#145 “Today’s The Day…”
April 29, 2008
Today I am going to allow my 17 year old son, Kyle, to share his story with you. And I must tell you that my heart is alive with the reality of Proverbs 23: 15-16 which says: "My son, if your heart is wise, then my heart will be glad; my inmost being will rejoice when your lips speak what is right." What a kid!!
“Then Samson prayed to the LORD, "O Sovereign LORD, remember me. O God, please strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.” - Judges 16:28
Passage Lookup: Judges 13-16
I’ve always grown up in a Christian home. I mean, my mother has been writing devotionals and doing ministry for quite some time now. But it wasn’t until recently that I became more than a Christian. It wasn’t until "Taylor Youth Conference 2008" that I realized what it was to know Christ – to come into His presence and just let it all go. It wasn’t until I was brought to tears that I realized how much our Father loves us.
I still remember the Sunday mornings when I would wake up at noon and think to myself, “What a great day…I got to sleep in, and breakfast is waiting for me downstairs.” I’d roll out of bed, with no acknowledgement of God, no realization that the feeling of my carpet at my feet and the vision of the pictures on my wall were all from God. I started going to youth group as a punishment, but learned to love it (not for the right reasons, though). As time went by, I started going to church as a simple routine.
I went through all the motions. Bowed my head at prayer time, sung at the top of my lungs during praise and worship – believing what I was singing, but not living it. I’d walk out of church thinking, “Today’s the day I’m going to change,” and just go back to my regular life.
But it was the moment I saw the skit to the song “Everything” by Lifehouse, performed in tiny
I said all of that to get to here – Strength in Christ, our Father. Today we’re going to be looking at Judges – the story of Samson. An angel of the Lord appeared to Samson’s mother, telling her that Samson must be born a Nazirite, which, according to Numbers, states that “During the entire period of his vow of separation no razor may be used on his head.” Samson felt that his strength came from his hair. Throughout his story, the power of the Holy Spirit moved through him, while he felt that the power truly came from himself, his hair. Samson used the strength granted to him by the Holy Spirit to kill hundreds at a time. Then he met Delilah.
Delilah was a woman from the
We’ve all found ourselves in that situation. We bank on the strength we feel we have in ourselves, and the next thing we know, the one thing that made us “strong” is gone, and we are stuck to the wall – with no way out. We try and try and try, however we cannot seem to find the strength we once held so dear.
This is where Samson found himself. Lost, alone, and powerless against the Philistines. The book of Judges proceeds to account, “Then Samson prayed to the LORD, "O Sovereign LORD, remember me. O God, please strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes." Then Samson reached toward the two central pillars on which the temple stood. Bracing himself against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other, Samson said, "Let me die with the Philistines!" 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.” (Judges 16:28-30). It was at this moment he realized that the strength he had was not his own, but the strength of our God Almighty!!
It’s as if he had the most important, and final epiphany of his life. That his strength was not of his flesh, but of the Holy Spirit moving in him. He could not do it on his own.
We cannot do things on our own either. We need the power of the Holy Spirit in us to kill our metaphorical Philistines. I learned this one the hard way…
I recently ended my relationship with my best friend of almost a full year. We had fought before, but I always went back. She wasn’t the girl that I really should’ve been associating myself with. She had a horrible mouth, even worse reputation, and just loved being anything but Holy. I just couldn’t help myself. She was so much a part of my life, she was my Delilah. I told her everything about my life – all the mistakes I had made, and the ones I even thought about making. It wasn’t until I realized that I had strength in my Lord, Jesus Christ, that I was finally able to sever the friendship that had, in ways, become one of the largest valleys between me and God.
I tried many times before to just work it out on my own. Use my own strength to end the relationship that was tearing me down inside. But it just never worked – I kept on going back. But by giving the relationship to the Lord and asking Him to do what needed to be done, whether I liked it or not, it was shortly after that I realized the effect she had had on my life.
I finally just let go of what I was holding on to. Dropped my bags at the door and said, “Lord, take this from me. I cannot do this on my own. Let your voice billow through and lead me where you want me to go.” The very next day, the friendship had ended.
I cannot say I was not sad. That’d be a bald-faced lie. But I was at peace with it. Because I knew that it was only through God that it had happened, and His Strength prevailed, allowing me not to react to her pithy comments in the hallway, or the dirty looks she would give me as she’d walk by. Through the power of God, I was able to overcome a huge obstacle in my life, and can now begin to truly know God.
We all have our own Delilah – our own weakness. It may be love, lust, drugs, money, power, depression…no matter what it is, we all have it. But we cannot fix it on our own. How many of you are trying so hard to just pull yourself out of the situation? It’s like trying to see when you have no eyes. You just cannot do it. But if you just let go of it all, give it all to God, the way He will move in you will simply astound you. The band 4HIM said it best:
“Someday you will find it may not be like you expect it. But I will come to you in a perfect time. You may be waiting for the fire when I'm calling through the rain. You may be listening for thunder while I'm whispering your name. You may be searching for a sign to let you know that it’s ok. Hold on cause I'm on my way.”
When you just let go of your situation, your baggage, you will find that God will move in you as He never has before. He will raise you up from the valley, and place you where you need to be. It may not be the way you expected it to end up – it probably won’t be. But God is a perfect, loving, merciful God. He placed you today, wherever you are, and He placed you there for a reason. And you’ve just got to give everything up to Him – and then you can find true strength. Strength in our Savior, Jesus the Christ.
Our dear, loving, merciful Father....humbly we ask for our children's lives. Reach down from Heaven with your nail-scarred hands and release the grip of the enemy's bony fingers from around each one of them. He wants to steal, kill and destroy their todays and their tomorrows. Give them life Father... life in abundance, to the full, until it overflows. With each child that You set free and claim as your own, may the enemy feel the deep blows and be reminded of his future. Set our children's feet on the solid Rock, that is Christ Jesus, our Lord. Grant them repentence, kind Father, and lead them to a knowledge of the truth. May any who stray come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil who wants to take them captive to do his will. May only your will save them, lead them, and guide them safely Home. Amen.