Stubborn as a mule - 8 October 2018

Xanthe Hancox

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you.  Psalm 32: 8-9

Horses and mules have never been famous for their cooperative spirit; stories of horses bolting and throwing their riders off are probably what put me off ever wanting to ride one. Mules are just as headstrong and stubborn. You can push them, pull them, dangle carrots in front of them, but if they don’t want to move, they simply won’t go.

Often, we’re no different. God’s word is readily available to instruct, lead and guide us but we’d rather do things our own way to our great detriment. The greatest obstacle to knowing God’s plan for our lives is the persistence of our own unbending purposes and preferences.

It’s not God’s plan to drag us around with a bit and bridle. That’s how animals with no understanding need to be led. God wants to instruct, teach, and counsel us from within by his Spirit. When we regularly spend time reading the Bible and in prayer, we will find God consistently speaking to us, leading us by his gentle nudges and promptings within.

The way not to be a mule is to come to God in prayer, to confess our sins, and to accept his direction. Some people hold back from yielding their lives to the Lord because they are afraid he might demand more of them than they are willing to give. Following God’s plan is never a drag; it is always our highest joy and pleasure. As Jesus pointed out to his disciples beside a well, doing God’s will can be more satisfying than a delicious dinner (John 4:34). Resisting God’s will is a sure road to misery, but surrender brings happiness and delight.

Prayer: Forgive me Lord when I have been stubborn and insisted on trying to control my own life. No one knows how to take better care of me than the one who created me. Teach me the way I should go. Amen.

Go to top