Horses are amazing animals.  They have incredible strength, can be extremely stubborn, yet when they submit to our leadership (through a bit and bridle) you can harness all that power to control them to do exactly what you want them to do.  The power to do this lies in the pain caused to the animal’s mouth.  In order to avoid the pain, the animal will follow your leadership.

Now Psalm 32:8-9 gives an interesting instruction from the Lord:

I will instruct you and teach you in the way that you should go. I will counsel you and watch over you.

Do not be like a horse, or a mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you.

Many are the ways of the wicked but the Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in Him.

God promises to instruct us, teach us, counsel and watch over us.  But rather than letting God guide us step by step as He promises to do, we refuse to gain insight and understand, being so stubborn that we leave God but one option:

To punish or discipline us through pain in order to keep us on the paths that He has set out for us.

His goal is to guide us through love and wisdom. We are to trust in His love, to go His way where His love surrounds us.  NOT the way of the horse and the mule!

Do we choose to listen to and then obey God’s instruction, teaching and counsel? 

How many of us are “horsing around,” leading our lives as we see best, on our own counsel or those of others? (Prov 3:5-6)  How many of us are experiencing pain, discomfort and lack of peace in our own lives because we stubbornly refuse to go the way the Lord leads?

Wouldn’t it just be easier to trust in His unfailing love?  To remember that He is watching, that He is the One who:

“will not allow your foot to slip or to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber.  Behold, He who keeps…will neither slumber nor sleep.”  Psalm 121:3

It is easier to go His way, to go to Him for guidance and follow in His footsteps.

Don’t be a horse!

Next time you are experiencing pain, think about your life.  Dig down into the word and write down what you have learnt, and then start creatively applying it to your life.  Being disciplined is not pleasant, but if we allow ourselves to be trained by it (Heb 12:11) it will result in right living and right standing with God.

Don’t be a horse!

For more on insight, see:


What Does Obedience Look Like?

The Response to Love

Love Most Excellent