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Summary: Showing the importance of listening to the Spirit.

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Embracing the Hoy Spirit: Tuning In

Theme: To show the importance of listening to the Holy Spirit

Text: Judges 16:18 - 20

Judges 16:18-20 When Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called for the lords of the Philistines, saying, "Come up once more, for he has told me all his heart." So the lords of the Philistines came up to her and brought the money in their hand. (19) Then she lulled him to sleep on her knees, and called for a man and had him shave off the seven locks of his head. Then she began to torment him, and his strength left him. (20) And she said, "The Philistines are upon you, Samson!" So he awoke from his sleep, and said, "I will go out as before, at other times, and shake myself free!" But he did not know that the Lord had departed from him.

Introduction

Most of us have heard the story of Samson and Delilah. Samson was a judge of the Old Testament. It between the time that Israel had just come in to the promised land and the reign of the first king, Saul.

Instead of a king God would raise up judges to deliver and lead the people. From Samson’s early age he was set a part to deliver Israel. He found himself caught in many conflicts with the Philistines who oppressed Israel at the time.

Samson had two weakness 1) He was spoiled. 2) He loved women. Maybe it was because of his special birth but for whatever reason his parents would give into his request.

Samson’s downfall was women. Especially one named Deliah. This is where we pick up the in this story. Delilah had a way of wooed Samson. She had false motives to get his “secret”. As you know Samson had great strength and agility when needed. Lifting gates over 1,000’s of pounds and catching numerous foxes.

Each time it is noted “the Spirit of the Lord” came upon him. Yet it was this last fight with the Philistines that Samson learned that God was more than just someone who was making you show off.

The saddest of words, “So he awoke from his sleep, and said, "I will go out as before, at other times, and shake myself free!" But he did not know that the Lord had departed from him.”

I want to tell you, the Spirit of the Lord is nothing to play with. He is not here for our entertainment. And if we don’t stay “Tuned In” we can miss what He wants to do.

So this morning I want to share with you a few things that can help you stay “Tuned In or Connected to The Spirit”

I. It takes a different way

Samson was called to be a different character. He was Nazarite. That meant that he would not cut his hair, drink from the fruit of the vine or teaching anything that had died.

John the Baptist had taken this vow.

These things may seem strange but it is what God expected of him to maintain that relationship.

He may not expect the same from you but I can tell you He will expect something. It will be sacrifice. But what it will do is keep your heart and spirit in check.

We read it Wednesday night that we are called to offer our bodies as “a living sacrifice” from Romans 12:1. This is not easy. It is easier to be conformed than transformed. But as Paul says, “this is our reasonable (or expected) service.”

II. Spiritual Advisors

Samson needed some better spiritual advisors. I am big on children listening to their parents but if they are hurting you instead of helping your spiritually walk it is time to find someone differently than to pour into you.

III. It takes prayer and connection (communication)

Samson relied to much on his gift than he relied on the giver.

Just think if we spent as much time in prayer as we do on facebook or social media. I am not here to lamblast or put you down for using it but I am here to tell you there is a greater power out there.

There would be now demon in hell if the church started praying at the level we did other activities.

It is not God that is limiting us, it is us who are limiting God. The Holy Spirit wants to work. He wants to move. He wants to send power, we have to be willing to let Him pour in.

James 4:3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.

James 5:16 Confess your trespasses [23] to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

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