WILD • Wild Hair – 4/28/24

Over the last few weeks we have been looking at the life of Sampson. To this point we have established that he had some glaring weaknesses. These included lust, a sense of entitlement, pride, and allowing his emotions to control him. He thought he could take on anything that came his way.  

In Judges 16, Sampson continues his downward spiral. Judges 16:1 says: “One day Samson went to Gaza where he saw a prostitute. He went in to spend the night with her.” As a Nazarite he was consecrated to God but allowed his human nature to control his thoughts and actions instead of following God’s direction.

Too often, we like Sampson, want things to go our way, instead of following the plan God has laid out for us. All of us are tempted to allow our pride and natural desires to entice us and drag us away from God and His purpose for our lives. We might even pass the blame for our wrongdoing to others or even God. However, James 1:13-17 reminds us that it’s our own evil desires that give birth to sin and that God and all his gifts are good. When we are tempted to trust in our own strength, we can choose instead to trust in the goodness of God and recognize that it’s not in our abilities, but in Him we find our strength. 

Time and time again, Sampson yielded to temptation, thinking he was beyond defeat until he hit rock bottom and found that the Lord had left him, so had his strength. It would be easy to think that after messing his life up so many times, that God would be done with him. But thank God, that is not true.

Maybe you feel like you’ve gone too far, and that God can’t forgive or love you anymore. However, if God can forgive Sampson, He can forgive anyone… even you. When we come to the end of ourselves, God in His power and strength takes over.  It doesn’t have to take a tragic event to get to that place of trust. God in His grace empowers us to walk after the Spirit. You and I can’t control everything, but we can surrender to God and yield to the Holy Spirit who is constantly asking…. “Are you going to go my way?

Scriptures: Judges 16:1, 17, 20, James 1:13-17, Romans 7:18-24, Romans 8:1-2, John 15:5, 1 Corinthians 10:13, James 4:5-6, Philippians 4:7, 2 Corinthians 12:9-11, 2 Corinthians 10:5

Verse: But He gives us more and more grace (power of the Holy Spirit, to meet this evil tendency and all others fully). That is why He says, God sets Himself against the proud and haughty, but gives grace (continually) to the lowly (those who are humble enough to receive it).  James 4:6 AMPC

Questions: When have you gone your own way, instead of following God’s plan? Can you think of a time when God has provided a way of escape for you? If so, explain. Have you thought of Grace as being God’s power to deliver you from evil tendencies?   

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for your wonderful grace and for being strong in my weakness. When I am tempted to lean on my own understanding or try to figure things out on my own, remind me that I can do nothing without you. When natural desires and thoughts bombard my mind, help me to take those thoughts captive and look to your goodness for my strength. In Jesus’ Name I pray, amen.

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