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Farmyard Insights

By Glenn Edwards

The Pain of Persistence and The Joy of Relationship 

When I was a youth, I used to train dogs and horses. Animals have personalities and demonstrate how they address life with many of the same emotions we humans exhibit. 

While at the University of Alberta in 1973, I took a class on training horses for the various Rodeo roles. The Trainer-Instructor was Bill Collins, who had trained many championship horses.  One of the horse roles is that of a roping horse.  During this session, Bill talked about how a horse could develop bad habits and how the horse would then begin to cheat (as he called it) at his job.  When the cowboy roped the calf and jumped off the roping horse, it was the horse’s job to dig his heels in and pull back on the rope, to keep the rope tight so the calf couldn’t easily get up before the cowboy got to him.  There are two cinches on a roping saddle, and the rear one tends to get the brunt of the calf’s weight, which can be a little painful.  When the horse learns to cheat to avoid the pain and does not hold firm, the calf can get up, which adds time to the cowboy's score as he must wrestle the calf back down on the ground to do the tie down.  

If you go to a gym to work out, there often is a sign on the wall that says, “No Pain—No Gain!”  Learning to embrace a certain amount of healthy pain brings great gain. The harder our physical muscles work, the sorer we are the next day. But also, the more muscle we build. This is also true spiritually and mentally.  

Christians everywhere have been sold a lot of liberally influenced Gospel messages that don’t want us to feel any pain.  It is sad but true.  This makes for weak people and weak faith.  

My Question to you is, “Are you cheating God and cheating yourself by not embracing persistence, discipline, and doing the hard things in your life?”  I had a professional athlete explain to me that there are three phases in learning to master a new skill, talent, or body of knowledge: 

Phase 1. Introduction:  This is where we are introduced to the skill’s workings, or the knowledge library associated with the subject we are learning. 

Phase 2. Practice: Here begins the practice process, which is slow and steady at first but gradually increases the skill's execution to optimal speed. 

Phase 3. Mastery: This is when your practice has yielded a growing Mastery of the skill, and you can now routinely execute the skill for the outstanding results you desire. 

I believe true spirituality is often very practical when we learn to face the challenges at hand.  

In God’s Kingdom, these are a few of the things that the Bible describes for us to do: 

  1. Seeking:   Jer. 29:13    You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart I will be found by you,” declares the Lord.  I once thought I heard God say that half-hearted seeking doesn’t find much of me (God). 

  2. Fasting:   Is. 58: 1 – 14    The Fasting Chapter – This is where we deny our personal needs to draw close to God.  It is us crucifying our flesh to exalt God alone.  6 Is this not the fast that I have chosen:  To loosen the bonds of wickedness,  To undo the heavy burdens,  To let the oppressed go free,  And that you break every yoke?  Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,  And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out,  When you see the naked, that you cover him,  And not hide yourself from your own flesh (your family)?  Then your light shall break forth like the morning,  Your healing shall spring forth speedily,  And your righteousness shall go before you. 

  3. Praying:   There are many kinds of prayer that serve differing purposes. I include just a few for you to consider.  It stands to reason that there are different rules for different kinds of prayer.  As in the field of Sports, the rules govern the operations of prayer.  A Sports Example:  We don’t play Baseball with Football rules. 


  • The Prayer of Faith: Mark 11:24 Therefore, I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. 

  • The Prayer of Consecration, Surrender, Submission, and Dedication:  Matt 26:36 – 38 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray over there.”  And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.” 

  • The Prayer of Praise and Worship Acts 13:1 -4   Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.   As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”  Then, having fasted, prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away. 

  • The Prayer of Agreement:  Matt 18: 18     Again, I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” 

  • The Prayer of Supplication: (mostly prayed for ourselves and our immediate family)  Phil 4:19 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 

  • The Prayer of Intercession: (Mostly prayed for others by the leading of the Holy Spirit) Hebrews 7:25—Therefore, He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him since He always lives to make intercession for them. Romans 8:26—Likewise, the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings that cannot be uttered.  

  • The Prayer for Guidance:  Ps 5:8-12 – 8 Lead me, O Lord, in Your righteousness because of my enemies; Make Your way straight before my face.  


  • The Prayer for Wisdom:  James 1:5-7 --  If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. 


  • The Prayer of The Spirit - Praying in other Tongues:  I Corin 14:14-15 –  Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret.  For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is the conclusion, then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding.  

Remember: Faith begins when the will of God is known. 

James 4:7 -- Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you.  Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.  Cleanse your hands, ye sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 

Surrender your heart to God, and he will lead and guide you. 

Work to not cheat God in your walk with Him just because the going gets a little hard.  We must toughen up, crucify our flesh, and walk daily with our Lord. 


Happy Faith Adventures!! 

More insights from the Farmyard for you today.  

Be Blessed. 

Glenn Edwards 


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