The Lord says:
“These people come near to me with their mouth
and honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
Their worship of me
is made up only of rules taught by men.
– Isaiah 29:13

God has used my horses many times to teach me truths about His awesomeness or ways in which He is working on my character. This morning, as I spent time making my way through the rest of chapter 5, one of these lessons came to mind.

In the photo above, you can see that Harley is moving his feet forward…going in the direction that I ask. See if you can see any differences between the picture above and the picture below…

Do you see it? His feet are going the direction I have asked in both instances. In the picture on the top, where does his heart appear to be? Where is his thought? Look at his body–his neck is all upright and rigid–and you can see what we call “brace.” His physical brace reflects that his heart and his mind aren’t with my heart and mind–they are braced, too. They are distracted. Going the direction I have asked is well and good, but my desire is for him to go with his heart…with his thought. In fact, when it comes to horses, this is important for *safety* (but that is another story all together!).

In the second picture, Harley is “with” me. He is coming along as a willing partner. I am the lead partner…and he isn’t just taking his feet resentfully where I ask. His mind and heart are there, too. Do you see the softer looking muscles in his neck? His eye is softer too…His ears even reflect that he is WITH me. It is a great start of the two of us doing what I have asked with willing, eager, united spirits.

He is doing more than just mechanically going where I ask him.

God told me to do Day 5 in the book. So I dutifully got up this morning and finished the Mirror Mirror Exercise and the rest of chapter 5 in the Thin Within book.

But it was mechanical. The “feel” wasn’t there. I did it with my body and mind, but my heart was far from the exercise. I was like Harley in the first picture…my mind and heart were *not* with what I was doing. I was braced. I tried…but I felt like I just am not able to really offer God a whole-hearted “yes, Lord” like I have before when doing this exercise.

This has exposed some work that needs doing…definitely. I must welcome the Lord to search my heart and know my anxious thoughts…and expose what is there…allowing him to root it out.

I don’t want my relationship with the Lord to be about “rules taught by men,” or about “should dos” when I go through a chapter in a book or other things that I might “do” because I feel compelled to if I am going to be “a godly woman.”

I want my heart to be so earnest for the Lord…I want to have godly passions so that “giving in” to my desires actually results in something that glorifies God for a change!

So…that is where I am today.

For your consideration:

How about you? Are your “feet” mechanically doing what God says to do? Or are your heart and mind in the process as well? Are you experiencing His touch so that you are willing and, like Harley “softened” to the idea? Or are you “braced,” resenting somewhat the intrusion on your life?

Let’s take time to ask the Lord to soften our spirits and minds so that when our feet follow His request, it is with a heart sold out in wild, loving, abandon and surrender! This is what he is after!