Read His Words Before Ours!
When I think of God’s relentless pursuit of His people there are so many stories that come to mind. The story of Samson wasn’t one of them until recently.
About a year ago in Bible study, we were talking about Samson’s story. We noted how his life was unique in the sense that he was so very clearly called by God yet he chose to live in ways that were directly opposing to that call. We even said wow, we never want to be like Samson! But by the end of the conversation someone said, “aren’t we all like Samson?”. Truthfully, none of us could say no.
We blatantly disobey God’s word.
We make His call on our lives about us.
We flirt with the enemy.
We allow the enemy to capture and blind us.
Every single person has acted, will act, or does act just like Samson.
The good part about Samson’s story, and ours, is how God’s love brilliantly colors the mess of lives.
From the womb, God’s love was on full display in Samson’s life.
“Then the woman came and told her husband, “A man of God came to me, and his appearance was like the appearance of the angel of God, very awesome. I did not ask him where he was from, and he did not tell me his name, but he said to me, ‘Behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. So then drink no wine or strong drink, and eat nothing unclean, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb to the day of his death.'” Then Manoah prayed to the Lord and said, “O Lord, please let the man of God whom you sent come again to us and teach us what we are to do with the child who will be born.”
In Judges 13:6-8, God had set Samson apart before he was even in his mother’s womb.
Likewise, in Jeremiah 1:5 (ESV) it says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
Samson disobedience and disrespect for God permeated his life….
He touched a corpse, slept with a prostitute, pursued a woman that wasn’t a Nazarite, and told her the secret source of his strength.
Samson’s sins were many, but his biggest mistakes that eventually lead to his downfall, were in his heart.
Samson took for granted his gift of strength while also taking his life into his own hands; he felt his own ways and wisdom were better than God’s.
He knew what God said,
he knew God had an intentioned, set apart purpose for his life,
but he wanted creative control on how those plans came about.
He dethroned God and enthroned himself.
Here’s the reality, we all do that.
We ask God to follow us, instead of us following Him.
We invert the gospel, asking God bless our plans, desires, and will.
In reality, the gospel is us our full surrender to the Lordship of God.
What would it take for us to realize our lives are not our own and the
best and safest place to be is under the lordship of the triune God?
For Samson, it took the destruction of his life….
He was captured by the enemy, beaten, and abused. Samson hit rock bottom before he finally looked up and surrendered total control, giving God lordship over his life.
For the first time in his life, Samson asks God to fill him with the strength God gave to him so long ago, after it had been taken from him. (Judges 16:28)
He finally recognized it was not his strength but God’s strength through him.
Samson’s humble surrender, opened the door for God to do what He always does.
He showed off His character of tender love and grace.
He is faithful and just to forgive our sins,
no matter how bad they may seem.
(1 John 1:9)
Samson’s life reminds me so much of my own.
No matter how far I take my life into my own hands, He is faithful to work on my behalf, faithfully continuing to relentlessly chase my heart.
He shows up even when I’m trying to act out of my own strength,
but at the end of the day His heart is for me to turn and make the humble ask for Him to work through me.
His heart for people is that we would dethroned ourselves and enthrone Him in every aspect of our everyday lives. Our call is total surrender to His lordship as we trust His plans, desires, and will for our lives over our own.
Stop chasing yourself, Sister, and let His chase catch you!
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!