Sunday, July 1, 2012

mess of me

Just because you are "once saved always saved" doesn't mean you don't still make mistakes.  Sometimes, you can even get your life into a real mess.

What happens then?

The story of Samson in the old testament seems a perfect place to talk about how big of a mess you can make with your life . . . even AFTER you are a "Christian".

Samson took a vow to be a Nazarite which meant he did only the proper things according to the Law. A Nazarite was not allowed to drink alcohol or strong wine made from grapes.  Nazarites were not allowed to cut their hair and they were not allowed to touch corpses or graves not even family members.

God blessed Samson with amazing strength.  

But Samson's anger and lack of self control got him into trouble.  When I studied this lesson (click link above) it made me think that a lot of times our Christian brothers and sisters are in such a mess and really just don't know how to get out of it.

They have been told that God will give them strength and to obey the commands of the Bible in order to feel closer to God.  But they are already in such a tangled mess they don't know where to start.

When you commit your life to Jesus, you have to exercise self control.  Without self control, the act of being saved becomes meaningless.  You must be willing to turn away from those sinful habits, those bad things and turn to God.  If this doesn't happen DAILY it is easy to fall back in to those bad habits from before.  God will help you, but you still have to ask and you have to want to follow God now.

Samson did not have self control.  Even though he was physically strong, his morals were not developed and his first mistake was going to the wrong places.  Being a Nazarite he was forbidden to drink alcohol, not even a little bit.  But he goes running of to Timnah a place famous for vineyards.  

This was the very first mistake.  Being in the wrong place.  We have to watch where we go if we are going to avoid temptation.  Then Samson goes to Gaza, where he meets Delilah.  We all know how this turns out.  Delilah ends up tricking him into cutting his hair and then he loses his strength.

It's like that for us sometimes too isn't it.  We think . . . "What will it hurt?" and then the next thing you know we are in a mess.  How did we get here?

Beyond self control, we have to choose the right friends.  Proverbs says we are to walk with the wise to become wise and a righteous man chooses his friends carefully.  If you are hanging out with people who do not encourage you in your faith to do better to follow God and stay on His path, then you need new friends.  The Bible teaches that if you hang out with foolish people you too will start acting the same way they do.

The best thing to do is to put God first.  Samson was a man of God (in the beginning) following all of the laws for a Nazarite and reaping the rewards of God by having great strength.  But Samson only prayed to God when he wanted to defeat an enemy or even once after he had defeated an enemy he prayed for God to provide him with a drink.  This is a very selfish attitude when it comes to God.

God will not be mocked.  Do not tempt the Lord your God.  If you do not come before God with a humble heart and truly desire a relationship with Him . . . if ANYONE knows. . ..  God knows!!

After Samson's fall, God did not abandon Samson.  Samson's heart was changed and God recognized this and rewarded Samson with his strength.  Samson used this strength to pull down a temple of one of the pagan gods, killing everyone in the temple who worshipped Dagon, instead of the one true God of Israel.

Don't think because your life is a mess you have to give up or give in to temptation.  But you are going to have to DO something.  You can't continue to ignore this problem.  

It's just like being on a diet.  If you continue to eat Krispy Kreme donuts and Daily Queen blizzards every day, you are not going to lose much weight.  But by using some self control you can overcome your desire to eat those "bad foods".  

None of this, of course, is possible on your own and by your own strength.  You need to seek God first and put Him in control of your life.  This doesn't mean to go to Dairy Queen and "hope and trust in God" that you won't be tempted to buy ice cream. . . . stop going there.  

God will help you, but you can't just throw up your hands and expect God to do a "magic trick" in your life.  

Self Control
Choose the Right Friends
Put God First

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1 comment:

  1. Unable to attend church today,(still recovering from minor but restrictive surgery)your words fell perfectly where they needed to be. Thank you.And blessings.


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