By Rodney W. Francis
I have a message to share with you from the life of Samson. The story of his life can be read in Judges Chapters 13 to 16. I pray the Holy Spirit will have His way, and open our eyes to get a deeper insight into God’s dealings and workings in our lives, as we learn from the life of Samson.
Samson was born because God worked a miracle. His mother had been barren until an angel of God appeared to her, and told her she would have a son. This son would have a deliverance ministry to deliver Israel out of the hands of the Philistines. As he grew up the Spirit of God began to move through him. Samson did mighty things when the Spirit of the Lord came upon him. The secret of his victorious life was in the moving of God’s Spirit through him. He was a man who became known, and respected, and feared, by virtue of that power moving through him. And as long as he walked with God, and kept God’s vows, God walked with him; and blessed and used him.
You would think that a man who had a birth like he had, who had experiences like he did, who knew the blessings of God like he knew them, that his whole life would be one of great blessing unto God. And yet we find as this man goes on, that he was to walk through “deep waters”: experiences that were literally to break him down, and bring him to death’s door. Samson was a man who attained to great heights in God; yet he also knew what it was to sink to the lowest depths.
THE DANGER OF ENTICEMENT
His marriage failed.... and then he made the “fatal” mistake of seeking satisfaction from a harlot; after which he fell in love with another woman by the name of Delilah. Delilah proved to be the downfall of Samson; for through her enticings, his soul was vexed to the point that he poured out his heart and his secrets to her. This he should not have done! She knew when he had told all his heart, and she called for the Philistines. They got Samson in a place where they could catch him out. And where did they get him? They got him sleeping on her knees! (If he had been on his own knees, he would not have been on her knees!) He would have known the strength of God rather than the weakness of the flesh! He slept on her knees, while a man cut off his hair.... causing Samson’s vow to God to be severed and his strength to go from him. Delilah afflicted him and he awoke to the cry of “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” (Judges 16:20 ). He got up, shook himself, and said, “I will go out as before, at other times, and shake myself free!” But the Bible says, “he did not know that the Lord had departed from him!”
THE TRAGEDY OF LOSING THE ANOINTING
What an extreme this man had fallen to! A man who was born by a miracle, a man who had known the mighty power of the Holy Spirit.... here he was, not knowing that the Spirit of God had departed from him! He was moving in presumption instead of anointing! How destitute, defeated and alone he was! When he had lost the anointing of God’s Spirit, we find the first thing the enemy did was to put out his eyes. He lost his vision. Not only did they take his vision, but they also bound him; they took his freedom.... instead of being led by the Holy Spirit of God, he was dominated by natural, weak men! And what did they do with him? They put him in a prison house and made him grind! They conquered his will and used him to their own ends. Samson would never forget the three things they did to him that day: blind, bind and grind him!
THERE IS A PRINCIPLE IN LIFE THAT WE REAP WHAT WE SOW!
What a great warning the Bible sounds out to every Holy Spirit-filled Christian here. Do we really know the subtleness, weakness and deceptiveness of the flesh? Jesus said, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41 ). We need to know that if we “sow to the flesh, we shall of the flesh reap corruption” (Galatians 6:1-9 ). Samson reaped corruption when he sowed to the flesh. But if we “sow to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life” (not only life everlasting, but life abundant in the here and now). God is desirous that we who are filled with His Holy Spirit will learn the power of right sowing.... to always seek after the things of the Spirit.... to be led by the Holy Spirit in a mighty way in these very days!
God allowed Samson to experience the things he did. He had no choice; for Samson had to “die” to the lusts of the flesh.... Samson had to “die” to himself. The cross had to be applied. There are no “short-cuts,” even though many might tell us otherwise. The “old man” has to be crucified, with its affections and lusts. And out of that “death” God is able to bring forth new life to His own praise, honour and glory. Romans 8:13 tells us, “For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if BY THE SPIRIT you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live” (emphasis mine).The Ministry of the Holy Spirit working within us is to put to death our old nature! There can be no continued outworking of the Holy Spirit in our Christian ministries, if we are not willing for Him to apply the cross within our own lives!
