Monday Morning Devotion-April April 24, 2023
A Faster Horse
I am leaving you with a gift---peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don't be troubled or afraid. John 14:27
*from devotion on April 11, 2016
Henry Ford said, after he built his first automobile: "If I had asked people what they wanted they would have said a faster horse. There is some disagreement as to who invented the first car. In fact, not only did an estimated 100,000 patents lead to cars as we know them, but people disagree on what qualifies as the first true automobile. (www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/ford.html.
But Henry Ford was determined to build a simple reliable car that was not just a plaything for the rich. So, he developed the design for the Model T in 1908.
Racing fans had been watching horses zip around the one-and-a-quarter mile Kentucky Derby track at Churchill Downs in close to 2 minutes. Secretariat would be the only horse to post a sub-2-minute Derby run (1:59.40) in 1973) (www.heavy.com) So way back before the car came along, they might have thought that a horse was the fastest mode of transportation. Folks weren't ready for something new.
What about you? In what areas of your life are you just settling for a faster horse rather than something that will dramatically change you in unimagined ways like the automobile changed society? And how do you know what that life-changing thing would be? Now that's a good question.
Back in the day people had never seen a car. There weren't any. They knew about horses and that a good fast horse was worth its weight in gold if you needed to get somewhere quickly. Of course, what was quick back then would seem awfully slow today. We certainly wouldn't want to race a car on horseback…unless the route was through a meadow, the countryside, or woods without a road available.
Sometimes in life it seems like we settle for a faster horse when a high-powered automobile would be available. We get impatient. We grab for the first thing available and miss out on something better.
Why is that? The Bible says "Sin, fear, uncertainty, doubt and numerous other forces are at war within us. The peace of God moves into our hearts and lives to restrain these hostile forces and offer comfort in place of conflict. Jesus says he will give us that peace if we are willing to accept it from Him."
The gift that Jesus was telling the disciples he would leave in John 14:26 was the Holy Spirit. He told them. "But the Counselor the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you."
They didn't really understand this. LAB commentary points out: "Because the disciples were still expecting Jesus to establish an earthly kingdom and overthrow Rome," Jesus had taught them a lot of lessons in the three years or so they had been with Him. Way more than they could retain, remember, and put into practice. They weren't worried they just figured Jesus would take care of all that when he established His kingdom.
Jesus "promised the disciples that the Holy Spirit would help them remember what he had been teaching them. The promise ensures the validity of the New Testament. The disciples were eyewitnesses of Jesus' life and teachings, and the Holy Spirit helped them remember without taking away their individual perspectives."
The good news and that's what Gospel means anyway ---"Good News"—is that the Holy Spirit can help us in the same way. Life Application Bible (LAB ) says "As we study the Bible, we can trust the Holy Spirit to plant truth in our mind, convince us of God's will and remind us when we stray from it."
We get overanxious at times. Those are when we are in a hurry for a solution. We want instant answers so we might settle for a faster horse instead of the greater horsepower offered by a car.
Paul told the church at Philippi "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7)
Could you imagine never worrying about anything? Hard to picture because so many things bombard us from different directions. Paul's advice is to "turn our worries into prayers. Do you want to worry less? Then pray more! Whenever you start to worry, stop and pray.) LAB pg. 2153
That's pretty sound advice. I have followed it on many occasions but probably not often enough. I just know that when I read the Bible or stop what I am doing to pray I feel a sense of peace permeate my activity. I can think more clearly and act more positively.
Reading further in the commentary it is explained "God's peace is different from the world's peace. True peace is not found in positive thinking, in absence of conflict or in good feelings. It comes from knowing that God is in control."
Paul goes on to say: "Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable---if anything is excellent or praiseworthy---think about such things."
So whatever we put into our minds determines what comes out in our words and actions. Paul is telling us that when we program our minds with these positive things then God can help us overcome our problems.
Then we don't have to settle for just one faster horse we will have all the horsepower we need.
Prayer: Lord, we thank you that we don't have to settle for anything but the best in our lives when they are directed by your Holy Spirit. Amen