Something someone said to me today is “Everything has it’s place.”
We were talking about horses and it was so interesting to see what he had to say about his life up until he decided to lay down what he loved the most.
For it is far to easy to cling to the things we love, the people we love, the hopes we have and the dreams we aspire for.
But what happens when we begin to place those things above God and let them reign over us rather than the King Himself?
We begin to lose sight of who we are.
We forget where we came from and the only One who can actually bring something to pass.
We lose sight of priorities and begin to focus on ourselves.
We forget to love God with all our hearts, with all our souls, with all our minds and with all our strength and to love our neighbor as ourselves.
We turn inwards because we are more focused on us fulfilling our dream rather than living for God and others.
For everything has it’s place.
I know even in my own life, I was scared to let go of horses and riding because I didn’t think God would pick it back up.
I didn’t want to lay it down and move onto something else.
But God knew better and He continually showed it was becoming greater in my life that He was.
I was more focused on riding and getting better at that rather than seeking the Lord deeper.
Finally, I came to a point where I realized He is worth it all. He is worth more than horses and His ways are always greater than mine. I came to realize that knowing Him was more sweeter than anything horses could give me.
So I laid it down.
Not thinking it would ever be picked up again. It was sad, it was hard and there were moments I was angry. But I came to see that the joy set before me in following the King of Kings far outweighed anything riding could bring me. And knew that there was nothing greater than knowing Him.
I realized looking to Him and placing Him the King of my life would bring much more and it did.
After The Lord resumed rightful place in my heart, He brought riding back.
And I’m glad that I laid it down and sought Him and His Kingdom first; for now I could use riding for His glory rather than my own. Now I can see His hand upon it and how much of a gift it is. It isn’t something I deserve or can control but it is in the hands of my Father who loves me and created me with this passion for horses in it’s right place in my life. Now it isn’t what I strive for, knowing Him is what I strive for – riding is a joy and something that now brings me closer to Him rather than take me away. Riding to me is an act of worship for I am using the talents God has given me for Him. I have realized it is a gift, it is a joy and it is all from Him – nothing in and of myself could have brought horses into my life if it wasn’t ordained by Him.
And that is why laying it down is so sweet. For through the hard and challenging times of releasing it, we are filled with such beauty, thankfulness and peace. Knowing that He is our All in all, He is what brings us life and He is in control.
To clarify something when I mentioned that God asked me to lay it down. It wasn’t that He took it away from me in spite or anger. It wasn’t that He was being mean about it. It was as if He ever so gently asked if He could have the one thing that was hindering me from knowing Him greater, so that I could. For He knew that if I just laid that down, even for a little while and fixed my eyes on Him, than riding would become so, so much richer to me and it did.
It became richer because it no longer reigned in my life but was held in the hands of God. It became a tool that I can use to share His love rather than a selfish desire.
The story the man talked to me about that shifted his view was the parable of the paralyzed man being lowered down from the roof to Jesus.
God asked this man what was keeping him from being in His presence, what was keeping him from being healed, renewed and set free?
The man realized he held his horse and riding in such regard. So he gave it away. He gave away his well trained horse to a equine college and decided to serve the Lord and place the Lord first in his life and heart. Not thinking riding would be picked up again. A couple years later a door opened for him to work on a cattle farm and horses.
Everything has its place.
But nothing should be above God in your life and heart.
For whatever we try to hold onto other than God will only hinder us from receiving all He is offering us. Offering us in the sense of fulfillment.
For those dreams and hopes we aspire for are all wonderful in His timing – but anything you try to muster up in your own strength won’t bring you what you are hoping for, because there will never be a point of satisfaction- other than in Him.
He loves you as you are and with what you have.
There are times He asks us to lay down the very thing we don’t want too and that’s why He asks us.
Because we aren’t willing to lay it all down and anything we hold onto will only bring us a greater barrier between us and the lover of our Souls.
So why do we want God to reign in our lives?
Because anything else won’t bring us the love, acceptance, approval and fulfillment we are seeking it for. For all things other than Him are toil – we work and work and yet always want more. We are never satisfied because we are never good enough. When God doesn’t reign in our lives, we are consumed by addictions, bad attitudes and brokenness. We cannot find healing through the things we are trying to place as first in our lives, they merely break us more. But in Him, He reveals His love – His unconditional love that loves us as we are. That sees us as worthy of His Kingdom and regaining our place as His children. We do not have to try to achieve a right standing with Him, for His grace is enough. He shows us how to rest, how to love, how to live a life that isn’t just for ourselves but His Kingdom and others. Through Him we live with a joy knowing that it isn’t meaningless toil which will one day be wiped away- but rather a heavenly kingdom which will last forever.
It leaves me in awe to think that I am no longer living, toiling just until I die – but that all I do has an eternal purpose and is refining me, renewing me and preparing me to stand with my King in His Kingdom for all of eternity.
I want nothing to stand in the way of that, for anything here is temporal compared to Him.
I thank the Lord for the passion of horses and love them more and more as I am able to see Him through His creation. I want to work with them for the rest of my days and continuing to bring Him glory through it. But I also hold onto that loosely, knowing that He may one day call me else where and I may have to let it go once again.
For I have to continue to put horses in its place. It wasn’t a one time fix but rather a daily thing – to spend time with God, to realize that I only have all this because of Him and as easy as He gives, it can be taken away. For after I got kicked (as I’ve mentioned in previous blogs) I was brought to a realization of what if I was seriously hurt and could never ride again? Where would my joy come from? Where would my identity and purpose be rooted in? If it was taken away, where would I stand? What foundation would I be built on? One that can stand or one that would fall because it was rooted in the wrong soil and not God Himself.
Our Lord loves us so much. He knows you, He knows your heart and your hearts desires. He knows because He has placed it there. He has designed you to love the things you do and desires you to use those very things for His glory. He knows where you have come from and where you are going. He knows the days ahead and He knows that if He were to give you the very thing you beg for and get upset about that you would probably take it from Him and run, rather than continue to walk with Him, even after He handed it to you.
So sometimes He waits and He refines and He teaches. Because He wants to be the lover of your soul, He wants to be what you live for and what you share with others – and He wants to use that passion in your heart to do those very things. Because He knows that life is at its fullest when living it with Him. In Him is eternal life and when we live each moment for Him, we are building up a treasure in heaven rather that just toiling for a earthly riches that will one day fade.
His plans for you are good, even when they may not seem to make sense to you. May you walk by faith and not by sight. May you come to see that everything has it’s place and everything is beautiful in it’s own time when done in Gods hand.
May you see that even your greatest dream can be used so much more in His hands rather than your own.
So let me ask you this, what is separating you from walking so closely with the Creator of the Universe, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords?
Everything has it’s place and it is so beautiful once it gains it’s rightful place in our hearts, always second to the Lord.
“Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?” Matthew 16:24-25