But I [the Lord] know your sitting down and your going out and your coming in and your raging against Me. Because your raging against Me and your arrogance and careless ease have come to My ears, therefore will I put My hook in your nose and My bridle in your lips, and I will turn you back by the way you came. (Isaiah 37:28,29 AMPC)
I have not been writing blogs for a long time. Been too busy with “other things”! Recently the Lord pointed out to me: “Pray more and write down what I speak to you”. So, here goes and I hope what God is showing me will encourage you on your own walk with Him.
April 7th 2020
In my time with the Lord I was complaining to Him about “not hearing” Him, or being distracted. There is so much going on in our world right now, especially with Covid-19. So much on the internet, so many sermons, so many voices, ideas and opinions, and I started to feel overwhelmed by it all. So, I asked Him to speak to me personally. I started to read Isaiah 37. At first I thought “how can God have anything to say to me in this chapter, it’s quite boring!?” But He proved me wrong… again! As I was sitting and making time, listening and paying attention to His still, small whispers, this chapter and these specific verses came to life. It’s Hezekiah talking to the Lord about the nations and kings who worshiped other gods besides the Living God, alone. God is speaking back to him that when people worship other gods and things, then there was something He was going to do to THEM. In my mind it was THEM and not ME! Until I felt God was kindly pointing out the gods in my own life. So when I read the above verses, I was struck to the core. “I know you, I know your sitting down and going out. I know your arrogance and careless ease… you need a ring in your nose and a bridle.” Oh my! I was convicted big time. It’s not an easy verse for sure and was not very soothing to hear, either!
Being a former cattle and horse farmer, these verses just jumped out at me and I felt the Lord wanted to highlight the purposes of rings in bull’s noses and bridles in horse’s mouths.
Some things that came to mind…
- A hook (ring) in the nose of a ranging bull, will instantly calm it down. Heifers that are often too fat and strong sometimes need rings too!
- A hook (ring) makes even the strongest, the most powerful bull to be powerless in the hands of his master.
- A hook (ring) makes the bull to follow his master where ever his master will lead him.
- A hook (ring) makes the bull’s nose so sensitive, it really only takes a very gentle tug/touch from the master to make him aware.
- A hook (ring) is pretty painful to put in, there is blood and pressure to get through some bone, but once it’s in, the pain subsides.
Some possible spiritual applications I felt about the hook (ring)…
I felt convicted by the scripture. During these times of isolation and “being forced” by authorities to go home, I have been wondering if this is part of the Lord’s doing? Is He needing to put a hook in my nose because this is the only way to tame me or to point me in the right direction, or to go in a different direction? I can see now that this applies in many ways. Even though it is easy to pray for THE CHURCH, God has really convicted me in this area too. I AM THE CHURCH and what is applicable to THEM is actually applicable to ME FIRST! UGH! Didn’t want to hear that part! “It is easy to see the little splinter in the eye of others, but the huge plank in your own eyes you do not see!” – the Bible. This is not all. I can see how I have other gods in my life. This means I have things in my life that are of higher priority than God. Or I don’t trust God even though I say I do. Here is how I have been greatly challenged since my return from Kenya. MY very busy and successful grooming salon is not doing so well at this time. And this is stressing me out. For 12 years my efforts made the business successful, and now the rug was pulled out from underneath my feet. The question I had to answer truthfully and honestly: Was I going to trust God… or continue to trust in my own efforts? I am guilty. In Deuteronomy 8:17-18 God warns that we should not forget Him Who gives us the strength and wisdom and power to get wealth. We should not think we are so good, because everything we accomplish is through Him and not us! So, as I think about all of this: is He needing to put a ring in my nose and a bridle in my mouth to bring me back to Him, to His gentle touch? To make me aware that He wants to lead me and that I cannot rely on my own efforts, strength or power? Getting back to that place of sitting at His feet like Mary, because that is the best place. He told this to Martha, when she wanted to stay busy with cooking and baking and being busy with other things.
About the bridle in the mouth of a horse…
First I remembered the scriptures about the tongue in James chapter 3, but felt this was not what God wanted to say about bridles. Here are a few things that came to mind:
- A bridle in the mouth of a horse is not to restrict movement, but it’s to direct his steps and which way his rider wants him to go.
- A bridle in the mouth of a horse is needed to help him slow down at times, other times it’s to help him to know to go faster.
- A bridle in the mouth of a horse is needed to often stop him in his tracks – this is to prevent him from going to places where he is not suppose to go or to make him aware to “look” where he is going.
- A bridle in the mouth of a horse can also be seen as a “stimulant” in a sense – this makes the horse aware of his master on his back and he will pay attention (if he wants to).
- Horses are very intelligent creatures – but they need to “be broken” into submitting to their master! Even though they submit, they often can get rambunctious and become unruly. The Lord reminded me here about my own horse. His name was Natal. I could ride him in the yard without a bridle, but when we went into the field, I had to use a bridle. Why? He often would get rambunctious and would jump and going crazy and I fell off in the process, because he would do it when I was not expecting it! I felt the Lord say to me: “I know them and their potential to quickly go astray! I know you, too!” (I could hear Him say that even though He did not speak it out!)
To me, just these thoughts and things that God reminded me about was enough to make me think, pray and ponder more. Thank God, my first response was to humble myself and repent. I can see how I DO need a ring in my nose and a bridle in my mouth. I also see that it’s for my good because I know God does not want to leave me the way I am. He also spoke these words to me: “I am preparing you for a show, when others will see and hear!”.
Farmers who show their cattle during an agriculture shows are very proud of their animals. It usually takes some hard work, including rings (hooks) in noses, but it pays off. The same for horse riders during the competitions. One will get the prize; if horse and rider work together and do what the judge would ask them to do! It’s all worth it!
A scripture that comes to mind from Song of Solomon 2:15 (TPT): You must catch the troubling foxes, those sly little foxes that hinder our relationship. For they raid our budding vineyard of love to ruin what I’ve planted within you. Will you catch them and remove them for me? We will do it together.
I thank the Lord today for talking to me about hooks/rings and bridles. In a way He is pointing things out that hinder my relationship with Him. Or showing me how I trust other things instead of putting all my trust in Him. I needed to hear it and I am grateful. Lord, I want to be sensitive to your touch. I want to let You guide and lead me. I am sorry for being stubborn and that I am in need of a bridle, but thank YOU, this is for my good, it is your way of bringing me back to YOU! Please make me willing, even though there will be pain in making a hole in my nose for that hook! Gosh! Pretty intense!
Through all of this, the moral of the story, is, I believe–God wants to showcase HIS heart through me to others. When we allow Him to tame us, we become what He wants us to be. We are in sync with Him and His heart. He says, “I KNOW YOU” and I know His desire is that I know Him too, more and more each day. Together we will do this. AMEN!