I can of Myself do nothing.
And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.
For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak.
God held the reins during Jesus' walk on Earth. He guided His Son continually, and the Son obeyed His Father. Jesus said clearly and repeatedly that He did nothing on His Own authority. Instead, He said and did what was pleasing to God--always. Even when it was hard.
'And He said, 'Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will' ' (Mark 14:36).
Consider Paul's revelation of Jesus on the road to Damascus: 'Suddenly a light shone around him from Heaven' (Acts 9:3)--a light that knocked this passionate persecutor to the ground. The Lord said, 'I am Jesus, Whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads' (Acts 9:5).
A 'goad' is 'a sharp piece of iron stuck into the end of a stick' (Barnes notes on the Bible). It was used to prod or spur an animal, so Paul was kicking against God's authority like a rebellious animal. Obeying the wrong master (in his case the Jewish rulers) caused unspoken anguish. Until his passion was turned in the right direction to the Right Master.
Who holds the reins in your life?
If we are sheep and Jesus is the 'Good Shepherd' (John 10:11)... if we are oxen and God is the Driver, then our job is to follow His lead. 'Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me...For My yoke is easy and My burden is light' (Matthew 11:29-30).
Even after we surrender to God, take His yoke, and submit to His reins, we must learn to follow His lead. It's a process; Jesus says, 'Learn from Me,' so we study His path of submission.
If we get lazy, God shakes the reins. If we get stubborn, He shakes them harder. If we veer off course, we suffer delays. If we get rebellious, we may get pricked with the goad--or worse. But as we learn from Jesus, we progress on the right path with gentle control and bearable burdens.
Actors, models, and talent for Christ: give God your reins on the road to Hollywood. You can't drive this wagon. You're entering a territory of temptations and land mines. Hold His course and stay in the wagon train of fellowship. Only God as your Driver can guarantee your safety, direction, and lasting success.
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the The Reins series.