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07(Judges 16,18-31)Wasting the Life God Gave You

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I.                   Called to Destiny.

II.                A compromised life.

A.     Little sins, little compromises.

B.     Serving only self.

C.     Sin always costs you more than you want to pay.

III.             The Source of Strength.

Samson never understood the source of his strength. He thought it was his hair. You may think it is your intelligence or whatever. His failure was giving God the credit for his strength. When we are misled about our strength we will eventually make a tragic mistake.

Samson compromised his life. He would have to suffer the consequences of those compromises.

He had the same enemies as God yet failed to conquer them.

His strength was the Holy Spirit empowering his life. His calling was to help the children of Israel overcome the oppression of the Philistines. His commission was to lead them against the Philistine armies in victory in the same manner as Gideon, not with large numbers but by God’s power displayed through him. He had mighty strength, but none of it was his. It was all of God. And since it was all of God it was mighty. With God, his strength matched that of any enemy, and exceeded whatever came against him. O what I would do to have that kind of strength!

O what I would do to have the kind of strength it takes to climb out of this boat I’m in, onto the crashing waves. O what I would do to have the kind of strength to stand up to a giant, with just a sling and a stone. What kind of strength is that? For you see, Samson did have a personal strength. Yes he did. But it was not strength of muscle. That is the folklore.

But we don’t need to rely on folklore, the Bible tells us the strength of Samson:

Hebrews 11:32-34 And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: 33 who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.

Too simple isn’t it? But it has always been simple with God. Faith is the key to greatness in God’s economy. Not a powerful faith, not an intellectually determined faith, not an evidence driven faith. It was a simple faith that built a boat, a simple faith that left home to find a promised life, a simple faith  that conquered the promised land. A simple faith that led the foolishness of fishermen to confound the wisdom of the world.

It’s there right before you as you face the philistines in your life. It is there as you right now endure the consequences of your sin.

The world tells us the days of Samson are over. It says things are different now. Even some Christians want to limit our victories to intangible, not really measurable, we’ll understand it better by and by sort of victories. But your battles aren’t intangible, neither are they immeasurable. They are real.

The world tells us the days of Samson are over. But the voice of truth tells me a different story.

Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

Those don’t sound like intangible things, they sound very real. And what does the voice of truth say about these Philistines of trials, stresses, hunger and danger?

Romans 8:38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

What makes this bold statement all the more powerful is to see that it is the explanation of an earlier statement Paul had just made in v 28:

Romans 8:28 ¶ And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

 31 ¶ What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

IV.             Action Steps

Let me wrap this up by concluding with 5 action steps that will help us get off the road to ruin and head down the road to recovery.

D.     Acknowledge your fatal flaws.

§  What’s your spiritual soft spot? What area of your life has the most potential to ruin you?

§  Is it lust? Coveting? Revenge? An unforgiving spirit? Anger? Lying?

§  Psalm 38:18: “I confess my iniquity; I am troubled by my sin.”

E.      Ask for help.

§  It’s not enough to just acknowledge your problem.

§  You also need to ask for help.

§  First of all, ask for God’s assistance.

·         Samson did this in Judges 16:28 when he prayed and said, “O Sovereign Lord, remember me. O God, please strengthen me once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.”

·         God honored this request by using Samson to wipe out thousands of Philistines in his death.

§  Second, ask for the help of others.

·         Sadly, when you look at Samson’s life, everything he did, he did by himself.

·         He never mustered the troops. He never partnered with a buddy.

·         Don’t make the same mistake. Find a trusted friend and open up.

·         Ask someone to hold you accountable.

·         If you need some specific help, find a Christian counselor.

F.      Assimilate God’s truth into your life.

§  Be with God’s people. Read God’s Word and put it into practice.

§  Psalm 119:11: “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”

§  It’s absolutely imperative that we stay connected with God and with others.

§  Left to ourselves, it’s just a short walk to becoming a Samson.

§  Cultivate your relationship with Christ and commit yourself to do whatever it takes to grow.

§  Join a Sunday School class.

§  Maybe you need to be baptized if you’re a believer and have never done so.

§  Go to the women’s Bible Study when it begins again in the fall.

V.                Conclusion

Let me ask you a question, “How far can a person go before God will not deal with him any more?” What if you get drunk? Is that too far? What if you steal money? Is that too far? What if you kill somebody? Is that too far? What if you cheat? What if you commit adultery? Is that too far? What if you have an abortion? Is that too far? How far can you go before God will say, “That’s it. I’m done with you.”

Listen carefully. Nobody knows the answer to that question because nobody has ever gone far enough to find out. Corrie Ten Boom, after surviving Nazi prison camps, has been asked how she could keep on going when thing were so tough. I love her answer: “There is no pit so deep that the love of God is not deeper still.” No matter how far you run away from God, you can never go so far that God can’t find you.

I’m sure during the drudgery of grinding Samson realized what he had done. He knew that a death had to take place. And this is true for us as well. The only way out is to go back to that area of our life where we are resisting the Lordship of Jesus Christ and die, right there. Romans 6:11: “In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” We need to look our fatal flaws squarely in the face and count ourselves as dead to them because of what Jesus did for us.

Notice how the story ends in verse 30: “Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived.” You will find that to be true in your life if you are willing to go back to the place of disobedience and face it. Reckon yourself to be dead to sin and alive to God. God will then rout the Philistines in your life.

VI.             The Hero of The Story

Do you want to know the moral to this story? It really has nothing to do with Samson and everything to do with God. This passage is a living lesson in the grace of God. How a man who was beaten and blinded, humiliated by his own repeated stupidity, reached the bottom, turned around and discovered that God was waiting for him all the time. There’s nothing heroic about Samson. All he did was turn around and find God. God is the hero.

Some of us really need to hear this. Maybe you’ve gone pretty far down the road of romance or revenge and you’re grinding under a load of guilt. Listen carefully. Restoration of a relationship with God does not depend upon your performance. How can I say that? Because Samson didn’t perform. He came back to God before he pushed those pillars down. He came back to God while he was still shackled. He came back to God while he was still blind. He turned back to God and God took him.

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