A Tale of Horses
God continues to do all that is necessary to bring YOU into absolute surrender to his will. After all, haven’t you prayed in one way or another for his will to be done on earth—and in you—as it is in heaven—in the so-called Lord’s Prayer?
We live during an amazing era in which God is working in you (as part of the entire worldwide Church). You’re one of his children through which He is pouring out his Spirit to draw all humanity to Himself.
I define the Church as all people everywhere and everywhen in whom Jesus resides permanently in his “unbodied” form of Holy Spirit. You are the Church. The glorious Church “without spot or wrinkle” is being fashioned into the image of God in marvelous ways. God is commited to bringing the entire world—and everyone who has ever lived on it—into his coming Kingdom. However, in order for God to fully commit this great and tremendous ministry into their hands, his children must first submit themselves to his discipline, letting him truly be Master of their entire lives. Only those willing to be fully used by God are being dealt with in such a manner. Yes, there is a real work of God going on within those who are called to help usher in God’s Kingdom when Jesus returns to earth.
A Remarkable Vision
In a minister’s conference a few years ago, God gave a dear friend of mine, Bill Britton, a vision which I want to share with you concerning this harnessing of our wills. Bill has since died and is now with God in his heavenly Kingdom. Bill was a dear friend who helped me personally in many ways. I look forward to seeing him again when Jesus eturns or when I die. Before he died, Bill gave me verbal permission to share this vision in any way I choose. I’ve shared it with thousands of people.
The following is the vision Bill saw; I have shortened it and edited it in some respects to make it a bit more readable.
“On a dirt road in the middle of a wide field stood a beautiful carriage, similar to a stagecoach, but all edged in gold, and with beautiful carvings. It was pulled by six large chestnut horses, two in the lead, two in the middle, and two in the rear. But they were not moving; they were not pulling the carriage and I wondered why not. Then I saw the driver underneath the carriage, on the ground on his back, just behind the last two horses’ heels, working on something between the front wheels of the carriage.
I thought, ‘He is in a dangerous place, for if one of those horses kicked or stepped back, they could kill him; or if they decided to go forward, or got frightened somehow, they would pull the carriage right over him.’ But he didn’t seem afraid, for he knew those horses were disciplined and would not move until he told them to move. The horses were not stamping their feet nor acting restless, and though there were bells on their feet, the bells were not tinkling. There were pom-poms on their harnesses over their heads, but the pom-poms were not moving. The horses were simply standing still and quiet, waiting for the voice of the Master.
Two Young Colts
As I watched the harnessed horses, I noticed two young colts coming out of the open field nearby; they approached the carriage and seemed to say to the harnessed horses: ‘Come and play with us, we have many fine games, we will race with you, come catch us . . .’ And with that the colts kicked up their heels, flicked their tails and raced across the open fields. But when they looked back and saw the team of horses were not following, they were puzzled. They knew nothing of harnesses, and could not understand why the horses did not want to play. So they called to them: ‘Why do you not race with us? Are you tired? Are you too weak? Do you not have strength to run? You are much too solemn, you need more joy in life.’
But the harnessed horses answered not a word, nor did they stomp their feet or toss their heads. But they stood, quiet and still, waiting for the voice of the Master. Again the frisky colts called to them: ‘Why do you stand in the hot sun? Come out here in the shade of this nice tree. See how green the grass is? You must be hungry, come and feed with us, it is so green and so good. You look thirsty, come drink from one of our many streams of cool, clear water.’ But the harnessed horses answered them with not so much as a glance, but stood still, waiting for the command to go forward with the King.
In The Master’s Corral
And then the scene changed, and I saw lariat nooses fall around the necks of the two colts, and they were led off to the Master’s corral for training and discipline. How sad they were as the lovely green fields disappeared, and they were put into the confinement of the corral with its brown dirt and high fence. The colts ran from fence to fence, seeking freedom, but found they were confined to this place of training. And then the Trainer began to work with them, with his whip and his bridle. What a fate for those who had been all their lives accustomed to such freedom! They could not understand the reason for this torture, this terrible discipline. What great crime had they done to deserve this? Little did they know of the responsibility that was to be theirs when they had submitted to the discipline, learned to perfectly obey the Master, and finished their training.
