July 27, 2013

Not by Bit and Bridle

Psalm 32

Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no un-derstanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle.
—Psalm 32:9


In the Old Testament, God spoke to people in many interesting ways. He spoke to Moses through a burning bush (Exodus 3:1-6). He spoke to Balaam through a donkey (Numbers 22:26-31). He gave signs to Gideon through a fleece (Judges 6:36-40).

We often wish God would speak to us in some extraordinary way today. If only he would write his will for us in big letters across the sky. If only he would shout the answer we’re seeking from the mountaintops!

Ironically, God’s people of the Old Testament longed for the day when God would speak not through dramatic signs but, rather, in the way he most often speaks to believers today. The prophets spoke of an age when God’s Spirit would be graciously poured out on all people so that he could speak to them from within (Joel 2:28-29). With the arrival of Pentecost, that day is now here (Acts 2:14-21). We are now God’s temple, where God’s Spirit dwells (1 Corinthians 3:16)!

It’s not God’s plan to drag us around with a bit and bridle. That’s how animals with no understanding need to be led. God has his loving eye on us and desires to instruct, teach, and counsel us from within by his Spirit. When we develop the discipline of silence and solitude, we will find God consistently speaking to us, leading us by his gentle nudges and promptings within.

So often, God, we look for dramatic answers to our ques-tions. Teach us to listen for your Spirit speaking within us. Amen.

About the author — Shawn Brix

Rev. Shawn Brix has served as pastor in several Ontario churches. He and his wife, Jenny, have three children.

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