The picture at the top of this page shows all the horses in the Jackson family – all seven of them. I like watching them trot across the pasture on a cool, crisp morning. I like the way they respond when you rub that soft, velvety place at the bottom of their noses. I love the way my husband looks on his horse.Hey, I even like the way horses smell. But what I love most about them is their power when they run.
The movie, Secretariat, opened this weekend. My husband and I had been chomping at the bit to see it. (Yes, that pun was intended.) Since we are horse people any movie starring a horse is a must-see.
It was no surprise that Secretariat won the Triple Crown in the movie. We all knew he would. What did surprise me was how he ran when given permission to run his own race. He ran with strength and power that could not be held back by a mere jockey and a set of reins. He ran free, far and very fast.
The movie sets the stage for spiritual references by opening with a quote from the book of Job and the parallels continue throughout the movie. I couldn’t help but think how I am sometimes like a horse being held back by the reins of Satan. I have the same power within me that raised Jesus from the dead, but I choose to do life as though my feeding trough is always empty. When faced with a problem I allow Satan to pull back on the bit and slow my progress as he tries to convince me to run on my own power. I let Satan’s voice rise over my shoulder and whisper negative thoughts in my ear. This causes me to doubt my abilities and the motives of others. I frequently forget my purpose is to glorify God. My heart knows He has equipped me with all I need to carry out His plan for my life, but I run fearfully.
However, when I choose to listen to the Spirit I hear the words of Romans 8:2 in one ear, “And because you belong to [Jesus], the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.” In the other ear I hear Ephesians 1:19-20, “I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same MIGHTY POWER that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.” When faced with a steep hill while trail riding, the most exhilarating moment comes when I release the reigns and allow the horse’s spirit to charge up the hill freely and fearlessly. When I keep God’s words ringing in my ears, I force Satan to let go of the reigns and I am able to run powerfully, freely and very far while trusting in the training I’ve been given by the Spirit.
Let’s take a lesson from the horse. “It paws the earth and rejoices in its strength when it charges out to battle. It laughs at fear and is unafraid. It does not run from the sword. The arrows rattle against it, and the spear and javelin flash. It paws the ground fiercely and rushes forward into battle when the ram’s horn blows. It snorts at the sound of the horn. It senses the battle in the distance. It quivers at the captain’s commands and the noise of battle.” Job 39:19-25 (NLT) May we all be as fearless!