Thursday, January 29, 2015

Got Goads?

It is never a good idea to resist the leading of God in your life. Actually it is quite useless and painful. A very proud Pharisee discovered this truth a couple of thousand years ago on the road to Damascus. In the greatest conversion story recorded in the Word of God found in Acts 9, we read that on his way to persecute Christians who had fled there, to beat them and bring them bound back to Jerusalem, believing with all sincerity that what he was doing was the will of God, he learned just how sincerely wrong and out of God's will he actually was when he was knocked from his horse and encountered the true and living God. On the ground blinded by a glorious light he heard the voice of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords say..."Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me." Cut to the heart he asked "Who are you Lord?" And the Lord said, "I am Jesus who you are persecuting. Is it hard for you to kick against the goads?"

What does it mean to kick against the goads? A goad was a long stick with an iron point at the end used to steer and drive an ox in the right direction when plowing. Today it is commonly used for steering cattle,etc. When an animal rebels and resists the direction his master wants him to go in they actually dig their flesh deep into the pointed iron causing great pain. By asking Saul  this question, Jesus was revealing to the rebellious Pharisee that  he was resisting and fighting against God's divine plan for His church and for Saul himself.  He was going in the wrong direction. When this powerful truth resonated deeply in the heart of Saul he was undone causing him to surrender completely and allow God to use him mightily and powerfully to radically turn the gentile world upside down for Jesus Christ. 

How is this applicable in our lives as Christians? Saul was resisting and kicking against God's perfect will and plan, His highest and best for him without even realizing it and we tend to do the same.  The goading of the Holy Spirit may be prompting us to move or change direction but we too may be rebelling, fighting, resisting, and kicking causing the goad to dig deeper in our flesh causing extreme pain. 

What are your goads? God uses different things to get you to change direction and pursue His path such as.....a message, the word, difficulty, suffering, loss of a job, loss of a business, loss of a relationship. Perhaps He's asking you to change jobs, change careers, leave that relationship, give up an addiction, forgive, leave a ministry, join a ministry, step out in faith, trust Him completely, give up that thing,  set your dream aside to make your family, your spouse, your children top priority, surrender. Whatever it is, His way is perfect and He wants the best for you. When the pain of kicking against the goads become greater than the pain of change, like Saul you too will drop to the ground undone, exhausted, fully surrendered and ready to be led by your Master in the right direction unwavering, unhindered, and fully trusting His perfect plan for your life. Amen!

by Cecilia Trent