Dress Your Horse
“A horse is prepared for the day of battle, but victory comes from the Lord” (Proverbs 21:30).
This verse has been mulling around in my mind for almost a week now. I’ll tell you why.
At our church, our staff strives for perfection. And WE MAKE NO APOLOGIES FOR IT. We want the weekend worship experience to be so phenomenal that people leave thinking that they just met with God at a U2 concert. And we prepare, and we rehearse, and we prepare and we rehearse some more. Because we think God deserves our best.
But I think, in Christian circles in general, there’s always one bad nugget that comes with the value meal of our humanity- and that’s the tendency to make this “striving for excellence” the end in itself. Without warning, all our preparation can become the all-consuming passion. Our pursuit of excellence becomes the pursuit of our heart. And the final goal is the performance itself. See, this is backwards. But I think it often goes unrealized. Instead, the all-consuming passion must be the God to whom deserves our excellence, and the pursuit of our heart must be to pursue Him, and the final goal must be — Him. And I think our church understands this. And I think that’s why this verse resonates with me so much.
We are in a battle. We’re in a battle for the souls of men and women who are on their way to an eternity in Hell. We’re in a battle for the minds of our students who think that being a Christian is being like Jessica Simpson. God help us. So, we’ve got to suit up. We’ve got to get our horse ready for battle. So, we dress him. And we dress him nice. And we dress him with the stinkin’ best armor that we’ve got. Because he’s not just any old horse. He’s a horse riding in God’s army. He’s a freakin’ stallion that will strike fear into the enemy and muster courage among his comrades.
We dress him and then we, what? Do our best? Fight more and talk less? Get out there and just swing at something? No. We prepare our horse, and then we get out of the way. We get out of the way and let God have His victory. Because the victory belongs to Him. I think Christians forget that.
This morning I was teaching a 1st grade class, and I decided to try one of those random question polls on them that usually elicit funny responses. I wasn’t disappointed. So I asked them, “What comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘victory‘?” Caroline, who is 6, said, “I don’t know why but it makes me think of sometime later.” Hmm… While I was still wondering what came earlier, I asked Seth, who is also 6. He said, “You’re strong!” I was grateful. Erin, who qualified her age by an extra six months, said, “I think of life when I hear that.” Diego, wanting to be done with me quickly and to get back to his math game, said, “Me too.” Interesting answers from 6 year olds.
You know what victory is? It’s at the end of the day knowing that the Gospel was preached, lives were radically altered for eternity’s sake, Jesus was lifted up, the devil was straight kicked in the jaw, and the unbeliever among us left saying, “Wow! Surely God is in their midst!” (1 Corinthians 14:23-25)
So, let’s dress our horse and get out of God’s path of victory.