Training for the Cross - Blog

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Willing Submission

"Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you. Accept instruction from his mouth and lay up his words in your heart." (Job 22:21-22).

"Willing Submission" or "Seeking Relief"

1) The horse chooses to do the job.
2) Set it up so the horse would have it no other way than to do what you want to do.
3) Horses are driven by comfort. Make it comfortable to do the job.
"Make the wrong thing difficult and the right thing easy" (Ray Hunt).
4) In this way the horse and person become partners. The horse has a choice.
5) Requires patience, timing, and feel.
6) A person can ask a lot more of a horse once they have submitted willingly.
7) Willingly submitted horses try to please their riders.

In order for you and your horse to move together in perfect unity to accomplish a job, the horse must first act with "Willing Submission." My definition of "Willing Submission" is: When a request is made the horse willingly performs the task requiring little to no pressure; it is the horse's idea. After initial contact the horse performs the task on a loose rein and with no leg pressure. If it is truly the horse's idea we should not have to drive them to do the job.

To achieve Willing Submission with my horse, I start with what I call Stage 1 (stopping the inside front foot and walking the other feet forward around it). When a horse stops driving forward with the inside front foot and walks the other three feet around the inside front foot with willing submission (loose rein and no leg pressure), they have totally submitted their driving factors/life to us. If they were driven by self-preservation, or seeking comfort and companionship away from us, their hindquarters would be driving them forward. We can disengage the hindquarters, but the driving factors are only submitted when the inside front foot stops moving forward. In Stage 1, the hindquarters will step sideways and then the outside front foot must step forward, then the hindquarters, then the outside foot and so on. If the inside front foot moves back or sideways, you have too much pressure on the rein. If the inside front foot moves forward, you have too much life and need a little more rein pressure.

Willing Submission can be applied to our lives. Once we have learned to totally submit our driving factors with willing submission, then the Lord can give us direction. Often even though we may want direction and be seeking direction, until we have totally submitted our driving factors, it is difficult to hear the Lord speak. When we attained salvation we achieved Stage 1, we totally submitted our driving factors with willing submission. We were no longer driven by our self-preservation and seeking comfort and companionship anywhere but "in" Him. We had total confidence in Him and our energy (motivation and determination) was pointed entirely to Him. It was at that moment that you were in perfection. You were cleansed from all your sins and they were as far as from the east is to the west; "as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us" (Psalms 103:12).

However, just like a young horse it does not take long for those driving factors to come back in and start driving us away from the Lord. No, the driving factors must be resubmitted and resubmitted and resubmitted all day every day until they no longer come back in. That is what we have to do with our horse and that is what the Lord showed me I must do with my life, to be a true disciple. Once the Lord showed me this concept of how limited I am to do a job with my horse when they have not submitted their driving factors, I began to realize how much I was limiting God in using me as a true disciple. Oh sure, we can contain our self-preservation with a strong mechanical foundation (going to church, reading our Bible), but we will never be a true disciple until we get rid of our self-preservation and seek Him for comfort and companionship daily.

The most important thing is to learn how to submit your driving factors. If you are like I was when the Lord started showing me this, it is going to be very difficult. Although I tried to read my Bible daily and attended church whenever I could, I was amazed at how much I operated in my self-preservation (thoughts of I, me, we, or us). Just like our horse, we need to learn how to submit our driving factors. The tough part is to try to stop the forward motion, to stop your driving factors from driving your mind away from God. God showed me that I need to do this the same way I get a horse to do it.

When I first begin to teach a horse to submit their driving factors it is all mechanical. A horse that has never been touched before I will rope around the neck and whenever they turn and face, pointing their driving factors to me (Stage 1), I will give them relief. Eventually they learn that they cannot breathe unless they have their driving factors pointed to me (this is what the Lord did to me). Then I work closer and closer, decreasing the energy and increasing the confidence in me, teaching the horse to keep their driving factors pointed to me. Then I put a halter on them and teach them Stage 1 (submitting driving factors) with a halter. Then I wrap the lead rope around my saddle horn, put the flag over the horse's withers and ride to their tail. The horse is snubbed to my saddle horn and cannot get away. When I bring the flag into the horse, the horse's self-preservation tries to drive the horse away, but he hits the end of the lead rope and submits his driving factors. Eventually as the energy decreases, confidence is gained and the horse is no longer bothered by the flag.