WRONG DESIRES BLIND US.
Samson had to learn this. If he had allowed his wrong sexual desires to be crucified, he would never have fallen like he did. His yielding to those desires pulled him down and made him weak like any other man! Those desires so blinded him that he did not even know when the Spirit of God had departed from him. Is this not a problem with so many people today? ~ even Holy Spirit-filled people? There are desires, there are lusts that have never come under subjection to the cross of Jesus Christ. Do you wonder why the power of God is not moving in our midst like it could be.... or should be? Let us ever desire to have and know the presence of the Holy Spirit at work within our hearts.... working to make us like Jesus. If we are not crucified to self, then God will not get the glory. God’s power is given for God’s glory, that His kingdom might be built up and extended.
GOD IS MERCIFUL!
We also see in the life of Samson the mercy of God. How the mercy of God is needed even today, for the many discouraged Christians throughout the world. There are those who have started off well in God, and then have gotten “tangled-up” with wrong relationships, marriages and so on. Samson’s marriage went on the rocks; Samson’s marriage broke up; Samson got into the wrong company. Did God give him over and finish with him completely? We see the mercy of God…. He gave him another chance. When Samson turned to God, God remembered him. God is merciful when we turn to Him with all our heart. There are many people who have once walked with the Lord, who do not today, because they are under condemnation; they know they’ve gone wrong;, they know they’ve failed; they know they’ve got “snared” with the things of the flesh ... but let me tell you, GOD, WHO IS RICH IN MERCY, is able, He is more than able to forgive them and to love them freely, and even to restore to them the ministry they once knew.... and in greater power. Praise God!
Samson died in victory, not in failure. He died with more being conquered at his death than all the days before him. Is this not the mercy of God? O how we need to be seeking in this hour the Holy Spirit to move in our lives, to cause us to put to death the self-interests, self-pleasures and self-lusts; that GOD might be glorified in all things through these bodies of ours. They are the temples of the Holy Spirit.
GOD WANTS US TO TRIUMPH!
God is looking for men and women upon whom He can pour out His Spirit.... who know the dealings of God in their life.... who know the anointing power of the Holy Spirit.... who have been through God’s disciplines.... who know the grace and mercy of God. Too often we have allowed weaknesses of the flesh to be an excuse as to why we do not accomplish what God wants us to. Let us be finished with our excuses and see what God wants us to do. He wants us to conquer; He wants us to triumph; He wants us to be in health and to prosper; He wants the Spirit of the Lord to be upon us, that we might preach deliverance to the captives, recovering of sight to the blind; to set at liberty them that are bruised (those who have fallen like Samson); to preach the acceptable year of the Lord(Luke 4:18-19 ). Let us die to ourselves and learn to know that God’s Spirit will move upon us in a mighty way.
Because we are Spirit-filled, it does not mean we are not going to have crisis times.... that we are not going to have trials and testings; but we can be encouraged to keep our confidence in God and not in man. When we look to the weakness of the flesh we will fail; but when we look to the power of God, God will make a way. Let us be willing to allow the flesh to be put to death, in order that God’s Spirit might move upon us.... move through us.... and reach out to lost humanity with the love of Jesus Christ. His message manifested in and through us, will save them!
Be encouraged from the life of Samson. He knew failure, he knew defeat; but he also knew victory. He knew God. He knew the power of the Holy Spirit: and thank God he availed himself of HIS MERCIES before it was too late. He cried out to God and God delivered him.... God set him free from the hands of his enemies that had dominated his life. God has called us to be deliverers. God has called us to be ambassadors. God has called us to be containers of His Holy Spirit; that we might go forth and manifest His Son Jesus Christ in power and in love, and in the demonstration that we see and read of in the Word of God! Praise God!
O, let the Spirit of the Lord move upon us mightily, to create a deeper hunger and yearning within our hearts.... that we might seek to know more of the power of His Spirit ministering through our lives; enlarging our vision and granting us greater liberty and power in God’s Service. Amen.... Let us die to self.