Discipline and Rebellion
One of the colts rebelled under the training, and said, ‘This is not for me. I like my freedom, my green hills, my flowing streams of fresh water. I will not take any more of this confinement, this terrible training.’ So he found a way out, jumped the fence and ran happily back to the meadows of grass. And I was astonished that the Master let him go, and did not go after him. But he devoted his attention to the remaining colt. This colt, though he had the same opportunity to escape, decided to submit his own will, and learn the ways of the Master. And the training got harder than ever, but he was rapidly learning more and more how to obey the slightest wish of the Master, and to respond to even the quietness of his voice.
And I saw that had there been no training, no testing, there would have been neither submission nor rebellion from either of the colts. For in the field they did not have the choice to rebel or submit, they were ‘sinless’ in their innocence. But when brought to the place of testing, training, and discipline, then obedience or rebellion came to the surface; yet I saw that without this there could be no growing relationship with the Master.
Finally, this period of training was over. Was the colt now rewarded with his freedom, and sent back to the fields? Oh no. But a greater confinement than ever now took place, as a harness dropped about his shoulders. Now he found there was not even the freedom to run about the small corral, for in the harness he could only move where and when his Master spoke. And unless the Master spoke, he stood still. The scene changed, and I saw the other colt standing on the side of a hill, nibbling at some grass.
Then across the fields, down the road came the King’s carriage, drawn by six horses. With amazement he saw that in the lead, on the right side, was his brother colt, now made strong and mature on the good corn in the Master’s stable. He saw the lovely pom-poms shaking in the wind, noticed the glittering gold-bordered harness about his brother, heard the beautiful tinkling of the bells on his feet . . . and envy entered his heart.
Thus he complained to himself: ‘Why has my brother been so honored, and I am neglected? They have not put bells on my feet, nor pom-poms on my head. The Master has not given me the wonderful responsibility of pulling his carriage, nor put on me the golden harness. Why have they chosen my brother instead of me?’ And by the Spirit the answer came to me as I watched. ‘Because one submitted to the will and discipline of the Master, and one rebelled; thus one has been chosen and the other set aside.’
Famine In The Land
But then there came a famine in the land, and the rich green pastures and flowing streams of yesterday were not to be had. And one day the colt stood on the hillside on weak and wobbly legs, wondering where to go next to find food; he barely had strength to go on. The little colt (I was amazed that it never seemed to grow or mature) stumbled here and there across the fields looking for fresh streams and green pastures, finding none. Still he stumbled, seemingly in circles, always looking for something to feed his famished spirit. It seemed like there was no use, for good food and flowing streams were a thing of the past, and all the efforts to find more only taxed his waning strength.
Suddenly, he again spied the King’s carriage coming down the road, pulled by six great horses. And he saw his brother, fat and strong, muscles rippling, sleek and beautiful with much grooming. His heart was amazed and perplexed, and he cried out: ‘My brother, where do you find the food to keep you strong and fat in these days of famine? I have run everywhere in my freedom, searching for food, and I find none. Where do you, in your awful confinement, find food in this time of drought? Tell me, please, for I must know!’
And then the answer came back from a voice filled with victory and praise: ‘In my Master’s House, there is a secret place in the confining limitations of his stables where he feeds me by his own hand, and his granaries are never empty, and his well never runs dry.’ And with this God made me understand that at a time when people are weak and famished in their spirits in the time of spiritual famine, that those who have submitted their wills to God, and have come into the secret place of the Most High, into the utter confinement of his perfect will, shall have abundance, and a never-ending flow of fresh streams of revelation by his Spirit.”
Thus the vision ended.
Being born into the Family of God, feeding in the green pastures and drinking of the many streams of the unfolding revelation of his purposes is fine and wonderful. But it is not enough. While we were children, young and undisciplined, limited only by the outer fence of the “law” that ran around the limits of the pastures, the Master was content to watch us develop and grow into young adulthood, spiritually speaking. But the time came to those who fed in his pastures, and drank at his streams, when they were to be brought into discipline and training for the purpose of making them responsible, adult sons and daughters.
