I love to give children cart rides with our miniature horses.
Once I get them in the middle of the pasture I begin my Deuteronomy-6-by-the-way-object-lesson.
To turn a right or left means a tiny gentle tug. I use this to teach the children how we need to listen to God’s gentle tugs.
I point out how the reins control the horse bit before we begin our ride. In horse riding, horse bits and bridles work on the horses head and mouth to control the direction of the horse. God make the horses mouth to accept a bit, they have no back teeth. The reins put pressure on the roof of the horse’s mouth.
Once we are driving for a few minutes and they feel comfortable I begin the lesson. “Did you know the Bible talks about horse bits?” In James 3:3 it says:
We put bits in the mouths of horses to make them obey us, and we have control over everything they do.
Watch how I make the horse turn right. Watch my fingers. Look at this little nudge that make the horse turn. God guides us with little nudges or tugs too.
We make a lot of decisions every day all day, big and small. You decided to get in this horse cart. The decisions we make will shape our life. I can tell you of some decisions I made at 15 that still effect my life today today (at this point they usually look as if they are amazed that I was ever 15).
We all want to make right decisions. Sometime God’s way is obvious. If someone ask you to steal something you know it is wrong so you chose not to sin. But sometimes there are more than one right way like where to eat dinner or what book to read. It is important for us to learn to listen to God’s Holy Spirit promptings, nudges, or tugs.
Listening to God
Do you know how we can listen to God? (they usually shrug and I smile a give a little hug).
God wants us to acknowledge His presence. He wants us to talk to Him and to listen to Him. We walk in the Spirit daily, listening to His little tugs, to be in constant communion with Him. Think about it this way, how would you feel if you were standing next to a friend and they ignored you?
We should have a running conversation with him about everything in life and express a desire to follow His will at every turn.
Cultivating a Strong Relationship with God
You see that pasture over there (pointing at the neighbor’s farm)? The farmer cultivates his pasture. Cultivate means preparing the crops for growth.
We cultivate our relationship with God by being near Him, by allowing Him to be part of every aspect of your life. By giving Him the reigns and watching for the little tugs.
Just like spending time with a friend makes the relationship grow deeper. To grow in this life, we cultivate our relationship with God by intentionally spending time with Him throughout the day.
When we read or listen to Bible stories we are learning how God thinks and acts. If you only listen on Sunday you will miss out.
God wants you to lean on Him. Only He knows big picture. He wants to be a part of every part of our lives and guarantees the best results for our efforts if we would just follow His advice. The decisions are still left up to us to make.
Paul explains how God wants us to lean on him in everyday things in Romans:
It takes effort on our part to hear God. It takes prayer, study. We can then take His advice and make the right choices.
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering.
Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.
Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. Romans 12:1-2
The most incredible invitation Jesus made is for us to simply follow him. All we need to do is tell God we trust him and listen to His leading.
Would you like to learn to drive now?