Training for the Cross - Bible Study

Monday, November 9, 2015

Ranch Roping Bible Study 3

True Unity

"And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity" (Col 3:14).

Photo by Frances Loza

Reading the title of this book, a person may say it is a spin-off of Tom Dorrance‘s book, True Unity: Willing Communication Between Horse and Human. However, I think it is the other way around. True Unity: Willing Communication Between God and Man has been the theme of God‘s book since the beginning of time. Tom was one of the greatest horsemen of all time. His teachings have shaped the training methods in the U.S. and many parts of the world. Tom, no doubt, had a gift. The gift that Tom possessed was not obtained through selfish ambitions or earthly knowledge. Tom‘s gift was a gift from God. Tom did not possess magical powers and he was not a witch doctor. His gift originated in his heart, and gave life to a new perspective. Tom could see things in a horse that no one else could see. He had a gift to see inside the horse; a gift that I believe came from God.

Why did God give Tom this gift? I think for the same reason He gives any man a gift; to help equip them to build the kingdom of God. Although, for the majority of Tom‘s life he did not give God credit for the gift, I believe the gift was given to glorify God. Tom has passed away and is with God in heaven. However, his teaching still lives on and many lives are touched. So, who receives the glory for Tom‘s teaching, Tom or God? What is the focus of nearly every horse clinic, the horse or God? "Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator"(Romans 1:25).

Tom laid the foundation that would influence and help shape many lives. I do not believe this gift was given to Tom so that through his teaching people could gain fame and fortune. In Acts 8:9-25 we are told the story of Simon the Sorcerer who thought he could buy the gift of the Holy Spirit, so that he could be great among men. Peter told him, "May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin" (Acts 8:20-23).

It is no secret that God gives gifts unto men. "But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says: When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men" (Ephesians 4:7-8). But what gift did Tom possess? He possessed the gift of Love.

"If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no records of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres" (1 Corinthians 13:1-7).

I believe that Tom had 2 gifts; he had the gift of love, but almost as important, God gave him perspective. These two go hand in hand and one without the other does not yield the same results. Since the beginning of time there has been man and horse, and since around 3,000 B.C. man has been using the horse. For as long as there has been man and horse there has been man and God. In the same way we have wanted to use the horse, God has wanted to use man.

Throughout history there have been people that God has been able to use in amazing ways: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, Isaiah, Elijah, John the Baptist, and the disciples, just to name a few. What was it that these people possessed that separated them from the rest? Two things separated them; their heart and their perspective. Looking at these extraordinary men, we can see that they undoubtedly had the power of God upon them. However, God‘s power was able to be manifested in their life, because they had a heart for God and their perspective on life revolved solely around him. Every one of these people knew God. They had a relationship with Him and He was real in their life. They could communicate with God and they knew when they were in His will and knew if they ever fell out of it. What separated these men is that if they ever fell out of God‘s will, they did not stay there. They ran back into the will of God.

Besides love, what was Tom‘s other gift? Perspective. Tom could see things inside a horse that other people could not see. What was it that Tom saw? Tom could see perfection. He could see when a horse was in perfect unity with a person, and he could see the instant they fell out of that perfection. What separated Tom was that he did not like to remain in imperfection (disunity). He took as long as it would take to find what was causing the imperfection and fix it. People would come to him and say, I am having a horse problem. He would reply, I think your horse is having a people problem. It never was the horse, it was always the person. It is never God, it is always the person.

What I do not understand is that I read the Bible and it speaks of perfection (Greek word: Teleios- complete (in various applications of labor, growth, mental and moral character, etc.); completeness: - of full age, man, perfect.). Christ died for this perfection or “completeness” and through His precious blood on the cross our souls (mind, will and emotions) can rest “in” Him and in the work that we have been predestined to do. So why do so many people believe that perfection in unattainable? Here is the kicker; this perfection is only attainable in Christ Jesus, "We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ" (Colossians 1:28). To be in Christ Jesus you are no longer in yourself. We must die to ourselves that He may live inside us, "We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life" (Romans 6:4). "For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin-because anyone who has died has been freed from sin" (Romans 6:6-7). We must decrease that He may increase, "He must become greater; I must become less" (John 3:30).

There is something that I am constantly reminded of in Scripture and it speaks true in my life. The only thing that keeps me from perfection in Christ is me. It is not because of a lack of God‘s ability, but because of a lack of my ability to submit to His will. The same is true with our horses. If perfection is ever attainable with our horse, or with God, it must begin in our heart. When a person is starting a colt, it is nice to know the horse‘s background. It is nice to know how much the horse has been worked with and what kind of foundation has been laid. I would like to do the same thing with man and animals and our history with God. I would like to talk about the beginning. I think this is very important because as Christians, we need to look back at God‘s relationship with man and animals and try not to make the same mistakes that others have made before us. I think as Christians we need to look at how things were with God in the past, how they are now, and how things are going to be in the future. If we do not fully understand all that was taken from us in the beginning through sin, we cannot fully understand all that we are capable of having now, by Jesus taking that sin. I think as Christians, the majority of us do not even come close to scratching the surface of everything that God has for us on this earth; if we would only let Him show us. "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God" (1 Corinthians 2:9-10).
God Bless,
Wade Black

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