Acts 26:14
Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads . NIV

Recently, a good friend asked me for my opinion about the passage from Acts above. This was my response to her.

Ps 32:8-9
8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you. 9 Do not be like the horse or the mule,which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you.

Many years ago I read this verse and the picture came to my mind of the differences between a horse who is easy to guide with a bit in his mouth and the horse with the same bit who chomps at it and rears his head right and left and the rider has to pull the reins harder and harder to get the horse to go the way he wants him to.

To me, the picture here is that God is the rider and we are the horses and the things that come into our lives are representeed by the bits. When we are compliant with the Master, he only has to barely move the rein against our neck (it is so easy that the feeling never even makes it to the mouth and the metal bit) and we turn and go the direction he wants us to go. The more we want our own way, the harder the Master has to JERK the reins to get us to turn in the direction He wants us to go.

Years ago, I TRIED to incorporate a compliant spirit with God into my daily life so that He wouldn't have to jerk so hard. I don't like to hurt. I have failed many, many times but my hearts desire is to accept with grace and trust all the things that come into my life KNOWING the Master will work all for my good and His glory.

The goads were used to move the oxen forward but too often they didn't want to go forward and ended up kicking against the goads only to their detriment, sometimes sustaining injury. My friend wanted to know if we needed to be concerned about where the "goads" were coming from--either from the Lord or from the evil one. When we sincerely ask God each day to draw us closer to Him, I don't think we need to worry about where the goads are coming from, only trusting that good or bad, God will ultimately use them to produce something beautiful in our lives. In that way, we don't use our valuable time and resources trying to figure something out that really doesn't matter anyway.

Madame Jean Guyon, a martyr in the 16th century, says in her book, Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ, that as we go deeper with God, we won't even notice the difference between the good and the bad that comes to us-- we will just trust Him so much and live to love Him and give Him glory. Wouldn't that be a wonderful state to get to?

I thought this was an interesting video if you've never watched anyone plowing before. I am not familiar with this many people being used to plow. I used to watch my grandfather plow his fields with mules and it was just him and the mule. These oxen seem to be compliant.