The Freedom of Obedience

This is the sixth in a series of nine photovotionals based on the photo prints
of mine which we have hanging on our walls in our home in Brandon, Florida.

The drive to my church office took me by a pasture that this morning was pure magic. The rising sun shown through the morning mist. The resident horse of the pasture felt like celebrating the morning, running and cutting his way through the thick golden fog. The benefit of having your camera with you even when you’re not planning on taking pictures is that you can take a picture that you didn’t plan on taking, like this one.

This horse seems to be enjoying the morning, though he’s confined by a fence. I’m sure there are other times when he’s guided by a bit and bridle that are in the hands of his master. His life has limits but he sure seemed happy, well fed and in fine shape the morning I saw him.

I’m reading the book Horses for Dummies because Refuge Ranch, where we are currently living with our daughter and her family, has a horse named Sonya, and I’m determined she and I are going to ride places together. The book mentions the fact that horses are social animals and that one usually dominates the group as the leader. Sometimes other horses test the leader to see if that horse should still lead. The book goes on to say that when the other creature a horse is relating to is a person the horse will test that person to see if he or she should lead. Just as children are happier when they’re disciplined children rather than spoiled children, so the reality is that a well disciplined horse is a happy horse while a rebellious horse never looks happy.

The Bible uses different names and titles for God in describing our relationship to Him; one of those titles is master. God as our Master calls for obedience from us. This might seem to put limits on us, but His commands are not at all limiting. He is, after all, a good God and wants only what is best for us. Can we move the truth of this concept from pure intellectual agreement to heartfelt belief that prompts a voluntary and enthusiastic desire to serve Him with obedience, unlike the horse, which usually needs the coercion of a fence and bit and bridle?

“Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you.” (Psalm 32:9)

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