By Pastor Doug Cox
Have you ever experienced uneasiness on the inside? I don’t mean from eating too much pizza, I’m talking about a nagging on the inside that is telling you something is amiss. As hard as you try to forget about it, or override it with busyness or other activities, it comes back. If that’s you, I may know what is going on. Ephesians 2:10 tells us why we were born. It says “for we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago,” (NLT). Think of it, ‘you’ are God’s masterpiece. In fact, say that out loud to yourself. “I am God’s masterpiece.” He not only loves you and wants you to go to heaven someday, but more importantly He has a purpose for your life in the here and now. And guess what, because of that He is not going to sit back and watch your life go by and watch you miss out on your destiny without doing something about it.
Take for instance the very religious, sanctimonious, (yet hard hearted) man named Saul. He was as strict as they came concerning the Jewish law. He hated Christians. Think about it, he claimed to love and serve God, yet he hated Jesus, Peter, James and John and the rest. He did everything he could to stop them and Christianity from moving forward. One day he got permission to go to Damascus to round up another bunch of those despicable people. On the way there something totally unexpected happened. Here’s the story. “As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” (Act 9:3-6).
Notice Jesus told Saul he was kicking against the goads. A goad was a sharp pointed stick that farmers used to prod a stubborn ox into motion. Jesus was telling Saul he was fighting his destiny. This is a perfect analogy of how we humans in our stubbornness, ignorance and sometimes the combination of both, fight against God’s destiny and will for our lives. Saul was acting out with awful behavior, kicking against the prodding of God. Thankfully, Saul gave in to the Lord and ended up being the great apostle to the Gentiles. As you move forward this month towards Christmas day in our season of ADVENTure it might be a good time to reflect on your emotions and inner feelings. Is something nagging at you? Is God prodding you to make some changes in your life? If so, it will be worth finding out why. If you need help ask someone you know is a strong Christian to help you, or give us a call at the church.