The horse also learns that under high stress situations when self-preservation is at its highest, they can always submit their driving factors and get relief. If I do not have a saddle horse, I will tie them to a solid post and drive them forward until they hit the end of the rope and do Stage 1 submitting their driving factors. I then give them relief when they turn and face me. I pet them between the eyes, walk around straight behind them and do it again. Eventually as the energy decreases and confidence is gained, they learn to submit their driving factors and trust me in their blind spot. They learn to stop the forward motion and pivot around the inside front foot before the slack even comes out of the lead rope. It is easy to see how Stage 1 brings direction (suppleness through the poll and loin) in this drill. Apply the same concept when you get on the horse's back.

A person can apply the same concept of getting the horse to point their driving factors to you, in the round pen. Brian Neubert explains this very well on his website and there are several people that have "round pen ministries" relating getting a horse to "turn and face" to our life with the Lord. The parable is that the round pen is the world, we are the horse and God patiently waits in the middle. God applies slight pressure when we are focused on the distractions of the world (outside the pen) and we get relief when we turn our focus to Him. The end result is our driving factors pointed to God and no longer seeking comfort and companionship with the world. The round pen ministries are a great demonstration of how we can find peace and contentment in this life, through submitting our driving factors. They are a tremendous tool for bringing people to the Lord and work wonders; our ministry however is focused more on the next step. Now that we have submitted to the Lord, how can we learn to ride in absolute perfection where horse and person, man and God truly become one? Now that we have submitted in the round pen, how do we stay submitted once the gate is open?

Ask the Lord to give you a solid post to keep your self-preservation from having a runaway. Just like your horse, the more times you can keep your driving factors submitted, the more confidence (faith) can be gained in God and the flags will soon have no effect.

When working with a horse that is filled with self-preservation I like to work with them in a solid round pen. Do the same thing with your mind during the early stages; build a strong round pen for your mind. The more people that you put around yourself that are seeking the Kingdom of God, the easier it is going to be to keep your mind from running off. The more time you keep your mind on Him, wanting to know Him, the Holy Spirit will begin to decrease your energy and increase your confidence in Him. Once you have a solid Stage 1 with willing submission, peace and direction will follow right after. Treat your mind just like the horse's hindquarters. Our mind is constantly in self-preservation, running off and seeking comfort and companionship away from the Lord, if we let it. Learn to double your mind. Ask the Lord to give you something to double your mind around. Pray to the Lord, "Lord my mind is running off; give me something to double it around." Think of your favorite Scripture, or something He has shown you in the past. Start praising Him and thanking Him for everything He has given you. Ask Him to remove your self-preservation and wash you of your sins. Do whatever you have to do to keep your mind on Him. As your focus begins to shift from self-preservation to feeling the comfort and companionship of the Holy Spirit, just continue to think about Him and the presence of the Holy Spirit will get stronger and stronger. Pretty soon your mind will become totally submitted, you will be at total peace and your mind will become consumed with the Lord. This is what it means to have a solid Stage 1; totally submitted driving factors. Once a person learns to find this place on a daily basis, your life will never be the same again.

Learn to submit your driving factors, be softened by the Holy Spirit and then receive direction like Elijah in 1 Kings 19. Elijah fell before the Lord a helpless wreck, fully submitted his driving factors and then the Lord spoke to him. If you are tired of waiting on direction from the Lord, instead of waiting on the Lord to get through your driving factors, try totally submitting your driving factors, laying everything at His feet.

Here's a Quiz to help you check your progress in attaining Willing Submission:

The thoughts in my head and desires in my heart naturally line up with the Bible (New Covenant) (Hebrews 8:10).

All day I am about my Father's business (Luke 2:49).

In every thing I do, I work at it with all my heart as if working for God, not for man; because I know it is from the Lord that I will receive the reward of my inheritance (Colossians 3:23-24).

I serve only one master, I do not get caught up in the world and worry about money (Matthew 6:24).

I look to my heavenly Father and only Him, nothing is tying me to this world (Matthew 19:21).

My focus all day is to store up for myself treasures in heaven, not on earth (Luke 2:49).

(excerpt from "Foundation for Perfection: A Guide to Discipleship" by Wade Black)


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