By David Stahl

There is an eternal desire within our Creator that ever seeks for satisfaction. Within each of us is a created “deepspiritual capacity and ability that is capable of responding to this need that is within our Lord.  David who knew something about goads in his life said, “Deep calls to deep. At the noise of Your waterspouts, all Your waves and Your billows are gone over me.”  (Psalm 42:7) If we will become quiet and listen long enough we too will hear this “deep” desire that is within us as He knocks on the door of our spirit seeking a satisfaction that can only be found in no other way than our hearing and responding to this “deep” that is calling to the deep within us. The “waterspout” tells us that the attention of the Lord is now toward us “all Your waves and billows are gone over me”  as if everything that He desires is gathered together within the depths of our being and we are lifted into a higher realm of divine activity with Him.  Once we have unconditionally placed the totality of our being in God’s hands He will convict us when we come short of His desire for us or if we begin to stray that He might draw us yet closer to Himself.  This is a particularly important result of our relationship Him.  When David recognized the source of the convicting presence that he was experiencing and then repented, the LORD met him in a profound way, “all Your waves and Your billows gone over me.”  The ultimate goal of this convicting work of the Lord is to turn our hearts singularly toward Him, so He will be in control of the totality of our being and all that pertains to us.  On the human level our ability to love is limited and fickle.  But no matter how many reasons we may have as to why Jesus might not be interested in us if we will consistently express to Him our love for Him He will respond and take the initiative in bringing about changes within us.  The LORD can harshly deal with us, but at first he goads us into correction so that He can lift our attention from the earthly to the heavenly.  Isaiah we read, “Does the plowman plow all day to sow? Does he open and break the clods of his ground? When he has made plain the face thereof, does he not cast abroad the fitches, and scatter the cumin, and cast in the principal wheat and the appointed barley and the rye in their place?” (Isaiah 28:24-25)  The plowman only does that which is necessary to prepare the soil to receive the seed, so the harvest might be abundant.  So too the LORD’s interest is in our quality relationship with Him.  Therefore His chastening is limited to this purpose and His corrective action continues only until the desired response is obtained while His goads are used to nudge us as a stick nudges cattle in the direction they are to go.  There are those whom the LORD would like to chasten, but He is unable to do so because they are unwilling to unconditionally place themselves in His hand in order to allow His correction to be fully accomplished. Within each of us there are different experiences, situations, and circumstances that the LORD uses to goad and even provoke us so that our self-centeredness and our self-righteous attitudes might be dealt with.  These attitudes and feelings are buried deep within us and cannot be dealt with until they are first exposed.  We think this exposure is bad (everyone will find out who we really are), but in reality God knows it is in our best interest if we agree with God in what He is doing in our lives.  The LORD now is beginning to get our attention. He is not only a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6), but also is a divine disturber who is seeking something higher as He goads us in the direction He desires for us to go.  Paul found this out at a young age.  Paul a good dedicated follower of the religious crowd had an experience at a young age that I am sure stuck with him. “When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth. 55But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, 56And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. 57Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, 58And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul. 59And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”  (Acts 7:54-59)  Have you ever been “cut to the heart?”  Have you ever “gnashed your teeth?” If so you probably have known the LORD as a disturber.  This is what happened to Saul (later called Paul after his conversion) at a young age.  The Bible says the men who stoned Stephen to death laid their clothes at his feet. Saul (Paul) stood by and watched every stone strike Stephen until his lifeless body lay still on the ground, but also Saul (Paul) heard Stephen say, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God” and “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” I am sure these words haunted Saul (Paul) all of his life wondering what in the world could possess a man to do and say such thing.  What in the world could give a man such courage and commitment to be willing to lay down his life. Then one day on the road to Damascus to persecute the church Saul (Paul) found out what could possess man that would radically change his thinking and heart.  While riding toward Damascus Saul (Paul) had this experience that caused another mid-course correction in his thinking and heart, “Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests, 13At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me. 14And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks (goads in the Greek).” (Acts 26:12-14)  Everyone saw the light and felt (as they hit the ground) the light, but only Saul (Paul) heard Jesus speak to him.  The pricks or goads was I am sure the face of the many Christians he had put to the sword, the words and face of Stephen as he lay still and cold on the ground, all powerful images that griped his heart and mind. How could Paul now “kick against” or wrestle or even dispute against these experiences in his life that told him he was wrong and the LORD was right.  Paul (even though at the time he was an “A” student in Bible School) knew that what he was doing was wrong, but he was propped up by the religious and denominational church, the laws of the land that said it was okay when God said it was not, and all of the common people that followed not the LORD nor the inner voice within, but the anti-Christ spirit of the emotional masses, pleasure seekers, and disputers of the word of God.  This is the same spirit and why atheist, homosexuals, and other outright sinners are so violet and angry because they are resisting the goads in their lives that the LORD has placed there to turn them like Paul toward repentance. He has put deep with their heart a knowing that they cannot dispute, a truth that they know intimately in their heart that they cannot deny, but oh how they try to get everyone else to believe like them to justify their loneliness and despair, to touch the wrath and pain in their heart, to quiet the rage and anguish from gnashing their teeth and the murder they commit in their lives have it be from the slaughter of the innocent unborn baby in the mother’s womb to the senseless slaughter of ungodly relationships between men and men and women and women.  In Romans Paul (who knew something about goads and an ungodly heart condition) wrote, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them20For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:” (Romans 1:18-20) In other words, God has revealed his wrath (why people get angry) to the ungodly and unrighteousness all who lie against the truth, “for God has showed it to them.”  God has showed; the homosexual, the liar, the abortionist, the thief, the lesbian, the truth breaker, the one who commits adultery (both in their heart and physically), now here is the point they know “they are without excuse.”  They know they are guilty, they know the truth about themselves and they hate it, but they do not hate it enough to change their lives so they try to change everyone around them. So they pushed back, “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.” (Romans 1:22-23) So when they would not change, “God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 26For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. 28And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:  32Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”  (Romans 1:25-32)  Look at this list of goads. They did not like to “retain God in their knowledge” because they already knew the truth about themselves and, “knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death” their anger and rage burned deep within them instead of accepting God’s love and forgiveness.  In John Jesus said, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  (John 8:32)  Now truth alone does not make us free, but the truth we know will make us free indeed.  And the goads we know and respond to like the truth we know will make us free.