I don’t know where the resistance rises up in me, but today is like that. I had a concept for a blog post that came to me a few days ago and each time I tried to work on it, I struggled to piece it together feeling like I was forcing scriptures to fit the way I wanted them to fit. Beyond that, I couldn’t find a suitable picture. I went to bed frustrated and woke up resisting writing. The phrase “kicking against the goads” kept repeating in my mind, and I resisted that, too. So, here I am, looking into the scriptures, following the trail God is leading me on.
What about Saul’s life caused Jesus to make these claims that he was persecuting Jesus, and he was resisting Jesus’ call?
As Paul reflects on his life as Saul, he tells us he was well educated. He desired to honor God. He had studied all the scriptures that should have convinced him that Jesus was the Messiah. Yet, he sought to find fault in Jesus claims, and persecuted the members of The Way.
Jesus used the term “kicking against the goads” which was a common phrase in this time period. A goad was a spiked rod used to prod an animal forward. As long as the animal was moving in the right direction, they would be well, but if they resisted, there would be pain.
To me this indicates that Saul had been present during Jesus public ministry, hearing the words and seeing the miracles Jesus performed. But something within him resisted the call to believe. Was it resistance to change? Was it stepping out of structure and taking a step of faith? Was it moving past the dependence on what is known and moving into the boundless unknown?
Resistance, isn’t that what we feel moving out of our comfort zones?
Read Psalms 39:8-9 again. Do you trust God’s word that he is guiding you? That he has the best way forward?
I don’t want to be the stubborn mule that needs the bit and bridle or the ox that kicks against the goads. Whether it is into the unknown or down a well-worn path, I want to follow where he leads.
Are you resisting? Will it take a bolt of lightning and a thunderous voice from heaven to get your attention? Or will you follow his soft whispers and his gentle nudges?
This song popped into my mind: O Come to the Alter. This is a great place to start.
Grace & Peace,