Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Sunday, April 24, 2016
Today’s Scripture Focus: Judges 16
We are focusing on sin recovery principle number one of 12: “We admit that we are powerless against sin and thus we cannot manage our lives without God’s miraculous intervention.”
Samson’s story is more than a little intriguing! Here’s a guy who was called from birth to be dedicated to God’s service at the highest levels. You may wonder how that’s possible. I mean, are not all of God’s people called to service? Well, yes. All of God’s people have a special calling on our lives. This is true. However, Samson was a Nazarite (look them up in Numbers 6) and he had a unique calling that included representing God and His honor to the Philistines. Of course, I am oversimplifying, but you get the point. Samson was no ordinary believer. His ministry was special and he vowed to treat it as such.
Unfortunately, like so many of us, Samson had a self-control problem and he was power hungry in a lot of ways. This caused problems when he chose to flirt with unholy women to act out his unholy passions. I hope you’re paying attention here. This caused problems when he flirted with pride, asserting himself as being in control of how long God would put up with his shenanigans. God gave him specific instructions concerning his ministry, mission, and unique calling, yet he continually tempted the line between God’s presence in his life, and going it alone due to his unrepentant spirit. What began as a foolish game with a foolish woman, with a foolish desire to flex his proverbial and literal muscles actually exhausted his power. When he had played around with his calling one time too many, the Lord had to expose him to the consequences of his actions. The man who was formerly so powerful that no man or even group of men could contain him, fell prey to his own evil passions and became a slave to them.
We must learn from Samson’s story. We must learn to respect God and His divine calling on our lives. We must learn never to trifle with our mission, because God has invested so much in loving, equipping, and commissioning us. He could have allowed us to die in our sins, but he did not!
But Samson’s story is not only about what not to do. Toward the end of our theme chapter, we also see what we must all do who realize we have no power against sin and that we need a miracle of grace when we fall prey to our own lusts. Samson, having taken his lumps for his sin, becoming a blind slave and a mockery, called upon the Lord. He confessed his sins, turned in heart from them, and simply asked for God’s strength to do what he was called to do in the first place. He asked for restoration. God did it! Before Samson died, God restored him to favor, strength in the Holy Ghost, and mission in His service. In one day, Samson was more effective under the power of God than he had been in years frittering away his calling in his own strength.
So as our sin recovery principle states, when the Lord reveals our weaknesses to us, it is our privilege to fall into His loving arms of mercy and accept His power of grace over our weaknesses. It is then that we will become strong. Be encouraged. God is ready, willing, and available to turn the tides on your sin addiction too. Just surrender to Him and watch Him work miracles in your behalf.