"The coastlands have seen and are afraid; the ends of the earth tremble; they have drawn near and have come. Each one helps his neighbor and says to his brother, 'Be strong!' So the craftsman encourages the smelter, and he who smooths metal with the hammer encourages him who beats the anvil, saying of the soldering, 'It is good'; and he fastens it with nails, so that it will not totter." (Isaiah 41:5-7)Isaiah was prophesying of one who would come from the east (King Cyrus) and would execute God's judgment upon the nations. God was announcing judgment, and no one was exempt. Yet, even in light of the coming judgment, the people continued in their own deception. Choosing denial instead of truth, refusing to believe in the judgment that was coming. They refused to believe that God would judge them; that God would judge their sin. And they even encouraged one another, saying, "It's all good! Everyone is doing it. It's not a big deal to God. God doesn't care." But God does care.
Why is it that, when God seeks to gain an entrance into our life, that we tend to resist Him? At times even pressing harder into our sin in order to shut Him out? Like those in Isaiah's day, we instinctively know what's right, but we refuse to accept it and yield to God's will. So we wrestle and strive to maintain our own way and to avoid God.
The Apostle Paul was such a man. The more God pursued Paul, the harder he persecuted the church. God was seeking to reveal His Son to Paul, but Paul kept running harder and harder away from God. When God did finally catch up with Paul, He spoke to him and said, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads." (Acts 26:14) Paul was striving against God when he should have been surrendering to Him.
There is a time to persevere, and there is a time to surrender. This scripture makes me ask myself two questions. What is God seeking to do in my life, and how am I resisting Him? Has God been pursuing you? Do you know in your heart of hearts that God is drawing you; that He is wanting to lead you away from your own life and into a life with Him? Perhaps its time to surrender. Its hard to kick against the goads, but when we finally surrender to Jesus, we find that His yoke is easy and His burden is light.