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07-02-11.01

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07-02-04.02              vv                           zz              07-02-11.02

07-02-04.01                                                      07-02-18.01

Title:           “he loved a woman… whose name was Delilah”

FCF:            blindness of soul and spirit

D-Theme:   God’s Spirit is the answer

M-Thrust:   seek the Spirit of the Lord

App:           we must seek the Spirit of the Lord because the Spirit is the answer

Comment:  no comments to speak of and you know that is a good thing – because I don’t want to be preaching for favorable comments. I want to preach for the Spirit's power to be displayed! I did sense that a few @ Melrose Church were touched – perhaps it is so.

Subject:     life in the Spirit - II

Date:          07-02-11.01

Text:           Judges 16:1-22; 2nd Corinthians 3:16-4:4

• Introduction

•   Last week as we began to delve into Samson’s story…

•   We saw that Samson had a spiritual dullness about him…

•   Seemingly unable to discern…

•   …the fine line between flesh and Spirit…

•   That much of what Samson did was motivated by flesh…

•   …and his desire for revenge against the Philistines…

•   God used it for his glory… but it wasn’t his best for Israel…

•   This week we continue to look @ the life of Samson…

•   Showing us the progression in a person’s life…

•   Beginning with spiritual dullness leading to…

•   …blindness of soul and spirit…

•   After all, what thing does Samson do after his victory…?

1[he…] went to Gaza and saw a harlot there, and went in to her.

•   There was a blindness of soul and spirit that gripped him…

•   Perhaps thinking that since he was God’s man…

•   He was above the law of God for sexual purity…

•   In fact you could say that Samson was blinded…

•   Long before the Philistines gouged out his eyes…

…whose minds the god of this age has blinded…

•   Last week we looked @ what it means to walk in the Spirit…

•   Rather than walking after the flesh…

•   Our great need to crucify the flesh – passions & desires…

•   We see in our text this week that Samson was unaware…

•   The Spirit of the Lord had left him when his hair was cut…

•   Blind to the fact that disregarding his vow and purpose…

•   And disobedience to the commands of God…

•   Caused God’s presence to depart from him…

•   Along with his sight, strength, freedom, & hope…

•   What was the answer for Samson…? What is our answer…?

•   God’s Spirit is the answer…!

•   For everything we need in life – for every aspect of life…

•   The presence of God by his Spirit is the answer…

•   So then we must seek the Spirit of the Lord…

2nd Chronicles 15:2

2“…The Lord is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you.

•   And we must seek Him with all of our heart…

1st Chronicles 16:9-11

9Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him; Talk of all His wondrous works! 10Glory in His holy name; Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the Lord! 11Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face evermore!

Psalm 63:1-2

1O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. 2So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory.

Isaiah 55:6

6Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near.

Jeremiah 29:13

13And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

•   We must seek the Spirit of the Lord…

• …because the Spirit gives sight

•   As I said, before the Philistines gouged out Samson’s eyes…

•   He was blind – living with serious blind spots in character…

•   I mean, how is it possible for a man – any man…

•   To have the experience Samson had with his first wife…

•   When she tormented him in order to betray him…

•   To come again to a similar if not identical circumstance…

•   Where Delilah torments him in order to betray him…

•   How could he not recognize what was happening…?

•   And surely he was blind to the fact that if you play with fire…

•   You will most certainly get burned…

•   Going into women that were not his wives…

•   Who were representatives of the enemy…

•   The time always comes when our strength to resist fails…

•   If we are repeatedly exposed to the wiles of the enemy…

•   This man of great natural strength…

•   Had absolutely no strength to resist this woman Delilah…

•   …blind to the reality that he could not resist forever…

•   And as Samson is blind so too are we apart from the Lord…

•   We seek the Spirit of the Lord in order to receive sight…

2nd Corinthians 3:18

18But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

•   To have the veil of blindness of the god of this age…

•   Removed from our eyes so that we behold him…!

•   You cannot come into the presence of the Lord…

•   To see his face and go away unchanged…!

•   Every time we say, “I believe in the Holy Spirit,” we mean that we believe that there is a living God able and willing to enter human personality and change it. [1]

•   If we are to have the strength to resist the devil…

•   To recognize his schemes and turn away from them…

•   To preserve holiness and remain steadfast…

•   Then we must seek the Lord because the Spirit gives sight…

•   We must seek the Spirit of the Lord…

• …because the Spirit gives strength

•   What was the source of Samson’s great strength…?

•   Was it the length of his hair…?

•   Was it the purity of his life…?

