Wild Horse Emotions
OUR EMOTIONS ARE POWERFUL. We all have them. These emotions bring flavor to our lives. But sometimes these emotions get away from us and become like wild horses—untamed and running free.
“Wild horse” emotions, if unbridled, can run roughshod through our souls, lives, and relationships. They have the power to destroy us. Yet these same “wild horse” emotions, if brought under control, can carry us to new levels of success.
Consider feral stallions—ones that have not had any human contact. They can be fiery and reactive. When they are threatened by a rival horse, they will assert their dominance—bucking, sparring and biting to gain control. They become incredibly dangerous creatures. But introduce a predator to their domain and these strong horses become fearful and flee. Nevertheless, even the wildest of these horses can be tamed. Through patient training, it can grow to be calm and collected, displaying graceful strength and power. The same is true of our emotions.
As a follower of Christ, we must learn to tame our “wild horse” emotions, bringing them under submission to God. To overcome these emotions, we must learn to walk in the Spirit. In his letter to the Galatians, the Apostle Paul states, “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish” 5:16-17, emphasis added.
“Wild horse” emotions are what Paul refers to in this passage as “the lust of the flesh.” They are the emotions that wage war against what we know we ought to do.
Think about a time that you have been really angry at someone. The kind of anger that has you red-faced, eye-popping, foaming-at-the-mouth, fist-waving, foot-stomping angry. Suddenly, your anger takes control and you lash out with no thought of the repercussions of your decision. That’s a “wild horse” emotion.
Each of us has our triggers that cause us to get angry, to worry, to be fearful or feel other strong emotions. There are times that these emotions are good, even godly, if for the right reason. Proverbs 1:7 tells us, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge…” The fear of the Lord is a healthy kind of fear. But there is also a spirit of fearfulness that does not come from the Lord. We may fear an economic collapse, relational discord, or for a wayward child. The fear of such things can lead us to a place that is unhealthy spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Therefore, it is important that we examine what the motivation for these emotions is before we react.
This is also why it’s so important for us to walk in the Spirit. What is the result when we are fully submitted to the Holy Spirit? We receive the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The Bible tells us that “Against such [things] there is no law” Galatians 5:23.
Walking in the Spirit takes discipline. Discipline is the ability to complete with excellence that which must be done when it must be done.
So, how do we discipline our “wild horse” emotions? James, the brother of Jesus, had a thought on that when he wrote, “Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body” James 3:3. In other words, we make them obey us through discipline.
Being disciplined to live a Christian life will save you a lot of heartache and headache in this life. In the battle for self-control, the enemy is you. The war of the soul is a civil war. God gave us freedom to choose for ourselves whom we will serve. Will we bow down to the altar of “wild horse” emotions that will lead to destruction, or will we instead walk in the Spirit and choose life?
God’s Word calls us to discipline ourselves in our appetites, in our passions, in our affections, in our thoughts, in our attitudes, in our moods, in our speech, in our conduct, in our habits, in our companionships, in our amusement, in our purpose and in our marriage.
In John 8:31, Jesus said, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.” If you want to be a disciple of Jesus, you must abide in the Word of God. When you do what’s in the Word, when you discipline yourself to live by the words of the Bible, and when you abide in the Word of God, then you are living the life of a disciple. It is not enough to just believe; we also have to do. Jesus said, “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?” Luke 6:46. It is not enough to call Jesus “Lord.” We are His disciples when we do what He asks of us. Until you are doing what Jesus asks of you, you are not disciplined. You’re a wild horse doing your own thing, not advancing the Kingdom of God.
To abide in the Lord, we must be consuming the Word of God. Daily consumption leads to great spiritual health. Are you reading the Word daily? Are you building a healthy relationship with God? We need this communion with God in order to tame our “wild horse” emotions.
Paul said, “I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified” 1 Corinthians 9:26-27, ESV. There is a call of God on your life because you are God’s handiwork. You do not need to run through life aimlessly. He created you in Christ Jesus to do good works, which He prepared in advance for you to do. That means there are specific things out there that will bless the Kingdom of God and fill you with contentment, and they have your name on them.
LET GO OF YOUR “WILD HORSE” EMOTIONS.
Let go of the pain in your past. Rather, be filled with the fruit of the Spirit as you abide in Christ’s calling over your life. Forgive those who have hurt you. Don’t become their prisoner, allowing them to take control of your thoughts and emotions. Rather, bring your emotions under submission to the Holy Spirit and live a life filled with peace and joy.
God wants His children to have the best of things in the worst of times. He wants you to live in peace, even when life is hectic and things aren’t going your way. God can use circumstances to build your faith, to move you into a position where you can be used mightily for the Kingdom. Trust in Him, knowing that He loves you so very much and is working all things together for your good.