We horse chicks know about pressure and release. It is how our horses learn. When interacting with horses we are constantly applying pressure and releasing pressure. To begin with, just being a predator and trying to communicate with a prey animal is pressure for them. We can at any time in the presence of horses take a step back and see how pressure is being applied and released. We are either carefully aware, or unaware, of how it is affecting our horse in our process to create trust and partnership. Pressure comes in many forms and one could, and several have, written pages about it. Today God has me thinking about pressure and how it relates to my walk with Him.
So about the pressure we as humans experience. I have been experiencing some anxiety off and on for the last couple of days over an upcoming event in my life. It is nothing new for me, just the "thorn in my side"/adversity that God is using to grow my faith in profound ways. As always the anxiety comes from one of the old lies that the enemy loves to use against me. I say "old lies" because at one time I believed those lies. But not today. I have walked through those dark places with Jesus, and He has delivered me from them. Praise the Lord! But the enemy knows that even still today there is residue of those lies in my heart and mind, and he takes full advantage of my weak moments. As always Jesus faithfully delivers me from each attack, every single time. Today, in wake of one of those attacks I have been chewing on how the pressure of those lies makes us turn our thoughts inward. There is a pattern in humans to always focus on the negative, there is even research that shows how the brain is wired to remember negative events more than positive. Just like our horses' brains are wired as prey animals to push against pressure and we have to teach them to give to pressure. When we teach a horse about giving to pressure, it is in the release that the horse learns. When the horse stops pushing towards the pressure and gives to the pressure of our gentle touch it can be a moment of complete learning if we release the pressure at just the right time. Our tendency, just like the horse, is to push back against those pressures we are experiencing. And as the imperfect sinful people that we are wired to be, we tend to direct that pressure inward towards ourselves. Often we do this by playing old tapes of those lies, or current ones, we listen to what others are saying, or we become so focused on trying to bend that pressure to our own will that we forget, or do not know, that God is calling us to give that pressure to HIM. But you may ask, as many a horse chicks have done before us....how do I give to the pressure? Just like our horses' brains are wired to be on constant alert, so are we. God's Word tells us to be "self-controlled and alert, that the enemy prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." I actually think God just right there told us to be like a horse! First, be alert...be aware of when you begin to feel those physical sensations of the pressure, just like you notice them in your horse. The next step, be self controlled. Just like when your horse is triggered and ready to go into fight or flight mode, you ask them to go back to the foundation you taught, and focus on your cues. God is asking the same from you....turn your focus away from yourself, and focus on Him, praising Him as your savior and telling him how much you love Him. The next step, submit your repentance to Him. Here is a very important thing to know about the enemy you are to be alert for...he has a nickname, it is "the accuser". His goal is to beat you to God and tell on you and bring forth shame on you. So learn to be faster, and wiser, and beat the enemy to it by quickly, in prayer, asking for forgiveness for your doubt, your worry, your fear, your self-reliance, your sins. And then look to God, and in humble prayer ask for help from our Lord, our Heavenly Father. And then find rest in the release of the pressure that comes from turning to Him as our refuge.
** The next time you see your horse be alert let it be a reminder to you, that God is asking you to do the same! **
His Teaching Cues:
1. Identify the pressures you are experiencing. Physical or mental.
2. How are you inwardly focusing from them?
3. Make purposeful time today to release that pressure to God using the steps listed above.
4. Just like our horses learn from consistency, so do we. Be purposeful and consistent in spending time with God, in humble prayer and plea for His compassionate help.
"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. " ~ 1 Peter 5: 6-8
"Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be Your name, Your Kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one." ~ Matthew 6:10
For further encouragement read:
Luke 12: 22-31 "Do Not Worry"
Matthew 14:22-35 "Jesus Walks on the Water" addresses Doubt
Ephesians 6: 10-17 "The Armor of God"