Sunday, September 26, 2010

Kickin' Against

Kickin' Against
Sept 27, 2010
Acts 26:14 ". . .'It is hard for you to kick against the goads.'"

A "goad" is a familiar thing if you are either cattle or a cowman. For simplicity's sake, a goad is a cattle prod, meant to spur the oxen or cattle forward during their work in the plow. A goad is sharp and is sharpened often, to keep it intact for its intended purpose. If the cattle do not move forward in their work, the farmer makes sure to spur them on with the goad. A cow or ox might be tempted to kick against the goad, but this would result in the cow being bloodied by its own doing. It is never wise to kick against the goad. In Scripture, God is likened to a farmer or shepherd who uses a goad to prod us forward in the direction He wants us to go in our lives and work. In one particular instance recorded in the book of Acts, God directly asked Saul why he was kicking against where God wanted him to go. God's question was meant to make Saul think, think about God's work in His life and the direction God wanted Saul to take.

God does this same thing with you and me. He leads us in a direction for our lives but if we fight it, we end up kicking against the goad, which leaves us a little bloodied. While you might not think you are directly resisting God, you may be fighting the work He is trying to do in your life. Think of an uncomfortable situation in your life that you are just not able to shake, something you'd like to get rid of, never having to deal with it again. Well, this may be God at work in your life, trying to teach you a valuable lesson. If you don't stop to learn and instead kick against the situation, you may be kicking against God's work in your life. I'm not asking you to enjoy the situation, but if you're in it, you may as well become a better person through it. God is at work in everything you do, Christian, and it is up to you to make sure you submit to God in all things.

The Bible says, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." This means God is at work in your life, working for your good, even in the situation you are dealing with right now. While you might not like it, God wants to use this situation right now to make you a better person, more useful to God because of these skills and abilities you are learning. He will use your new found skills for His glory in the work you are to do. Resist the situation and you are resisting God. Just ask the apostle Peter, who didn't like the path that God was going to take. Jesus rebuked him for it and said, "Get behind me, Satan." Peter was corrected for kicking against the goad, leaving him a little bloodied.

But a goad is also a helpful thing, not just a sharp pointy thing meant to keep you in line. The farmer uses it to move the cattle forward in their work. God uses it to keep you moving forward for Him. You may feel insecure about your work for the Lord, but He wants you working for Him, in the direction He has you. He has work for you to do, every one of you, even if you're not a pastor or missionary. Don't be insecure about whether you will succeed or not, just submit yourself to the yoke and allow the Lord to move you forward. Don't kick against success. After Peter received his rebuke from the Lord, Peter went on to have a very successful ministry. At one point, he was going to be killed for his ministry but someone stepped forward and actually spoke up for Peter. This man who spoke up was one of Peter's adversaries but said, "'Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.'"

Paul's adversary knew of resisting God. He knew that if you kick against the goads you would end up bloodied. Though he did not appreciate Peter, he respected God's work, and therefore Peter's work. Peter had a successful ministry because he stopped kicking against the goads. He submitted to God and what God had for him and because of it, had one of the most successful careers for the Lord. Likewise, you might be insecure about moving forward, but if it is from the Lord, nothing can stop it, not even you.

1. In what situation in life are you finding yourself a little bloodied?
2. Where do you need to submit to God and learn a few lessons in order to make you a better person?
3. How can you then submit to God's future work for your life, giving you an amazing success story?

Don't take my word for it; look it up: 1 Sam 13:21, Ecc 12:11, Matt 11:29-30, Matt 16:23, Mark 8:33, Acts 5:38-39, Romans 8:28, Eph 2:10, Phil 2:13

No comments: