When I was young, I was crazy about horses. I would ride just about any horse—even the crazy, barn-runners. However, riding a stubborn horse is more of a battle than a pleasure. A painful bit is required just to keep the horse and the rider safe. On the other hand, riding an obedient horse is delightful. You travel further and see greater sights. The horse is guided by only slight pressure from the knees, the reins on his neck, or even just the sound of your voice. No pain required—just trust and understanding. The ride is also much more pleasant for the horse. We are very much like this with God.

When we listen to Him, we journey in harmony with Him.

We are unified with Him for an extraordinary purpose. More importantly, we’re not fighting the one who loves us. God gives us this wisdom—with a small measure of levity: “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.” (Psalms 32:8-10) I lived like a stubborn horse for much of my Christian life. I’d run when I’d see God coming because I was afraid of Him and I thought a journey with Him would be miserable. I served Him out of obligation, fear, or peer pressure—my stubborn heart made the rules painful and I didn’t like His restrictions on my “freedom.” However, His goodness eventually drew me to Him.

When I willingly turned to Him, I fell in love. That’s when He changed my heart. I could finally see that I was surrounded by His love. I began to anticipate the sound of His voice to guide me on the next adventure and I no longer wanted to live in the prison of my own disobedience. The longer I’m with Him, the less I want to be a stubborn, barn-runner. When we’re close to God, we enjoy our journey with Him!

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