Make Every Effort
Facing the Giants Video
This morning we are going to continue in 2 Peter
3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.
Acts 1:8 is clear, You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. When Peter writes of this divine power that has been given, he is writing about the Spirit. Paul writes in Galatians 5:16, if we walk or live by the spirit we will not carry out the desires of the flesh. But we need to pay attention to the spirit.
Think with me for just a moment about Samson. In my imagination as I heard stories of him I have always pictured this amazing tough guy. In my minds eye just the appearance of Samson on the scene would be intimidating. I just had this picture in my mind of a large foreboding man. Even in the movie Samson they had him as muscled up hero. Yet I think that is probably just a lot of nonsense.
In reality he was probably just average. I dont think his appearance would be any more intimidating than Kevin Hart.
In all of the story they never mention his size. The question they ask is the secret of his strength. That is pretty much the center of the story.
So much in fact that the five rulers of the Philistine’s hire Delilah. They paid her 55 hundred shekels., or pieces of silver. That is the equivalent of 28lbs if silver... do you realize in todays money that is about 15 million dollars. All she has to to is figure it out.
You see his strength was in disguise as just an ordinary guy. They couldn’t figure it out with normal human logic.
And while we read and we look at the story and we think it was his hair, we miss the real source.
The source of his strength was the spirit of God. It was his strength, but in a way it was the source of his failure as well.
When you look at the text you see statements, “The Spirit of the Lord came upon him in power, or the the Spirit of the Lord began to stir him. The book ofJudges tells us that the Spirit anointed Samson for ministry. But as you read about his life you will never see him experience or seek the Spirit for an other reason. You see him enjoy and demonstrate God’s presence and power many times in battle, but never try to live out what he knew. Yes God used him. But inside he was just a rude, lust filled angry vulgar man. Not once do we see him ask God to help him.
I am a Baptist. A Christian first of course, but I have been trained, I have studied as a baptist. For years we had a doctrine of the Holy Spirit. We looked at him as a thing. It is always the Holy Spirit. But we tend to avoid him. It is only relatively recently we have realized he is a living person. Not an after thought of the trinity, but an equal part. And we see his desire is to fill us, and guide us and teach us and comfort us and counsel us and help us bear fruit.
Yet the spirit is humble and gentle. We need to invite him. Even though he would love to work through you to do the work of the ministry, we are so often so afraid to ask. Partly because we do not understand that He will never work a lot through us unless we are walking with him actively.
Unfortunately, we seem to think that the only thing we need him for is fight the Philistines out here. We can go against satans works in the world. And we neglect the fact that the Philistines in here need defeated as well.You see he wants to help us resist the enemy and live for Him.
Samson was powerful. He sought the power of God so he could be a hero. An unlikely judge if you will. He cried out for God’s power to serve him. Never for him to serve God. Samson came to a gruesome end. He succumbed to the deception of Delilah, and was humbled. But you know when he puled down the temple of Dagon, he killed many more when he died than when he was alive.
Think about that. It isn’t an accolade. It is not a praise, it is a sobering indictment. Samson was better dead than alive.
And yet it presents us with an amazing truth. Samson served God the best when he got out of the way. When he did not wait for God to come on him, but he called on God.
We can see through Samson that listening to and being filled with the spirit is not simply supposed to be about some miraculous thing. But we need to realize what the spirit of God is doing.
This is my fifth year as your pastor. Have you paid attention to what the spirit of God has done in our midst?
We prayed for Baby Zella- she was healed from her cancer and is now growing up
We prayed for my sister- who they said would never wald or talk again- she does both
We prayed for Dans daughter Chelsea that was run over by her horse and lawn tractor, she wasn’t going to walk she does.
Daniel- we prayed for him to get lungs and do well- he did
Now we have prayed that he would be out of ICU and he is.
We prayed about my stroke- I am fine, We prayed for Scarlett she is doing outstanding.
There are more - God is not through with this church.
Yet if we are going to continue to be a church that serves him fully, we need to be willing.
Facing the Giants. The movie clip at the start.
Did you see that? Do we believe God is going to do the things he said?
Look at verse 5
5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge,
Make every effort to add to your faith moral excellence. Your faith. Faith is increased by one power. The Spirit. When we make every effort to submit to him we will grow. But it is not going to be easy. Our enemy will find the most minute thing that causes you to stumble.
Do you ever wonder why the apostle Paul wrote that he disciplines his body daily to make it my slave?
Why he writes in Romans 7 about the battle with the flesh? Why he tells us to not be drunk with wine but be filled with the spirit?
Why Jesus said take up your cross daily?
Adding to you faith means that you live on it. You faith becomes not just something you hide in your heart. It becomes the foundation for every thing we do. Because of our faith we have discovered moral excellence. Because of our faith we submit to the Spirit who guides us to live out what we believe. We live life because we know that God had given us power to do everything we need to do to live out godly lives.