Don't Resist Him
“And when we all had fallen to the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me and saying in the Hebrew language, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’” - Acts 26:14 How hard we work to resist the Lord!
“Kicking against the goads” is an agricultural reference from the first century when people used oxen to till the soil. The goad was a wooden shaft with a pointed spike which controlled the ox. If the ox refused the farmer’s command, the goad would jab or prick. Sometimes the ox would kick in rebellion, and the goad would be driven deeper into its flesh. The more the animal rebelled, the more the animal suffered.
Jesus saw Paul fighting Him, persecuting His people, and finally confronted him on the road to Damascus (you can read the while story on the book of Acts, chapter 9). As Paul said later, the Lord was shaking his head and saying, “Paul, why are you making this so hard? Quit kicking against the goads and so I can bless you and we can work together!”
C.S. Lewis described a classic, modern day conversion in which he too found himself “kicking against the goads:”
“That which I greatly feared had at last come upon me...I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England. I did not then see what is now the most shining and obvious thing; the Divine humility which will accept a convert even on such terms... who can but duly adore that Love which will open the high gates to a prodigal who is brought in kicking, struggling, resentful, and darting his eyes in every direction for a chance of escape? The hardness of God is kinder than the softness of men, and His compulsion is our liberation.”
God set into motion certain principles in the universe. We reap what we sow.
We pay for stupid choices.
We fight Him and hurt ourselves.
But when we follow Him, we are sustained and blessed in good times and in difficulty, and we are given grace and the opportunity to use our gifts and talents in ways we could never imagine.
“Jesus tapped me on the shoulder and said, ‘Bob, why are you resisting me? I said, I'm not resisting you! He said, You gonna follow me? I said, I've never thought about that before! He said, When you're not following me, you're resisting me.’” --Bob Dylan
[Photo: Evan Courtney, CreationSwap]