My pastor said something last night at prayer about kicking against the goads. Being that I work in a farming company, I decided to look more into what that means.
To kick against the goads in farming is basically the ox telling the farmer, “No! I don’t want to,” or “I want to go my way, not yours.” Farmers use long and pointed sticks called goads to prod the ox along to go the way the farmer desires. When the ox doesn’t want to do what the farmer says, it kicks against that spike. Ouch. Eventually, the ox realizes it’s easier (and less painful) to do what the farmer wills and does his bidding.
Now, God isn’t up there with a literal pokey stick pushing us along, but He does have a way marked out for us. His voice is the proverbial goad. As Christians, we should be following the path set out for us and listening to His voice to go the right way. We should make sure we aren’t allowing ourselves any lee-way to walk according to our own will. God’s will is always perfect and pleasing, but when we’re in the thick of it, that can be hard to see. That’s where faith comes in. With faith we don’t walk by sight.
There will be times in this life when God will be leading us along and we will be enticed by our own pride to handle it ourselves. We might not be able to see clearly which way to go, and in the middle of a trial it can be harder to hear His voice. It’s even harder to hear His leading when our own voice is screaming in our ear, or a way out or answer seems to be right there but God isn’t leading us in the direction of that answer. So, we kick against the goads so-to-speak.
Sometimes I feel like God is saying something or making a promise, and like Sarah I’ll try to help His will along. Yes, I see the error in this so-called logic, but I can be a pretty impatient person when it comes to my will, or even God’s will! I’ve learned, though, that impatience is a partner with anxiety, fear, doubt, and pride. And as we know, bad company corrupts good morals.
When difficult circumstances come up, we’ve got to learn to slow down and wait on God’s answers and direction. We have to be sure our decisions aren’t just coming from our own will. It’s hard to kick against the goads. Eventually, we will learn His will is better than ours, but that process is painful if we go our own way. We need to be willing to wait and not try to figure it all out on our own.
As we navigate learning to hear His voice, it is so important to have strong mentors or advisers in place. Advisers are people who can tell us no, and it will stop us in our tracks. Those advisers (if following God’s commands themselves) are put in your path to help you hear Him and give you wise counsel when you need it. Especially in tough times, we should rely on them to confirm God’s will for us or deny that what we’re considering is not in line with His character or will.
Prayer: Father, forgive me for trying to do things on my own and kicking against the goads. I want so desperately to do Your will, but my flesh is so weak sometimes. I need You to nudge me along and lead me in the right way – Your way. Help me to trust You, for You are so trustworthy! Teach me to wait on You for the answers to every situation. Put godly people in my path who will tell me no and teach me to listen to their leading! Thank You for knowing and seeing everything, and having the answers I need. Thank You for working everything out for my good according to Your will. I love you and trust You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.