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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 169

Prayers of the Old Testament
The Prayer of Samson continued...

The judges of Samson’s day were such individuals. They were called of God to a greater calling than the contemporaries of their day, and we see other judges during the same time period being imbued with the Spirit of the Lord that they might carry out the duties assigned to them.

Although Samson was not alone in having the Spirit of the Lord move upon him – as within the same book of the Bible we see both Othniel, the first of the biblical judges, as well as Gideon being endowed with the selfsame Spirit – the supernatural physical strength he exhibited was unique to Samson in the entirety of Scripture.

Samson was a man upon whom the Spirit of the Lord moved. The exploits Samson did, the physical strength he exhibited, were not of him. They were not due to his pedigree or genetics, they were due to the power of God residing in him, and working through him.

It is a glorious thing to be led by the Spirit of the Lord and to have the Spirit of the Lord move upon us, but it becomes dangerous and oftentimes destructive when we begin to see what the Spirit does as our doing, our exploits, and our accomplishments. When we start to believe we are doing it on our own, rather than the Spirit working through us, we begin to take the work of God for granted, as well as the gifting with which we have been endowed.

Samson was strong because God made him strong. Somewhere along the way Samson forgot this simple truth, and paid a dear price for it.

Not only was Samson blessed of the Lord, not only did the Spirit of the Lord move upon him, he knew he had been set apart as a Nazarite unto God since before his birth. Samson lived with the awareness of what had been invested in him. He lived with the awareness of the great and high calling he had been called to.

Judges 16:16-17, “And it came to pass, when she pestered him daily with her words and pressed him, so that his soul was vexed to death, that he told her all his heart, and said to her, ‘No razor has ever come upon my head, for I have been a Nazirite to God from my mother’s womb. If I am shaven, then my strength will leave me, and I shall become weak, and be like any other man.’”

Samson knew he had been set apart as unto God, and he also knew the consequences of having his head shaven. Samson knew he would be like any other man if his head were ever to be shaved.

We know the consequence of rebellion, and we know the consequence of disobedience. We are not blind as to what will occur if we do contrary to the word and will of God. Even so, more often than we would like to admit, we choose disobedience and rebellion as Samson did.

How does one who is chosen of God, and knows he is chosen of God, come to pray to God in a pagan temple, blind, and surrounded by his enemies?

What leads a man who had all the potential in the world, all the strength he would ever need, the highest position in the land, and the inherent capacity to do good, to throw it all away for momentary pleasure and worldly lusts?

It is important to know what led to Samson’s downfall, because any one of us is susceptible if we are not watchful, prayerful and obedient toward God. Any man or woman walking the earth today is susceptible to temptation if they have not learned to resist temptation, and resist the devil himself that he might flee.

Very rarely is it one single, solitary thing that leads to the downfall of an individual. More often than not, it is an amalgam of little things, small steps, which eventually lead one over the edge of the precipice altogether.

The first step Samson took toward his downfall is that he started to flirt with sin. For Samson sin was not a dangerous thing, it was not a destructive thing, it was something he flirted with, and mocked at, until it eventually destroyed him.

Proverbs 14:9, “Fools mock at sin, but among the upright there is favor.”

As so many do today, Samson underestimated the power and danger of sin. He did not see sin for what it was, but rather Samson saw sin as how sin chose to present itself. Sin never reveals its true face; it is far too hideous for any man to embrace it. Sin camouflages its true nature; it camouflages its true intent, focusing on the momentary pleasure itself, rather than the inevitable lifelong ramifications and consequences of the momentary pleasure.

When we disregard the warnings of God throughout the scriptures concerning the danger of sin, we are doing ourselves a disservice, while simultaneously inferring that God somehow exaggerated or didn’t really know what He was talking about.

God speaks of sin in the scripture admonishing us to flee the very appearance of evil, because He knows how much of a sway sin will have over the heart of man if it is allowed to fester and take root therein. God knows how completely and utterly sin destroys, He knows how it befouls every heart it resides in, and in love, He warns repeatedly that as children of the light and pursuers of righteousness, we must break ties with sin altogether.

Although Samson knew better, he did not heed the warnings of God, he did not treat sin with the seriousness with which sin ought to be treated, and his ongoing flirtation with sin led to something infinitely more damaging…something even the strength of the strongest man to ever live could not overcome.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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