Recently I was at a training event for young prophets. As part of their exercise, they were to seek to hear God’s voice for individuals. I am always happy to be a guinea pig at such events. You often receive great insight from those who have not had their gift clouded with success. On this occasion, two ladies ministered to me around an idea which centered on the phrase, “you are one who runs ahead of the horses”. An interesting passage of Scripture concerning Elijah, after his victory on Mount Carmel and before he ran away to hide in a cave. One can only wonder what God would mean there. As with most prophetic things, I thanked them, and took the Word with me to consider and pray and see what He would say to me on the subject.
I realized in contemplating this, they were right, they had nailed it. You see, my personality is that of a race horse. I get to high speed over a short distance. It was a very desirable trait in my business and military life. God has gifted me with being able to look at circumstances, see what needs doing and get after it in short order. Great stuff in a combat circumstance or when sales numbers need to move. It is a blessing in many areas of my life. Making good accurate decisions can be invaluable, but it can also be frightening for those around you. You can seem skittish, unapproachable, maybe even scary like a racehorse. It also creates in me the I’ve finished my race going to take a break weakness. I have to labor to stay focused and on point over longer duration events.
Others I have known are like trotters, they carry a heavier load, more often over a longer distance, but at a slower rate of speed. These tend to be the more contemplative leaders, when they move it is decisive, when the racehorse is at the first turn, trotters are still coming up to speed. They follow the same path, run for the same goal, the finish line, but they do it in a different, not better manner.
Still others are plow horses, they carry tremendous loads, over incredible distances, seemingly never tiring. They keep the same pace day after day, week after week, year after year, and as they finish one field they move to the next, never in a hurry, always mindful of the Masters hand on the reins. In fact, they really don’t race at all, they just keep moving.
Interestingly enough, if you place race horses, trotters, and plow horses in the same pasture, they are not jealous of each other. There may be some minor territorial squabbling, but mostly, they eat grass, walk around, lay in the shade and do other horsey things. In fact, if you are not careful, they will breed and reproduce without paying any attention to what kind of horse they are. The offspring will be hybrids often not fit for the task of either of the parents. They don’t care, you see, they are doing what they were created for, being horses, making more horses. When they do that, they give glory to the Creator by their existence.
So where am I going with this. Horses from different backgrounds, different bloodlines, bred for different purposes are content to just be horses together. We as Christians seem to struggle with that. We look at other Christians and wonder why they are not more like me? What is wrong with them? Don’t they see this text, hear this song, dream this dream, how can they not be motivated to move as I am? Well, the truth often is, they think the same way about us. I serve as Pastor of Charismatic/Full Gospel Church. We sing new songs, loud, with drums, guitars and amplifiers, we pray together loudly, sometimes in tongues. It is our tribe, it is who we are. We are not better than those who sing hymns, use organs, kneel and pray and weep quietly in a corner, we are simply chasing after being who we believe God has called us to be. Paul wrote about this to the Corinthian Church.
2 Corinthians 10:12 ESV Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.
There is the truth for us, as individuals, as denominations, and congregations. Don’t compare ourselves with each other, that is foolishness, ignorance, lack of understanding. We should compare ourselves only with the standard of Christ and who He has called us to be. Am I living that to the fullest in my life, and at the same time extending love and grace to others who do that differently, not wrongly, but differently than my personal expression. I am not suggesting overlooking overtly sinful issues, those are for another blog. Simply I am asking can you not judge me for not pulling a plow and I will extend you the same grace for not breaking into a trot.
1 Corinthians 9:24-25 ESV Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. (25) Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.
Unlike earthly racers, all who run after Christ believing will receive the prize, the prize of life eternal and such heavenly rewards as await those faithful to the call on their lives. Race horses, gallop hard straining ever forward and fulfill your calling. Trotters, maintain your pace steady and powerful to the end, you will be rewarded. Plow Horses, keep pulling, your faithfulness does not go unnoticed by the One who called you to the harness. Be yourself, by being who He called you to be and run well the race set before you. He is cheering you on, calling you home.