Redemption produces fruit from a barren tree. Reformation is the visible fruit of new birth. The only thing that separates the rankest nastiest horse from serving its owner in willing obedience is right relationship. But there is a caveat…
Saul of Tarsus was a dangerous man.
Christians who crossed his path were persecuted, trampled, and killed. What caused the miraculous transformation that resulted in the ‘birth’ of the Apostle Paul? Relationship with the only One who could touch his soul – Jesus Christ.
The object of Paul’s ministry was not sharing the wonderful change in Saul or fascinating details of his conversion. The only message Paul preached was right relationship with the only One who is able to touch a soul and leave peace, joy, and confidence where once there was only anger, angst, and fear.
The miracle that produced the Apostle Paul from the rogue Saul, testifies to the truth that the most vile scoundrel may be brought into a commitment that transcends life itself through right relationship with the One who is able to produce fruit from a barren tree. Paul’s purpose was not to showcase what he was capable of doing or how great he became personally. Paul came to teach relationship. Paul came to share Christ.
Disguised or Transformed?
Too many horse trainers (and preachers) try to produce a result that will amaze their friends or serve as a marketing tool to attract new customers (congregants.) Neither of these goals is worthy if the horse in question is an outlaw in need of redemption. The only goal of a worthy leader is to bring the horse from a place of darkness into light, and from being lost to coming home.
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. ~ Philippians 1:6
Like New Creations in Christ, dangerous horses are transformed from the inside out. Rogue horses aren’t changed by a layer of sugar coating or by hiding a deep desire to escape beneath layers of practice and repetitive exercises. The remodeling process that transforms even the most rebellious horse (or human) is the limitless commitment of one who is able to complete such a good work. Successful remodeling projects require the removal of everything dirty, broken, sordid, ugly, unreliable, or dangerous until only that which is solid and pure remains.
What to do when your horse isn’t your equine soul mate
Not every talented and dedicated trainer will be able to reach the soul, heal the spirit, and transform every rogue horse. But there will be one who can. There were a number of horses I had over the years that did not respond to me as I hoped. Rather than fail them I let them go to another trainer who could make the right offer of leadership in the way that particular horses needed to receive it.
Many rank horses can be trained to be useful by most good and caring trainers, but simply being useful is not the same as being made new for either rogue horse or sinful human. Nothing is impossible, but not everything is possible with every horse-human combination and Jesus Christ is the only One able to reform a human outlaw.
Don’t beat yourself up if you have a horse that you are unable to reform. Become more able by learning new skills before making things worse or bless that horse by letting it go to someone who is able to meet its needs. The horse in your pasture today could be the very one someone else has been looking for and the once-in-a-lifetime equine partner you’ve dreamed of may be nearer than you think.
Redemption – Reformation – Remodeling
Redemption by faith in Jesus Christ produces fruit from the barren tree of rebellion against God. The proof of such reformation is good works and service to Christ. Rank horses may be remodeled and changed from dangerous outlaws into reliable and amazing creatures, but it the sole miracle of Christ that does not simply remodel men and women – He completely alters who and what they are. The transformation is supernatural, eternal, and impossible for anyone other than Jesus Christ.
The fine print in the redemption of any outlaw through right relationship is the willingness, endless commitment, and ability of the one who comes to save.
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He Came Looking for Me is a true story of hope and redemption. Read more here…