“Reading the Bible closely,” Stan began one morning, “is essential for me. And I emphasize the ‘closely’ part.”
“What do you have for me?” I asked.
“Reading again in the Book of Acts this morning showed me something I had not seen before even though I have read through that book many times.”
Continuing, Stan then said, “The apostle Paul was before King Agrippa, relating to him the experience Paul had on the Road to Damascus when Jesus interrupted his journey.”
“One particular verse stood out as showing me something that reflected my own experience in coming to Christ and the on-going closer walk with God.”
“What was that?” I asked.
“The apostle Paul used an expression that led me to the dictionary to see the definition. Paul related to King Agrippa that Jesus said, ‘It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’”
“What do you think that means?” I responded.
“It seems,” Stan replied, “that farmers used pointed sticks to encourage their oxen to do what the farmers wanted in plowing the fields and the like. Apparently, the farmers would poke the animals where they could not kick away the pointed stick that was called a goad.”
“Thus,” Stan continued, “it seems that Jesus was saying to Paul that it would be hard for Paul to resist the truth of Christ that was presented.”
Shifting the focus a bit, Stan then said, “Same thing with me, not only at the beginning of my walk with God when I finally quit resisting, but it continues today. The Holy Spirit is constantly poking me and showing me I need to be moving in a different direction.”
“Does it hurt when the Holy Spirit pokes you?” I asked with a smile.
“No,” Stan replied, He is usually gentle in His poking. But what hurts is the realization that for too long I have been resisting what He wants to do in and through me.”
“That hurt,” Stan continued, “leads me to being thankful that the Holy Spirit has not quit goading me into responding the way that is intended for me.”
And when I we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew dialect, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” Acts of the Apostles 26:14.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, that you do not give up on me when I resist what you want to do in and through me. Please forgive all of my resistance. And please, Lord, continue showing me all you have for me to be and to do. Please keep encouraging me to move forward in my relationship with you, using whatever you know is needed to goad me into responding to you as you intend. Thank you I can and do bring all of these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.