Summary: So many Christians are riding the spiritual roller coaster. Up one day and down the next, simply because we aren’t willing to make a total commitment to Jesus and love playing around with sin. Samson was a great example!
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Pastor James May
RIDING THE ROLLER COASTER
Sunday, August 25, 2002 PM
One of the things that I remember most about growing up was the times that we would go to the fairs and festivals that would come around each year. We would ride the rides as long as our money held out. We rode the Ferris wheel where it felt as though you were going to the top of the world and back down again. My favorite ride, in those days, was the roller coaster. Riding roller coasters is bumpy, fast and slow, then fast again, as you twist and turn going up and down. Roller coasters at the fair were fun but I don’t ride them anymore.
Tonight I want to talk to you about a young man who had everything going for him but he never made a decision to give it all to God. Instead he chose to ride on the roller coaster of spirituality. His life is one long story of spiritual highs and lows. It was as though he was gambling with the anointing of God and his eternal soul.
That young man’s name was Samson.
Samson was a handsome kid and was raised as a Nazarene according to Judges 13:5, "For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines."
The mark of his anointing and the call of God would be represented in Samson’s long flowing hair. As a Nazarene, he would never be allowed to cut his hair for this was a symbol of his promise to God.
Samson grew up to be a big, strapping kid with a physical power way beyond the ability of normal men. You might say that God had given Samson the gift of being an Old Testament Superman for he was able to do great things with his physical strength.
Samson would flex his muscles and all the girls would swoon. He would shake his beautiful head of hair and everyone would turn green with envy. He was a man’s man and every woman’s dreamboat and he knew it.
It would seem that Samson had everything going for him, prosperity, power, prestige, good looks, a great physique; he was good-natured and had the call of God upon his life. How much more could you ask for?
But Samson had a major flaw in his character. He loved to play around with the things of the world too much. His was a life filled with great contrasts.
Judges 14:1-3, "And Samson went down to Timnath, and saw a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines. And he came up, and told his father and his mother, and said, I have seen a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines: now therefore get her for me to wife. Then his father and his mother said unto him, Is there never a woman among the daughters of thy brethren, or among all my people,"
Do you see the problem that Samson had? He loved to flirt with sin. He loved to hang around with the world’s crowd. He would leave his Nazarene home and go where the action was. He was a party animal, in today’s vernacular, and he loved to play with fire. You can be sure of one thing. If you play with fire you will surely get burned one day.
There were times when Samson was very spiritual and God moved within him to do great things.
Judges 13:25, "And the Spirit of the LORD began to move him at times in the camp of Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol."
Samson was constantly going from Zorah , a place of wasps, to the town of Eshtaol, which had a narrow pass or recess, a town in the low country, and one of the strongholds of Israel against their enemies. This reminds me that we often run from the narrow way of righteousness and the protection of God’s presence to go and flirt with the world of sin where there is danger from the stings of sin. Samson couldn’t make up his mind what to do. He was divided between God and the worldly pleasures that were his for the taking. Every time Samson sinned, it was as though he was throwing the dice to see if God would still be with him or if God would depart. He became too over-confident and presumptuous of the power of God in his life and it wasn’t long until Samson was in deep trouble.