A model of strength, of submitted control,
The horse to his rider commits to his role.
If given his head he might charge on alone,
But trained to the reins he refuses to roam.
He responds to the touch of his rider's command,
The tug on the bit from the reins in his hand.
We, too, have the power that's given to us,
By our Rider and Lord, in Whom we can trust,
And when we commit our tongue to His rule,
He'll guard and will keep us from sin's speaking cruel,
And as did our Saviour to God's will commit,
We'll yield to His tug on our bridle and bit.
A couple of years ago, I had the awesome opportunity to see a "Horse Whisperer" at work, taming an "unbroken" two-year old horse who had had little handling, and no contact with the "Whisperer" at all. As I watched the man go through the paces in the arena with this, at first, nervous pony with a stranger and a crowd to boot, I saw him gradually gain the confidence of the animal, indicate by gentle pressure and basic signals what was expected of him. The horse responded, took the bridle and bit without hesitation, then the saddle, and ultimately the weight of the rider without the bucking normally seen on the rodeo circuit. This done, the rider then guided with the reins, his steed around the arena. All of this took a total of about an hour and a half. Amazing. And what was even more amazing was that the "Whisperer" talked more to the crowd than to the horse. He kept a running commentary of what he was doing, and laced the whole of his presentation with a witness of how it related to the life of one who was, at first, not a Christian, but who, coming under conviction, began his move toward Christ. Every step he made with the horse he related in steps he'd taken in coming under the control of Christ in his life.
As I reflected on this scene and began to make a connection between the bridle and bit of God's control, I thought of the place where the control begins. There is nothing that creates more mischief in life than a person's tongue "out of control". What he or she says is most often the measure of how much or how little control they have on their whole body's action, good or bad.
How much control one has over his body total can be seen in how much control is kept on the tongue. It is the steering mechanism that moves the body one way or the other. The tongue out of control can ruin the Christian's witness, and its unbridled use can run over in destructive power the very ones who are the objects of God's love and life.
The control of the tongue, or speech, is pictured like the bridle and bit put into the horse's mouth. With it this most powerful of tamed animals can be guided and led to do the most amazing tasks. When tamed, a horse still has all his strength to do as he will, but he has placed his will under the control of the master of the reins, and has submitted to the bridle and bit which guide him in the use of his power.
In the same way, when the child of God has committed and submitted to the indwelling master of his life, he has received the potential of God's "watch" upon his lips, the bridle and bit of God's guiding Holy Spirit. Our supreme example of a life under control, with His reins secure in the will and purpose of His Father's hands, is Jesus. He, the righteous power and might, when condemned and abused undeservedly, opened not His mouth in defense or condemnation. He, Who had the bidding of angels, kept Himself under the controlling reins of the Almighty's will, and died upon the cross. Ho, all the earth, keep silence before such a One, and submit to the bit and bridle of God!
Psalms 141:3 "Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth: keep the door of my lips."
Ecclesiastes 3:7 "A time to rend, and a time to sow: a time to keep silence, and a time to speak."
Isaiah 53:7 "He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth."
Titus 2:8 "Sound speech, that cannot be condemned: that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, have no evil thing to say of you."
James 3:2 "For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body."
James 1:26 "If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain."
Be encouraged today in all you say and do, that it is in responce to God's bridle and bit.