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WHERE IS YOUR HORSE?

Or “Conversion is a whole different mindset” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

The Bible gives us many instructions of things to do, change, think and become in our quest for salvation, to be transformed and become like Christ. Here are a few:   (all KJV)

The Ten Commandments (Exodus 20)

Matthew 5:3-48

Galatians 5:22-23

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Matthew 5:44

44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

Jude 3

3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should EARNESTLY contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

Ephesians 6:11-13

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Romans 12:1-2

1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye TRANSFORMED by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

2 Peter 1:4-8

4 Whereby are given unto us EXCEEDING GREAT AND PRECIOUS PROMISES: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

5 And beside this, GIVING ALL DILIGENCE, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;

6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;

7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

...and much, much more.

For the sake of this article, these instructions are likened to a horse.  They are the essentials that we need to be like God and be acceptable to Him.

The horse pulls a cart. But are we putting the cart before the horse? 

What is the cart?

Human nature, Satan’s temptations, the worldly influence, the words/teaching of men......

There are differing views on many doctrines and this can lead to serious friction in our relationships with each other – and with God because of our attitude towards others with whom we disagree.

To tithe – or not

To vote – or not

Flat earth – or not

Physical place of safety – or not

Divorce and remarriage

The truth about the ten lost tribes

Etc, etc...

.....to name just a few.

The basic beliefs that we should all have in common are adoring and glorifying our Father and Son, striving to be like Him with all our heart, mind, strength and soul, thinking as He does, obeying His commandments, loving the brethren, developing fruits of the spirit, loving and praying for all our enemies.  And, yes, we need to learn to discern truth from error so we make wise, Godly decisions, thus “putting on Christ”.

Common ground helps us to love and accept each other, differences and all.  The spiritual values that we must have in common are what make us a functioning Body, not the physical differences in how we live our lives which, if we allow it, can cause fractures in the Body of Christ.  A broken body does not function well. Doctrinal differences seem to be what keeps us dysfunctional rather than being a Body unified by shared spiritual values and goals. 

Because we are God-centred, we learn to live with the differences.  God doesn’t cut us off if we don’t yet see something quite the way He sees it.  Over time, when it is relevant, when we need to know, He will give us clarity. 

We should treat each other in the same way and not be too quick to end a relationship.  Easy to do, harder to put right.  Obviously we proceed with caution, prayerfully, but not with judgemental animosity. In the case of egregious misbehaviour of course we need to take care but God has the final say, not us. Bearing grudges and letting a root of bitterness develop can cause us to walk away from the Kingdom.

These doctrinal issues can cause us the most grief and do the most damage.  We tend to focus on them in our interactions and reactions to each other and we can lose sight of the horse - being transformed.

Our spiritual change and growth and our love towards our spiritual family is far more important than, for example,  how we calculate the start of the lunar year to participate in God’s Holy Days, or any other issue.   The calendar thingy (and all other differences) can be sorted out in the twinkling of an eye, in God’s good time. But the wrong attitude on our part that develops as a result of misunderstanding, offence taken, feeling superior to someone who doesn’t ‘get it’ etc cannot so easily be changed.  Without care and attention it can become a serious rift which is not good.  The cart is definitely in the wrong place!

Too often we see people falling out. We’ve all been unfriended on Facebook and often it comes from a divergence in doctrinal belief – the cart. The breakdown is really due to our failure to apply God’s laws of love – the horse, which must come before the cart. 

We could be wrong.  We could be right. Someone can learn from us. We can learn something from others.... 

We may well be right but if we disdain a brother or sister because they deal with a situation differently – therein is the sin! Our sin.

Cutting remarks and put-downs result from a feeling of superiority and certainty in our own rightness. We’ve all seen them, received them, even said them.....   

We are warned not to be blown about by every wind of doctrine and standing firm, but we must also continually check with our Father as to how ‘we are doing’.

If we find we have ill-feelings towards a brother over a disagreement about doctrine then the cart is in the wrong place.

If we feel resentment, envy, anger towards another brother, then the cart is in the wrong place.

We disagree. Fair enough. But if we are filled with the indwelling of Christ, His thinking, His ways, we can shelve it - and perhaps think on it later.  

It is great when people can discuss things – and how we all need that! – without anger or feeling insecure about where we stand, yet learning from each other, or at the very least agreeing to disagree agreeably.  

Metaphorically, the horse has to be our relationship with God, His love for us, ours for Him and for each other. This leads us in the right direction. The horse has to grow, get bigger and stronger, the cart gets lighter as we cast off our own ways and put on His.

Again metaphorically, the cart is our human nature, our baser instincts, Satan’s promptings. We strive to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling, striving to be like Christ. We are striving to cast off the old man - the cart, if you will, - the vanity, carnality, anger, envy, feelings of superiority and entitlement. With the horse leading the way– God’s way - we can thwart Satan’s attempts to separate us from the Body of Christ.

2 Peter 1:4-8

4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;

6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;

7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

This wonderful passage has the answer to all our difficulties. No doctrines as such, no rights and wrongs, no do’s and dont’s, just straightforward directions for spiritual growth. As we follow these guidelines, everything falls into place.

If we are concentrating on this important role of the horse, consciously thinking through each component, praying about it, building the right spiritual strength and Godly character as we submit to the indwelling of Christ, then the cart will be back in its rightful place. Human nature and Satan’s manoeuvres to destroy us will be thwarted. If the cart is trying to pull the horse, being the driver of how we live our life, how we respond and react in certain situations, then we cannot progress.

It’s so obvious, and makes life so much easier, kinder.  We are all at different points; we are all growing in grace and knowledge but in different ways and dealing with different issues at any one time. That’s how God works. Our spiritual growth is individually tailored to produce the very best results. We can unwittingly stymie God’s desire to teach and shape us if the clay is not pliable in His hands.

Pray for each other, love each other, accept willingly that someone does understand more than we do at any one time, and accept graciously that we understand more than another does at any one time.  As Ronald Dart said many years ago, “It’s all about the need to know” and he was right.  Love one another, and leave it to God to sort it out for all of us – in His good time. 

First things first. The horse must come before the cart if we are to progress in our journey. Eventually the old man (as in the cart) will be cast off; a transformed spirit being (as in the horse) will rise to dwell eternally with Elohim.

END

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Lost Ten Tribes

Is the identity of the lost ten tribes of Israel relevant?  See our article Children of the Promises 

Do you know

the difference between the law and a covenant?  Or the difference between commandments, statutes and judgments?  If not make sure you read see our Bible Study on God's Law   

Have You Considered

Jesus Christ said that no one has seen or heard his Father.  So who spoke to Abraham, Moses, Isaac and Jacob?  To find out make sure you read our article - Who Spoke.

Do you know who the two witnesses will be?   See our article -  The Two Witnesses.

Will you be part of the bride of Christ? - See our article - Bride of Christ.

Points to Ponder

When we take of the wine and bread in rembrance of Christ's sacrifice are we observing Passover, or the Lord's Supper?  Is there a diference between the two?  If so - what is that diference?

Be sure to read our article on 'The Truth About Passover'

As you are preparing to celebrate the Lord's Supper you may also want to read our new article 'Examine Yourself'