Saturday, March 30, 2019

As Stubborn As… - Martin Wiles

Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control. Psalm 32:9 NLT

“Gitty up” meant nothing when Uncle Ransom said it.

My grandfather’s dad died when my grandfather was twelve years old, leaving him as the man of the house to run the family farm. One brother and a number of sisters still lived at home, and his mother needed his help. But at twelve years of age, he couldn’t run the farm alone.

His favorite uncle, Ransom, agreed to help. Plowing fields with mules could be gratifying or aggravating. For Ransom, it was the latter. Perhaps his temperament didn’t jive well with the mule’s. Maybe he used words they didn’t appreciate or gave commands with tones they detested. When Ransom plowed, the mule either balked or plowed a crooked row. But with my grandfather, things differed. He had a pleasant voice and a kind demeanor. When he commanded the mules, they did as he asked: gittied up and plowed straight.

The psalmist prefaces his command with a promise from the Lord: “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you” (Psalm 32:8). But often I’m like the senseless horse or stubborn mule when He tries to guide me.

In spite of our stubbornness, God wills to guide us along the best pathway. He does so because He loves us and has our best interests at heart. We are His masterpieces, capable of great evil or capable of great good. He will lead us to accomplish the latter if we’ll place ourselves under His watchful care.

God also has the power to lead us along pathways that enhance the good parts of our nature. He created us in His image, and, though sin has marred that image, He can still form us into creations who mimic His attitudes and actions if we allow Him. He is an all-powerful God, able to do supernatural things. Among them, changing our stubborn wills.

And God wants to lead us along these wonderful pathways. He is a God of love who adores us with all of His heart and who wants us to love Him in return with our whole hearts. He doesn’t enjoy seeing us suffer unnecessarily because we have strayed from the paths of righteousness.

Don’t be as stubborn as a mule. Listen to God. He’ll take you down life’s best pathways.

Prayer: Father, turn our hearts toward You, so we will follow Your pathways obediently. 

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