“Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. As he journeyed, he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” Acts 9:1-5 NKJV
Let us take a brief look at verse 5. The Lord straight up says (paraphrased of course), “you’re making things way harder on yourself then it needs to be”. In short when there is an area in our lives that we are resisting in permitting God to “clean up” or “make new” we are “kicking against the goads”. If you’re not familiar with what a goad is it’s a spiked stick used for driving cattle. The more the cattle resist the more pressure is used in prodding the animal in getting it to go where one needs it to go. Now a goad may also be mentioned as a rod however it is not the same as a staff. In short, the difference between the two is that the rod/goad is used for correction, sometimes a bit painful, whereas a staff (Shepard staff) is used more so for (gentle) guidance. Shepard’s would hook the neck of the sheep and gently guide them back on the right path.
So, the question is what is something you are kicking against or resisting God on that may be doing more harm than good at the moment and what do you think or how do you feel about moving from resisting to permitting His gentle guidance to make the necessary changes?
In all truth and fairness, I for one spent most of my life kicking against the goad rather than following the Shepard and gently being brought back into the fold. When I’m having a rough time excepting a new change or direction God wants to do in my life, I remind myself of all the hard times that was caused by my disobedience and that “He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;” Philippians 1:6 NKJV. Daily, I must choose if I’m going to work with Him or against Him.
Last but not least Saul turned Apostle Paul is a beautiful transformation and testimony in showing that God can use anyone from anywhere as long as they are willing to commit to the kingdom of heaven and Gods divine purpose for our lives.
I pray this reflection helps someone today. God Bless!