Summary: We are used by God. We see miracles. We see His hand work through our hands. Is that enough? Is there more?
Thankful to be here. We are glad you are part of Restore and believe that you are key in ministering to a specific group of folks that need fellowship, accountability, and attention.
24 Then the woman gave birth to a son and named him Samson; and the child grew up and the Lord blessed him. 25 And the Spirit of the Lord began to stir him in Mahaneh-dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol.
This passage is the first glimpse into God’s use of Samson and the impartation of the Spirit in his life.
Spirit came upon him:
1. When attacked by a young lion.
2. When Philistines cheated to figure out riddle.
3. When he is bound with ropes but breaks them and kills 1,000 Philistines with the jaw bone of a donkey.
4 occasions where we are specifically told that the Spirit of God came upon Samson. There are other instances (especially during the Delilah sequence) where we aren't even told that the Spirit of God came up on him but his great acts of strength would attest to the fact that that is indeed what took place.
Consistently, over a 20 year period, we see this man used by God. So infiltrated by the power and anointing of God that he seemed at times to almost become super human.
He, of all the Old Testament characters, knew what it was like to sense and experience the incredible manifestation of God's power in his life.
The anointing was just as obvious on his life as was his long hair. People recognized the Spirit of God on his life.
Can you imagine being used like that?
The answer is yes. Although you may never tear the gates of a city off of its hinges with your bare hands or use the jaw bone of a donkey as a weapon. Although you may not feel like or believe that your feats of strength deserve to be considered or listed alongside the resume of Samson the truth is that the anointing is the same. The results are the same. The obviousness of the anointing is the same.
When you take the mic, sing the song, serve the people, witness through adversity, offer hope to the hurting you are in the same league as Samson.
However, I think we must also look at the scope of Samson’s life to learn a very valuable and in this day and age much needed lesson. His life is certainly a cautionary tale for those of us who want to be used by God.
For all of Samson’s anointed moments, seeing miracles, winning against all odds, seeing the enemy routed and great victories won . . . feeling the Spirit of God come upon him . . . as used by God as he was Samson was an instrument of God while remaining unchanged by God!
His moments of God power had no bearing or influence on his daily decisions and choices.
His moments of sensing God’s power rippling through his body had no bearing on his geography (he was a Nazarite he wasn’t even supposed to be in a vineyard or near dead bodies.)
Being used by God had no bearing on his hunger & appetites (He wasn’t supposed to touch a dead body much less eat honey from one.)
Being used by God had no bearing on his lusts or desires (His life is one big tale of uncontrolled and unbridled lust. Prostitutes and Philistine women were common fare.)
Being used by God had no impact on who he chose to associate with (he falls asleep with his head in the lap of his enemy).
Used by God but unchanged. Somehow some way Samson had the ability and fatal flaw of being able to compartmentalize his life so that God was available when he needed Him, but at the same time God was not given rule and reign over his life. He had the ability to rationalize and justify sin while still wanting to taste the thrill of being empowered and anointed by God to do great things.
Samson’s issue stems from the fact that Samson loved Samson. He never learned to use the anointing for the benefit of others. He loved being used by God because it made him look good and fulfilled his need to be used. He had a stage. He had a platform. He had acclaim. He had success. The anointing was squandered on personal benefit and gain.
What we learn from Samson is that although it is possible to use the anointing for personal gain it is not permissible!
He just never allowed the God that operated through him to operate on him!
So the real question and challenge that I have for you is not are being used by God, but rather are you being changed by God.