Your Christian Cowboy Resource

Part 1

Recognizing God is in control is the first step toward thinking positively as a Christian

By Scott Hilgendorff/Cowboys of the Cross

Six guys who have all studied The Secret and other aspects of the 'laws of attraction', enter a bull riding. All of them are determined to win, have visualized it happening over and over again. There's no doubt in any one of their minds that they are going to win this thing.

Yet there can be only one winner and this week, it was a guy who has never even been to a bull riding school, just the local practice pen near him where he works hard on his technique every week.

Does it mean you have to work harder on controlling your universe or does it mean you just have to work harder on your bull riding?

A deeper arena than normal caused a 24-point bull to be a 19, another cowboy drew the one bull that the stock contractor should have sold for burgers two years ago and another got food poisoning from a gas station hotdog he ate the night before and just couldn't keep it together between the puking and getting on.

Are these circumstances we control with our minds or as Christians, are these things we recognize God, our Father is in control of?

As Christians, we're supposed to recognize that God's got it all handled.

The person who won needed to win as part of God's perfect plans for our lives. It might have meant someone went home with empty pockets who God needs to struggle a little more because He's building in that cowboy the ability to trust and rely on God more. Later, it's going to matter more when

He's married and his first child is born with Down's Syndrome. His trust in God to carry him through helps their marriage not only thrive but, years later, provides an example to all the parents who watched them advocate for better programming and care in their school system for special needs' kids. His faith, grown out of a struggle, becomes the tool God uses to lead six other families to Christ. And so on. All because a bull rider had to eat canned sausages and crackers on the way home from a rodeo.

The winner, who was following his own desires to win at all costs is in one of two situations. As a Christian, God is still going to reveal some lessons to him that could be about learning to put God first and following God's plan or, he's not a Christian and needs to find Jesus.

For Christians, when we make it about our own desires, our focus shifts off of God and bull riding and rodeo or just winning itself can become idols in our lives; something we have made more important that God.

Romans 8:12 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.

Positive attitudes and thinking are important but they can glorify God or they can glorify ourselves. Most importantly, we have to recognize that God's the one who is in control of the outcome and that it may not always be what we personally want or expect. The outcome will always serve God’s purpose which is ultimately good.

John 15:5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

Simply put, we’re dependent on Jesus and when we are, we accomplish a lot of good and there is nothing that we can accomplish without him, whether it’s a rodeo or bull riding win or delivering a message at cowboy church. It’s all accomplished through our saving faith in Jesus Christ.


What you might feel negative about:

Accepting that books and ideas you might have embraced could be teaching you something harmful, even when you see benefits from it.

The new ‘positives’ to take away:

Recognizing God is in control puts you on a path that can bring Him glory and help you with an even bigger picture than than the next rodeo bull riding.