•   Abstaining from the fruit of the vine…

•   Avoiding contact with death and corruption…

•   Was it that he was consecrated to God from birth…?

•   Samson’s great strength lay not in the length of his hair…

•   If that were the case then everyone would have long hair…!

•   Samson’s strength came from God’s presence…

•   His hair was merely the symbol of God’s presence…

•   And his own commitment to the vow of the Nazirite…

•   As Samson obeyed what the Lord called him to be…

•   The presence of the Spirit of the Lord was with him…

•   But when the last vestige of obedience was gone…

•   Then the Spirit of the Lord departed and forsook him…

•   We must seek the Spirit because the Spirit gives us strength…

•   Strength for obedience… strength for holiness…

•   Strength for service… strength for the battle…

•   Strength for endurance… strength for every situation…

•   How many would say that we need strength from the Lord…?

•   Then seek the Spirit of the Lord…

•   Seek his face… seek Him early and late…

•   …because the Spirit gives strength

•   We must seek the Spirit of the Lord…

• …because the Spirit gives freedom

•   What happened to Samson as a result of his hair being cut…?

They bound him with bronze fetters, and he became a grinder in the prison.[2]

•   Because of his disobedience to the vow and to God…

•   …weakness in the face of continuing torment/temptation…

•   When his strength left him he went into bondage…

•   …imprisoned by the Philistines – forced to work the gristmill…

•   Work normally reserved for a beast of burden…

•   The Spirit of God is always the spirit of liberty; the spirit that is not of God is the spirit of bondage, the spirit of oppression and depression. The Spirit of God convicts vividly and tensely, but He is always the Spirit of liberty. God who made the birds never made birdcages; it is men who make birdcages, and after a while we become cramped and can do nothing but chirp and stand on one leg. When we get out into God’s great free life, we discover that that is the way God meant us to live “the glorious liberty of the children of God.” [3]

•   Isn’t that exactly what Paul said in the opening reading…?

2nd Corinthians 3:17

17Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

•   God doesn’t intend for us to live in bird cages…

•   Living powerless before the onslaught of sin…

•   God intends for us to live free in perfect liberty…

•   Standing fast in the liberty by which Christ has made us free… [4]

•   It is only in and with the Spirit of the Lord that we are free…

•   If we do not have the Spirit – if God’s Spirit isn’t present…

•   Then there is only bondage and servitude to the enemy…

•   So we must seek the Spirit of the Lord to walk in liberty…

Psalm 119:45

45And I will walk at liberty, for I seek Your precepts.

•   …because the Spirit gives freedom

•   We must seek the Spirit of the Lord…

• …because the Spirit gives hope

•   There is @ the end of our text this morning a promise…

•   A promise that the Lord would vindicate our unlikely hero…

•   That promise is contained in the word… however…

•   In spite of all Samson had done…

•   In spite of all Samson had failed to do…

•   In spite of his blindness…

•   In spite of his weakness

•   In spite of his bondage…

•   There is the promise held out that God is still @ work…

•   That there is still hope…

•   For the text reads…

22 However, the hair of his head began to grow again after it had been shaven.[5]

•   Now again, there is no strength in the hair itself…

•   But it is in the obedience of the servant of the Lord…

•   And obedience brings the presence of the Lord…

•   And we find our strength in the presence of the Lord…

•   Paul spoke of having a ministry – the ministry of the gospel…

•   And having that ministry they did not lose heart…

•   They did not lose hope—they did not give up or give in…

•   Why…? Because where the Spirit of the Lord is…

•   There is sight, strength, freedom, and hope…

•   He spoke of the influence of the god of this age…

•   Blinding the eyes of those who are perishing…

•   …to the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ…

•   He goes on to say in verses we did not read…

2nd Corinthians 4:5-6

5For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake. 6For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

•   Are you struggling with issues of hope this morning…?

•   Hear the however of the Lord in your own life…!

•   Remembering that God has shone his light in your heart…

•   His light which gives you life…

•   If you are struggling with hopelessness or despair…

•   Then seek the Lord…!

•   Because the Spirit of the Lord gives us hope…

• Conclusion

•   blindness of soul and spirit

•   God’s Spirit is the answer

•   seek the Spirit of the Lord


----

[1]      Citation: J. B. Phillips, Leadership

[2]      The New King James Version. 1982 (Judges 16:21). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[3]      Citation: Oswald Chambers in The Moral Foundations of Life. Christianity Today, Vol. 32, no. 13.

[4]      Galatians 5:1

[5]      The New King James Version. 1982 (Judges 16:22). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

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