Many of God’s children today wonder why the disciplined ones won’t run after every new “revelation” or feed on every opportunity to engage in seemingly “good and profitable,” dead religious activities. They wonder why some will not race with them in their frantic efforts to build great works and great and notable ministries. They cannot understand the simple fact that this group of believers in Jesus is waiting for the voice of the Master, and they do not find God in all this outward activity. They will move in their time, when the Master speaks. But not before, though many temptations come from the playful colts.
And the colts cannot understand why those who seemingly appear to have great abilities and strength are not putting it to good use. “Get the carriage on the road,” they say, but the disciplined ones, those in God’s harness, know better than to move before they hear the voice of the Master. They will move in God’s timing, with great purpose, and great responsibility.
And God helped me understand that there were many whom He had brought into training who had rebelled against the discipline, the chastening of the Father. And they could not be trusted with the great responsibility of maturity, so He let them go back to their freedom, back to their dead religious activities, and revelations and gifts. They are still his people—his Church—still feeding in his pastures, but He has set them aside from his great plans and purposes at this time in history. So they revel in their freedom, feeling that they are the chosen ones with the many streams of living waters, not knowing they have been set aside as “unfit” for the great work God is doing at this time.
So faint not, fellow believers in Jesus, for it is God who brings you into the confinement of his will—and not an enemy. It is for your good, and for his glory, so endure all things with praises and thanksgiving that He has counted you worthy to share in his glory! Rejoice in your trials, in all your tribulations, and glory in his cross, and in the confining limitations of his harness, for He has chosen you, and has taken upon Himself the responsibility of keeping you strong and well fed, so lean upon Him, and trust not in your own ability and understanding.
You shall be fed, and his hand shall be upon you, and his glory shall overshadow you, and flow through you as it goes forth to cover the earth. Glory to God! Bless the Lord, He’s wonderful! Let Him be Master of your life, friends, and complain not at that which He brings to pass in your life.
Abundance in Famine
For in the time when famine sweeps the land, He shall feed by his own hand those surrendered to his perfect will, and who dwell in the secret place of the Most High. When terror stalks the land, those in his harness shall not be afraid, for they shall feel his bit and bridle and know the guidance of his Spirit. When others are weak and frail and fearful, there shall be those who are strong in the power of his might, and lack for no good thing. In this era of history when the pointless and dead traditions of the religious systems have proven false, and their streams have dried up, then his Chosen ones shall speak forth the true Word of God. So rejoice, children of God, that you have been chosen by his grace for this great work in this last hour.
The fence which kept the colts in their own meadows and their own pastures means nothing to the team in the harness, for the gates open to them, and they go forth pulling the King’s carriage into many delightful and wonderful places. And so to those who are brought into absolute surrender to his will, there is no Law, only grace. For they move in the Grace of God, led only by his Spirit where all things are lawful but not all things are expedient. This is a dangerous realm for the undisciplined, and many have surrendered to sin as they leaped over the fence without his harness and His bridle. Some have thought of themselves as being completely harnessed and surrendered to Him, only to discover that in some areas of their lives rebellion and self-will continue to reign.
Let us wait before Him until he puts his noose around us and draws us to his place of training. And let us learn of the dealings of God and the movings of his Spirit until at last we feel his harness drop about us, and hear his voice guiding us. Then there is safety from the traps and pitfalls of sin, and then shall we abide in his house forever!
“Dear friends, don’t resent God’s discipline; don’t sulk under his loving correction. It’s the child He loves that God corrects; a Father’s delight is behind the discipline and correction.” –God, Proverbs 3: 11, paraphrased
To think about this month
“Dear child of God, don’t shrug off God’s discipline, but don’t be crushed by it either. It’s the child God loves that He disciplines; the child He embraces, He also corrects!” –Hebrews 12: 11, paraphrased
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Revised and Updated December 2020