Summary: There is a danger from becoming disobedient to the Holy Spirit. Samsom was an example of that.
Judges 16:20 “Then she cried out, ‘Samson! The Philistines have come to capture you!’
When he woke up, he thought, ‘I will do as before and shake myself free.’ But he didn’t realize the Lord had left him.”
There are not too many verses as troubling as this one. Samson did not realize that the Lord had left him. When he woke up he was powerless. He would be captured by the Philistines, his eyes would be gouged out, he would be put into prison, and sentenced to hard labor.
But who was Samson and why did the Lord leave him? Let’s discover some answers this morning.
Samson was born during a period when the Israelites were in the hands of the Philistines. His mother was unable to have children until God intervened and opened her womb. In a vision she was told that her son was to be a Nazirite. This meant he was to be set apart for God’s service. That service would be to begin the deliverance of the Israelites from the hands of their enemies. As a Nazarite he could not drink anything that was alcoholic, touch anything dead, or cut his hair.
As he grew he searched for a wife among the Philistines. God would use this marriage as a tool to confront the Philistines.
Samson’s strength was unnatural since it came from God. He was greatly feared by the Philistines and he led Israel for 20 years.
But Samson strayed in ways that were not from God. For instance, he ate honey from the insides of a dead lion’s carcass, thus defiling himself. He also gave some of the honey to his parents, thus defiling them also. But worse of all he divulged his secret concerning his hair and allowed a prostitute to cut it while he slept. The Lord departed from Samson, not because of his hair, but because of his consistent disobedience to being a Nazarite.
Remember that being a Nazarite meant to be set apart for God’s service? There is another word we use for being “set apart.”
That word is “holy.” Just as Samson was called to be “set apart” so are we. 1 Peter 1:16 reminds us that God said, “You must be holy because I am holy.”
Samson did not choose to be Nazarite. He was chosen by God to fulfill that calling. It did matter whether it was a role he wanted or not. Paul tells us in Ephesians 1:4 that “Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.” Before He made the world He chose us to be holy. It does not matter whether we want to be or not. And our reluctance to be holy can be met with some dire consequences. Just like Samson, we may lose the power of the Holy Spirit one day and find we are on our own.
Now Jesus did promise us that the Holy Spirit would never leave us or desert us. But we can chose on our own to unplug that power source by our actions. So the question becomes how we can know that our energy source is getting low before it’s completely gone.
Hint #1- We no longer witness about Jesus.
Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
It’s easy to tell others about Jesus for some people. Some folks have got the gift of gab. But telling people about Jesus is not what He is calling us to do here. Telling people about Jesus is the result of what He is calling us to do here. What He is calling us to do here is to be. To be a witness. So what does it look like to be a witness?
One thing I have always believed to be a witness was to live a life like Christ. And I always failed miserably at doing so. Reality is we are not to be an imitation of Jesus. We are called to manifest his character in our behavior.
Being a witness to Jesus is not about religious rituals or legalistic rules and regulations. It’s not guilt trips about church attendance or tithing. It’s not about earning grace but rather exemplifying grace that has been given to us by the grace we give to others.
Being a witness to Jesus is living a life that manifests his character by allowing the Holy Spirit to control our behavior. This allows us to function in a dysfunctional world in a way that brings honor to God. It allows us to stop pondering what we must do to live the Christian life and began to desire to live the life that we are called to live. And allow our lives to be a witness about Jesus.