Derek Smith, Lead Pastor LHBC

Judges 16:18-20
When Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called the lords of the Philistines, saying, “Come up again, for he has told me all his heart.” Then the lords of the Philistines came up to her and brought the money in their hands. 19 She made him sleep on her knees. And she called 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!” And he awoke from his sleep and said, “I will go out as at other times and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the Lord had left him.

Samson is one of the most interesting men in the Old Testament. The Lord gave him incredible strength and when the Philistines came against Israel, Samson put on a display in battle that is arguably unparalleled. At one point Scripture says that Samson slew 1,000 Philistines with merely the jawbone of a donkey. From the very beginning of his life the Lord told his mother his hair was not to be cut as a part of what is known as the Nazirite vow. He was to remain set apart unto the Lord in this way. However, after much success in battle, Samson got lax in his commitment. With the help of a seductive woman, Samson allowed his hair to be cut, breaking his vow before God, and as a result he lost his strength and was taken captive.

The scariest part of this entire scene is listed at the end of verse 20 where it says Samson did not know that the Lord had left him. He had become so accustomed to victory that he took the Lord for granted and broke his commitment. It’s bad when we try to do life completely in our own power, but it’s worse when we do so and don’t even realize the Spirit of God is gone. We are completely bankrupt spiritually apart from Christ, incapable of honoring Him, and totally destitute of real wisdom and peace.  The only hope for us is Jesus, and apart from Him we can do nothing.

Today, are you trying to do life in your own power? Are you merely relying on your own wisdom? Are you operating in your power and not the Lord’s? With His Spirit we can do great things, but apart from Him we are powerless. When was the last time you genuinely sought God before making a decision? When was the last time you asked God whether or not you should engage in something, or what your priorities should be? When was the last time you prayed and asked God what to do with the money in your bank account instead of just spending it on your own desires?

There was a sign placed in a textile mill years ago that read, “When your thread becomes tangled, call the foreman.” A young woman was new on the job. Her thread became tangled and she thought, “I’ll just straighten this out myself.” She tried, but it soon turned into an incredible mess. Finally she called the foreman. “I did the best I could,” she said. “No you didn’t. To do your best, you call me.”

Child of God, doing your best means calling on Jesus. Apart from Him we can do nothing and apart from His love we are nothing. Samson went from practicing believer to practical atheist, and as a result He became enslaved. Don’t do life on your own. It never turns out good. Seek the Lord. Get His wisdom. Stay in His Word. Call on Him in prayer. Because when the Lord leaves it’s a sad, sad, sad state of affairs.

Dear Lord, I desperately need your power and wisdom. I want to remain in Your Presence and abide in Your love. Show me Your ways and give me Your heart. In Jesus name I pray, amen.

Ephesians 3:20-21
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.