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Psalm 32:9 Do not be like the horse or like the mule, which have no understanding, which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, else they will not come near you.

Unlike all of God’s creation, we have an intelligence created by God, a spirit, and soul which understands and communes with God and we have self-awareness – we know who we are, where we have come from and where we are going.

So, for such an intelligent species, why do we need so much prodding, poking and reminding when it comes to the really important things in life such as – reading the Word of God, spending time in prayer and turning up to church each week.

King David says it a little more bluntly than me…

Don’t be like the horse or the donkey, which have no understanding and therefore need to be harnessed with a bit and a bridle. They need to be led everywhere they go. They cannot figure it out for themselves.  

King David is saying don’t lower yourself to the level of a mule… be the creation of God you were created to be! Don’t be someone that has to be constantly chased up by your pastor, your leader or your concerned friend because you haven’t been to church or connect group for a while.

When people are always following you up, out of a genuine love and concern, that means one thing – you are still a ‘baby Christian’. You still need to have a bit and bridle put on so you can be led toward the truly important things in life.

Disciples don’t need the bit and bridle. They know where they need to be each weekend when church is starting. They know what they need to be reading and feeding upon every day – God’s Word. They know they should be praying daily to God.

David concludes this psalm with blessings and benefits of growing in maturity as a Christian…

  • Vs 7 …we are preserved in the day of trouble
  • Vs 8 …we are instructed and guided by God’s Spirit
  • Vs 10 …mercy surrounds those whose trust is in God

As a Pastor now for a couple of decades I have counselled many Christians. It’s amazing what the root cause of so many issues always comes back to…

→ It is a lack of commitment and consistency in the spiritual disciplines of church attendance; Bible reading and prayer that leads to immature Christian growth, fear, worry and an inability to deal with the trials of life.

But when a Believer is consistently in church, reading the Word, fellowshipping and in prayer, then like David says, we are preserved in the day of trouble, guided by the Lord’s Spirit and surrounded by His mercy.

Pastor Wayne Simpson


Don’t be like the horse or mule that need bit and bridle, set yourself before God.