In the last post, we closed with the question, are you weak like Samson? Maybe that was a harsh way to end the post but God has been really working on my heart for the past 6 months that as a Christ Follower I must desire to DO MORE and BE MORE than the status quo! We also read this great summation of Samson’s life in a sentence…
“Samson was an incredibly strong man, with a dangerously weak will.” Craig Groeschel
If you did not read it, I’d recommend you go back and check out Part 1 before reading on. Today I want to encourage you that there is a hope if you find yourself battling a weak will. Samson with all of his physical strength, never had the fortitude to say no to his selfishness or his anger or his lust and as a result he failed to truly live up to the calling on his life because he could not say no to temptation. James 1:14-15 (NLT) gives us a warning that Samson could have used:
Instead of enjoying true biblical community, Samson surrounded himself with the very people he was supposed to rescue Israel from, and thus allowed his sin to give birth to death. He went from strength to weakness not just because of the haircut, but I believe because he lost his identity and connection to God which opened himself to be attacked from the enemy who ultimately used Delilah and the Philistines to take out God’s mighty warrior. Remember Samson had an angelic announcement of his birth, a great assignment as a Nazarite and a noble purpose to deliver the nation of Israel from the Philistines. He traded all that for sex and his own selfish desires. He was completely UNSTABLE! I shared in the post called ★ Thought for the Day – Don’t Harden Your Heart ★ these two powerful verses from Colossians 2:6-7 (HCSB) which contains the antidote to an unstable life…
The key to that verse for me is the word “ROOTED.” I read this definition…“to establish deeply and firmly.” A person who is ROOTED in God’s Word and totally surrendered to the Father’s Will, will be STABLE in all their ways. Now stable does not mean perfect and without sin, it simply means that we live our lives pursuing those things that matter and pressing on to be more and more like Jesus and not allow ourselves to be tossed around by culture and our flesh (or sinful desires). If we don’t, and we allow ourselves to go down that dark path it will lead to death. Now we all make mistakes and fall short of the mark but when you strive to engage in a relationship with Jesus and maintain a link to the creator of heaven and earth your life will be forever changed. It’s when we let ourselves drift that we will find ourselves in danger, like Samson. I think one of the saddest passages about this “Bible Hero” is found in Judges 16:20-21(NLT) after Delilah lulled Samson to sleep and a man shaved his hair (the source of his strength)…
Samson had become so dependent on himself that he became deluded in where his power came from that he didn’t even realize that the Lord had left him. What would you say about yourself? Be honest, would you say that you are walking according to God’s Word or by your own? Galatians 5:16 (ESV) gives this counsel to keep in step with the Spirit:
Samson was all about himself and prioritized satisfying his desires over his destiny. Let me ask you, where do you place your priorities? Are you passionate about pursuing your relationship with God? If so look back at the verses in Colossians we just read…As our roots grow in Christ, our faith will be strengthened and we will be equipped to help others. Even though you might not be able to travel throughout the world as a missionary, but you can change the lives of those you come in contact with. The way roots are stimulated to grow is by engaging in biblical community. That can be in different forms or environments, whether it be corporately on a Sunday morning, a Lifegroup (which is a setting of 12-15 people) or a small group of 3-4 people of the same-sex which my church calls a “Fight Club.” Regardless of what that looks like, the key immerse yourself in atmospheres that develop close friendships so that when the storms of life hit, (and they will,) there will be a group of people who are “waiting in the wings” to come alongside and help you. God never designed us to “go it alone.” You can’t just go to church once in a while or read a Bible verse once in a while or a read the latest Christian book to be considered a disciple of Jesus; we need to continually learn and engross ourselves with the things that matter most to God in order in our walk with Christ. I love what King David wrote in Psalm 119:35-37 (ESV) says:
A person who is ROOTED will study the Bible, they will seek to help not only those not related by blood, BUT will do anything to reach them and take care of their needs. They are not tossed about by their emotions and will strive to rise above the filth that our culture offers up. A ROOTED person is stable, loyal and can be counted on to be there in times of trouble, just the same as you would be for your parents, wife or children. We must fight for others because we have a great adversary and in 2 Corinthians 4:4 (NLT) we are warned:
“Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.”
The call of Samson was to deliver the nation of Israel from the Philistines, the call for the ROOTED person is to go out and share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Once we have accepted Jesus as our Savior, we are a new creation with the assignment to reconcile or bring others to God because Satan, the enemy of our souls is looking to steal the Word whether you know it or not, we are supposed to be God’s representatives wherever go whether at home, the kid’s soccer field or on the checkout line at Kroger, we should be on mission looking out for an opportunity to call people back to the Father. How different would our world if every person lived with such purpose?! The key is to strive for progress, not perfection. You may have some bumps in the road as you reach out, don’t let Satan discourage you. We need to fight for others and be bold in expressing our faith. Craig Groeschel asked made these great points:
So how much do believe in Jesus? If the people who know you were asked if you were a Christ Follower, would they know the answer? You see the more you believe in Jesus and what He did for you and me on the cross, the bolder we should be about telling others about him. A person who is ROOTED and mission-minded is committed to be working on his boldness and being alert. You never know maybe God may be setting you up to change someone’s life. He certainly did for Samson, and I dare say for you and I. In order to avoid being weak like Samson, we need to understand that we are called to be Holy. 1 Peter 1:13-16 (ESV) says:
When we read God’s Word, we are setting our minds on that which matters most and prepares us to face the battle from the enemy. Without it, its like going to battle with no weapon or armor. So the question remains…Where do you place your priorities? Are you passionate about pursuing your relationship with God? If it is a “no,” then I want to encourage you to repent and pray for God to break your heart for the sins that we all fall victim to and strive to engage God’s Word so that we can make a difference in this world. Matt Chandler made this great point on what it means to repent:
I love that definition, we must recognize that we are sinners and in need to change our ways! If the answer to the question is “yes,” that you want God to be a priority in your life and to be a ROOTED person then you need to put on “The Whole Armor of God” as Ephesians 6:10-12 (NLT) instructs:
Samson could have used this advice because he had no community to lean on for Godly counsel as he joined himself to Philistine women and prostitutes. He literally surrendered his “armor” by telling Delilah the source of his strength was his hair. The man with supernatural strength was not taken out not by a stronger foe but by his own libido!
Living life without our armor is like trying to stand up against the constant waves of the ocean, we must not think we can do life on our own strength. It is God, and God alone who gives us the ability to stand firm! That is what the Colossians 2:6-7 reminds us…success in God’s Kingdom is when we “walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith!”
Nothing changes if nothing changes. The question is…do you want to change?
If you want to dig deeper, check out:
Here is a playlist of Craig Groeschel’s phenomenal 4-part series on Samson:
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