Daily Devotion: April 2

Acts 26:14
…”Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.”

Refusing to embrace and accept what God is doing can be painful.

LOOKING IN GOD’S WORD:

Paul (then Saul) refused to accept what God was doing.  In fact, he fought so hard against God’s sovereignty that God knocked him to the ground in order to say, “It is hard to kick against the goads”. Acts 26:14

Jonah fled in the opposite direction from what God was doing, resulting in three days of tumultuous existence inside a great fish.  Even after having his life spared by God, Jonah still had angst in his heart when God sovereignly relented in their destruction after they repented.
Jonah 4:1

Peter received a vision from God three times that was hard to accept – all sorts of unclean animals being presented before him and God commanding him to eat them, portraying God’s sovereign will to save Gentiles.  Moreover, being commanded to enter a Gentile’s home.
Acts 10:9-15

Peter again (thank you Peter) – utterly refused to accept that Jesus was going to be betrayed and killed.  Not so Lord!  And even after being given the sharpest rebuke recorded in all of scripture, still refused to embrace God’s sovereign will when he attempted to thwart Jesus’ arrest with his miserable attempt to kill Malchus in the garden! John 18:10

LOOKING INWARD:

It has been my experience that there are unique seasons in life where we find ourselves refusing to accept a given situation or embrace any of what is happening; whether it is myself, the situation around me, or to other people.  

Perhaps it is over a family member, a job situation, a relationship, or even a health issue.

However, I have come to understand something very important, and this is the main point of this devotion:

  • The pain caused by my unwillingness to embrace God’s sovereignty and methods is greater than embracing the actual situation I’m not wanting to accept.

When I refuse to accept God’s control, God’s sovereignty, and ignore that God is good – I hurt when kicking against the goads.

God is sovereign, and if I’m honest, I must admit that I both love and hate it!

LOOKING AT JESUS AND THE RESULTS:

However, God is also faithful!  He does not snuff out the smoldering flax nor will He break a bruised reed.  Matthew 12:20

In all four examples of stubbornness listed; Saul, Jonah, Peter – the end results of God’s work were always beautiful!

  • Paul wrote over ½ the New Testament and started several churches.  
  • Jonah stirred repentance and 120,000 (conservative estimate) were spared destruction.
  • Peter led Cornelius’ family to the Lord and the Holy Spirit falls on the Gentiles.

IN CONCLUSION

God’s sovereign work can be painful when we kick against the goads - but when we choose to embrace the situation, embrace His control, embrace His sovereignty, embrace that He is good, and embrace an inner heart and mindset which says:

“If this is what You have for me, then Lord I surrender, but please Lord give me a heart that accepts and embraces all of it - and accomplish your sovereign will in it” - the end result will always be something beautiful.

QUESTIONS

  1. What is something you are struggling to accept regarding a particular thing that God is prodding you to trust Him with?

  1. Can you recall a time when surrender brought victory – if so, how can you apply that experience to your current situation?


FOR YOUR KIDS

Get to know your kids
  1. If you had a restaurant, what would you serve?
  2. If you were a dessert, what would you be?
  3. Would you rather eat cake or ice cream?

Illustration
Have you ever been asked to do something but not know why?
Like your mom tells you to go outside and move the trash. Why? You might wonder. Little do you know, Dad is almost home and it’s in the way of the garage. Sometimes it can be hard to obey and follow when you don’t understand why. Oftentimes we don’t understand what God is doing in our life but we can know that He loves us and is doing what is best for us. Like a loving Dad or Mom. When we choose to trust God and go His way, life might not always be easy but it will always be better.

Prayer
What do you need prayer for today?

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