Summary: Sermon on recovery
Unfortunately history is full of stories about people who at the peak of their career do something which jeopardizes everything they have achieved.
In my adult life I have watched politicians loose their influence and even offices, (Nixon and Clinton), I have witnessed CEO’s of major companies in an effort to add to their already inflated salaries steal from their businesses and then loose everything because they were caught. Certain celebrity ministers and some not so well known have allowed themselves to be drawn away from what they know to be right into lifestyles and relationships that are an abandonment of God’s word.
In the last 48 hours some of us have witnessed the painful and strange picture of one of the brightest stars of the NBA sitting with his wife confessing publicly his adulterous affair with a nineteen year old hotel employee. The possibility is there for him to go to jail for life if he is proven guilty of the sexual assault charge that he is being charged with. I have no idea what he is truly guilty of except cheating on his wife. I know that it is truly amazing that a guy with a beautiful wife and daughter, a personal record setting season last year in the NBA, millions of dollars in endorsement contracts and all the “things” that we so often equate with happiness would put it all on the line for a few moments of doing something wrong.
I want to tell you a story this morning of a man who had it all but threw it away.
We are looking at this today because this is the next name that appears in Hebrews eleven. In this continuing series on faith we come to the story of Samson. It is ironic really that a man known for his physical strength would be so weak in the area of obedience to God.
Samson is known for his strength. He was a man that God blessed with incredible and unusual physical strength. As with all of the stories that we have examined so far we are back in Old Testament looking at a story from early Jewish history. While Samson was blessed by God his story provides an interesting insight into what can happen to our faith if we are not careful about our actions.
Intro: We have an enemy who wants our faith to collapse.
You need to know that there is an enemy who wants to see your faith in God turned into rubble. You may have this great relationship with God today but there is an enemy who the Bible describes as a roaring lion seeking to devour his prey.
Our enemy is Satan or the devil. His sole focus is to attack our faith. His one objective for non Christ followers is to prevent faith from ever happening. In 2 Cor. 4:4 we read, “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ.”
For Christ followers his goal is to cause our faith to fail. In Jesus explanation to his disciples of the parable of the sower, He says, “Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.” (Luke 8:12)
You need to know that you have an enemy who is doing everything in his power to keep you from having faith or keeping the faith you have.
Because of this fact I want us to look at the story of Samson and try to learn from his mistakes. There are some basic underlying principles that I believe can help us to understand what happened to Samson. I believe they can also help us to not be blindsided by the attempts to steal our faith from us.
Let’s look at these principles together.
1. Every one is equal in the possibility of losing our faith.
Judges 13:24-25a, “The woman gave birth to a boy and named him Samson. He grew and the Lord blessed him, and the spirit of the Lord began to stir him...”
Samson was blessed and called by God. God’s hand was on him from the beginning of his life. If you were to read the whole story of Samson and Delilah and his downfall into sin you will be reminded of the power that the world and its devastating affects in a person’s life.
No one is immune from falling or failing. While we can certainly be kept by God’s grace and I believe He gives us the power to rise above temptation, it is very hard unless you are keeping your eyes on Christ. If you continually put yourself into situations that are ungodly you are playing with fire.