I first want to apologize to the readers of my blog, I have been so busy with training horses, interns, clinics, preaching and teaching, that I have not taken the time to post anything new for months. I even need to finish one last entry about the Mule Ride Joan and I took to the Grand Canyon last Sept. So I will try to get that done this month (July) because I don’t have any training horses here and only a few clients coming for lessons and trail rides. Now on to the topic, “Saving Shiloh”.
Shiloh is an 8-year-old brood mare which Sandy Reuther saved from going to the killers. She wanted a project after her good and faithful partner Doc had to be put down after many happy trails together. I will also post Sandy’s story about the month she and Shiloh spent with me here in Burwell. Sandy will share the lessons that she learned during her internship here with Shiloh, but for this post I am going to relate how “Saving Shiloh” is similar to the way many of us are saved. I want to share with you how God loves us into releasing full control of our life to Him.
Since Shiloh had been a brood mare for 8 years for the most part she was pretty much in control of her life. She could boss around her colts and I imagine she was one of the top mares in the herd and very possibly the lead mare. She lived in green pastures with not too many cares in this world. Everything seemed to be going her way, or so she thought. I can imagine she even thought life was pretty darn good because she had the freedom to do and be whatever she wanted, whenever she wanted. She didn’t have to answer to anyone, at least not on a regular basis or in an inconvenient way. BUT what she didn’t realize about her world is that she was in the hands of a bankrupt master. If she stayed in this nice green pasture doing her own thing all the time, it would lead to her total destruction.
Aren’t we often like this? Going about our own way, thinking everything is fine, not even realizing if we have not been adopted into the family of God, we are still in the world, where another master roams seeking whom he may devour. The master whom Shiloh belonged to had nothing left to offer her, only death, unless someone with compassion and love chose to adopt her. Remember, Satan the father of lies is bankrupt. He is seeking whom he may devour and he has nothing to offer us but destruction. Therefore, we are in desperate need of someone who is compassionate and loving who will choose to adopt us into a new family where we can have a definite purpose and become all that we were created to be.
1 Peter 5:8 “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
Mark 4:15 “Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them.”
Rev 2:9 “I know your afflictions and your poverty—yet you are rich! I know about the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.”
John 8:44 “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
Luke 8:12 “Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.
2 Timothy 2:26 “25 Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.”
Billy Graham said, “Don’t think of Satan as a harmless cartoon character with a red suit and pitchfork. He is very clever and powerful and his unchanging purpose is to defeat God’s plans at every turn including His plans for your life.”
Now remember this; Sandy chose Shiloh. Shiloh did not choose Sandy and she had no intention of leaving her green pastures for a life of training to become a usable riding horse. Shiloh did not even realize that Sandy was taking her out of a very lethal situation. If Shiloh didn’t accept the adoption Sandy was freely offering by getting on Sandy’s trailer, her fate was a death ride on another trailer.
Aren’t we often like this? God chooses us out of the herd and has a good plan for us whether we realize it or not. He may take us out of our comfort zone (the nice little green pasture where we think we are in control) because He knows our potential. However, it will take a lot of training so we can reach our potential, where we are usable in His Kingdom. If we don’t accept His offer of adoption we may never know what we are missing and worse yet we may not even realize the trailer we are on is not the one we really want to be on. There is a calling, a destiny for each one of our lives. Shiloh had two destinies, either stay as a brood mare in the hands of a bankrupt owner or adoption which included a training program to become a valuable riding partner. God calls each one of us to become valuable partners in His purposes to love and save the world.
Jeremiah 29: 11-13 11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
Proverbs 14:12“There is a way that appears to be right,but in the end it leads to death.
John 3: 16-17 16″For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
God has plans for each one of us and He chose us before we even knew it. He sooooooooooooooooo loved the whole world, that means everyone. Little by little He will draw us into his presence and start developing us just like Sandy and I did as we worked with Shiloh. It didn’t happen over night, and I tell you she didn’t give up without a fight. But it is only because she didn’t know how sweet “Full Release” can be.
When we first started with Shiloh we didn’t expect her to be more than she was (an untrained brood mare who didn’t want to be a part of our program), and she made that quite clear. It would take some time for her to step into a “full release” about the idea of becoming a valuable riding partner. God does not expect us to be perfect or do more than we are capable of, because just like a master horse trainer He is patient and caring. He knows under his expert guidance one day we will be capable of all He asks. Sandy and I know one day Shiloh will be capable of all we ask of her. She isn’t there yet, but after thirty very intense days, she is a lot closer than she was when Sandy adopted her.
As we worked through the first month with Shiloh we discovered three very distinct stages in her development. In these stages I can see so clear the analogy of a person learning to yield their all to Jesus as their Lord and King.
Stage 1 Resistance
Philippians 2:13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
Romans 2:4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?
A good horse trainer wants the horse to know he is on the horse’s side and will help him survive and even thrive in becoming a valuable riding partner. God wants us to know that too. Sometimes Shiloh was too set in her ways and full of reasons why she was certain she couldn’t do this which caused her to be blinded to the fact she could and that this plan was actually good for her life. At this point there was no way she could help herself, she had to rely on us for her new life. We too must learn we can’t make it in this world without God’s help. If we are willing, God will teach us His ways which are better for us than we ever dreamed possible.
One of the most important lessons I have learned is we don’t have to fix ourselves. All we have to do is release full control to the Master, receive his love, forgiveness, direction and gentle correction. Shiloh could not fix herself. She would not wake up one day as a perfect riding partner. The only thing she had to be willing to do was quit resisting and start receiving.
Mark 10:15 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
Luke 11:10 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
John 1:12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God
1 Corinthians 6:19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;
Galatians 4:4-5 4 But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.
Well I did not intend for this post to be this long and I haven’t even gotten to Stage 2 and 3 yet. So I am going to add a “Saving Shiloh Part 2 and Part 3″ where I will finish the rest. I hope that you will read them because the best part is still to come.
In the mean time, I hope that you will consider the things I have shared which I learned from Shiloh. I know that I can see myself in her story. Maybe you can see yourself too? If you are still resisting God and His offer to adopt you into His family I hope as you read the rest of Shiloh’s story you will soften your heart to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, because God really is on your side and only wants what is best for you. He has a very good plan for you. He loves you and wants to save you like Sandy saved Shiloh even when Shiloh didn’t realize she needed to be saved.
Made Alive in Christ
2 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.