And when we all had fallen to the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me and saying in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads (Acts 26:14, NKJV).
Paul rehearsed the events of Christ’s appearance to him on the road to Damascus (Acts 26:14-18). He was persecuting Christians when the Lord appeared (Acts 26:9-12). Christ described Paul’s futility with an example from everyday life. Saul was only hurting himself. A goad is a pointed stick used to prod oxen along the way. When an animal kicks against the nudging of the prod, it causes more pain to the animal. So it was with Saul of Tarsus. His misdirected zeal against the name of Jesus of Nazareth was pointless (Acts 29:9; 5:39). The afflicter was afflicting himself, adding sin upon sin in his rage against the saints (1 Tim. 1:12-13). Our lesson becomes obvious. We will not succeed in fighting against the word and will of God. Arrogantly denying God by pursuing personal freedom enslaves us to sin (2 Pet. 2:19). Arguing against and rejecting the word of Christ exposes a selfish, unrepentant, and corrupt heart (Acts 7:51-53). Professing oneself to be wise and refusing to honor God leads to the pain and foolishness of unbelief (Rom. 1:27, 20-26). When we proudly resist the Lord, He resists us (James 4:6-10). We must humble our hearts before the Lord. Do we think we can fight against God now and survive the day of His wrath (Rev. 6:17)? Those who kick against His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering will not (Rom. 2:4-6). Are you kicking against God’s will? If so, stop hurting yourself. Like Saul, repent and obey Jesus. Christ forgives our self-defeating sins when we turn to Him and follow His will (Matt. 11:28-30; Acts 22:16).