– Warren Wiersbe
Kicking Against the Goads
If we don’t know the Word of God, we’ll not know the will of God, because God’s will is revealed in His Word, so step one is to know God’s will and then stop resisting it (like I have). When the Apostle Paul was describing his conversion on the Damascus Road, he told King Agrippa that he “heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads’” (Acts 26:14)? Paul had thought he was doing God’s will by trying to destroy those of “the way,” but He was kicking against the backboard that oxen kicked against (called a goad) when trying to frustrate the will of their master.
Finding God’s Will
To find God’s Word is to find God’s will. No one can tell you precisely what God’s will is for your life, but the Bible can. It may not fill in every detail, but we know that God’s will because it’s revealed in Scripture. For example, Paul says, “this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality” (1st Thess 4:3). Someone who is living in sin and living in sexual immorality is obviously not in the will of God, and if they continue to live in sin, God will not show them His secret will for their life. God will not reveal more of His hidden will for us if we’re not doing what we know God’s will is and that is found in the Bible.
Finding His Pleasure
When you find the will of God, you will find God’s pleasure, but interestingly, you will find pleasure in your own life too. There is something deeply satisfying about finding God’s will and then living a life that is pleasing to Him. We only find true pleasure or satisfaction in God anyway, but we can find pleasure in this life if we are finding God’s will for our life, and then doing His will in our life.
Doing His Will
Once we find God’s will, it’s now time to live out God’s will, and only when you live out God’s will, can you find deep, abiding satisfaction in God. For example, we know that it is God’s will “to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship” (Rom 12:1), and to “not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom 12:2). Did you catch that? If we are not conformed to this world but rather are transformed by the Spirit’s renewing of our mind, we can more easily discern “what the will of God is” and what is “good and acceptable and perfect.”
The safest place to be in all the world is to be in God’s will and not kick against the goads of God’s will; and then once we find God’s will, we can live God’s will, and we will feel His pleasure, but we will also feel pleasure because we are living in the will of God and if we’re living in the will of God, we’re in the safest place of all.