Summary: What will it really take for God to use what is in our hands? The Spirit of God wants be break all bondages in our life, empower us to use the unconventional, discarded and stuff that is given up for being useless. Finally our genuine thirst for God ...
Opening illustration: In 1996, a young marine corporal named Joey Mora was standing on a platform of an aircraft carrier patrolling the Iranian Sea. Incredibly, he fell overboard. His absence was not known for 36 hours. A search and rescue mission began, but was given up after another 24 hours. No one could survive in the sea without even a lifejacket after 60 hours. His parents were notified that he was "missing and presumed dead."
The rest of the story is one of those "truth is stranger than fiction" events. Script writers would pass it up as "not believable." Four Pakistani fishermen found Joey Mora about 72 hours after he had fallen from the aircraft carrier. He was treading water in his sleep, clinging to a makeshift floatation device made from his trousers (unconventional) - a skill learned in most military survival training. He was delirious when they pulled him into their fishing boat. His tongue was dry and cracked and his throat parched.
Just about two years later, as he spoke with Stone Philips of NBC Dateline, he recounted an unbelievable story of will to live and survival. Who would not give up? He said it was God who kept him struggling to survive. His discovery by the fishermen makes searching for a needle in a haystack a piece of cake. The most excruciating thing of all? Joey said that the one thought that took over his body and pounded in his brain was "Water!" [NBC Dateline: Nov. 1998]
Introduction: In the roll-call of God's heroes, Samson is spoken of as a man of faith (Hebrews 11:32 (quickview) ). It is so strange to find him classed with David, and Moses, and Enoch, for as we look upon the deeds recited in this chapter, they seem to us altogether so stormy, and boisterous, and savage. We find it hard to think of him as being inspired by the same holy purpose as filled the hearts of the saints, and that the hand of faith was indeed there beneath the plated armor of the warrior. Truly, "God fulfils Himself in many ways:' And yet it is comforting that God's children are clad in a very different guise, speak many dialects, and are not expected to live higher than according to the light they have.
If you have a tendency to despair over lost opportunities or if you worry about the future, ask yourself this question: “What is right in front of me?” In other words, what circumstances and relationships are currently available to you? This question can get your focus off a past regret or a scary future and back to what God can do in your life.
What will it take to use what is in your hand?
1. Breaking all Bonds (v. 14)
Samson was bound with two new ropes which were made from the fiber of plants, shrubs and trees. Till today, people in the Eastern world use ropes made from jute, bamboo and other vegetation. The fresh ropes tend to be much stronger than the ones that are dry. These conventional ropes tend to be much stronger than the modern nylon ropes we use. According to the Israelites, Samson was much more secured than he ever was before. The Bible says that he was supposed to be like any common man.