Resist the Proud, Give Grace to the Humble!
Remember how both James and Peter wrote in their letters that we should humble ourselves before YHWH? By basically quoting Proverbs 3:34 (James 4:6, 1 Peter 5:5), they both tell their readers WHY they out to humble themselves. And here it is: Because YHWH opposes (resists) the proud, but gives grace to the humble!
You may not know much about James and Peter, but I’m guessing if you’ve been a horse person for much time at all you know who George Morris is. George Morris is the former Dhef d’Equipe of the US Show Jumping team as well as a former Olympian himself. I would venture to say he is essentially credited with being the backbone of the American forward riding system - the grandaddy of teaching foundational riding skills in this country for decades.
George Morris has been known to say, “Meet resistance with resistance. Meet relaxation with relaxation.” I wonder if he knows that he’s basically quoting scripture!
The crux of Morris’ statement is that when a horse is resisting your aid - like pulling against the bit as you ask for flexion to the inside of a circle - you should meet his resistance by gently resisting with your aid. In other words, you wouldn’t give in to the pulling but instead you would firmly set you hand and let the horse pull against it. You would not actually pull back against him and get into a tug-of-war! We all know who wins that game! But instead, by gently yet firmly setting your intention through a fixed hand, your horse can feel that he’s only creating more difficulty and tension for himself.
Now the second part of the scripture-like adage by Morris instructs you, the rider, to relax your feel when the horse relaxes and ceases to pull against the set pressure and instead gives toward the pressure - in this example by allowing his poll to flex slightly in the direction of the rein-aid pressure. When you feel the horse relax and give, you too must relax your set hand and allow and give so the horse feels the release and knows that he’s responded correctly to the pressure. It takes a rider with the head knowledge of the power of pressure and release, as well as the skill set of having an independent seat and hand so that they are actually able to resist and release at the appropriate times in response to the horse’s reactions. The rider must have the horse’s best interest at heart and be firm yet kind, as well as consistent.
YHWH is like a seasoned, skilled, and kind rider. He opposes the proud - those that resist, pull, get offended, fight and fuss. He doesn’t fight and fuss back. No. He simply stands firm, unmovable, setting Himself against those that think they know better than He does. And yet when those same people respond to the pressure in life by releasing, allowing His hand to gently move them in His direction, He gives His grace - His favor, blessing, and gentle release which lets His children know that they have responded well. And in return, His child will feel the relaxation, joy, and comfort of what the Father was asking for in the first place!
In what ways is the hand of YHWH resisting you today? Remember, He won’t fight and fuss with you. He will simply stand firm and let you pull against Him for as long as it takes for you to realize that what He wants FROM you is actually best FOR you! Try giving to His pressure today.