committed murder or adultery or any of those big sins. Yet, I was aware that I was a sinner in need of saving. 

Through my life I kept fairly close to God. Yes, there was times when I listened to the tempting songs of the world and danced to its tune, but in human measurements, I was no wretched sinner. 

And yet, I am. 

But I am a sinner saved by grace. 

There have been moments of great chastening in my life. I look at those spots in shame and humility. I knew better. I grew up in a Bible-believing family with Godly parents and attended church on a regular basis. Even at a young age, I began reading and memorizing Scripture. You'd think that I should have lived a perfect life. But I still live this life in the flesh. 

I know to some people I seem rigid, legalistic, without grace. But those people are blind to the work God is doing within me. Those people do not hear my prayers, "Oh God, I love You. Help me to love You more. Help me to serve You with all of my life. Help me to please You, Lord. " 

They can't see taped on the wall above my laptop are these verses: 

"Lead me, O LORD, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face." Psalm 5:8 

"Teach me thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies." Psalm 27:11 

"Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass." Psalm 37:5 

"Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God?" Psalm 77:13 

"Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known." Psalm 77:19 

I love dressage, the fine art of horseback riding. At its highest level the rider and horse meld together to perform the perfect dance. I love the feeling of that dance. I love the feeling that this 1500 pound beast is submitting to the slightest contraction of my pinky finger muscles or my calf muscles or my abdominal muscles. 

When I ride a horse I've trained to the highest level it can attain, I immerse myself into the movement of the horse, feeling each step, each contraction and stretch of its back muscles, abdominal muscles, jaw muscles, neck muscles, leg muscles...To reach perfection a constant communication and submission must be maintained between myself and the horse.  

  

I strive for the same relationship with God. 

When my mount stiffens its jaw, I need to react with correction to restore the smooth and beautiful movement. When my mount takes a step off pattern, I must redirect it back to the course, sometimes with crop or spur. Sometimes I must ask my horse to lengthen its stride or shorten into collection. Each of these require the horse to listen to my leading. If it doesn't respond with the lightest of touch, then I must increase the "volume" of my leg or hand or weight...sometimes using the touch of a spur or whip.  

  

In my walk with my Lord I sometimes stiffen my jaw. Doing so creates an unpleasant feeling between God and me and steals the beauty of the movement He is asking me to perform. 

Sometimes I become distracted and step off pattern. God often gently puts me back on course, but there have been times when I've refused to go, and He's had to use a "spur" or a "whip" to put me back there. 

But when we are moving together, the picture is beautiful, the feel of union incredible....and that is why I work to rein in my desires that are not consistent with God's will. That is why I willingly submit to correction by Him. That is why I am quick to confess and repent of my faults, because I want to give God that perfect ride. 

I'm still in training and I'm doing my very best to feel the quiver in God's pinky finger on the reins or the tightening of His calf muscle or the tension in His abdominal muscle so that I can perform the pattern of life He has asked me to perform. 

"But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof." Romans 13:14 

Just had to share one more video (because this is so neat).  

Forgiveness

Years ago, one of my daughters got caught doing something bad. We had a conversation and she said, "I'm sorry, will you please forg...