The presence of the Lord certainly was evident in our church services in Zambia. (A short video of praise in Bimba language)
Have you ever known anyone who makes the same terrible decision again and again resulting in catastrophic repercussions? Yet, he or she, when given another opportunity, repeats the action again. Often times, I think to myself (or even say out loud), “What are they thinking?” “Will they ever learn?” “Will I?”
There is a character in the Bible like this, many actually, but one person specifically comes to mind and that is Samson. Samson possessed a calling upon his life from before he was born. His mother and his father received a declaration from the Lord that they would have a son, and he would “deliver Israel from the hands of the Philistines” (Judges 13:5b). Take time to read the entire story of Samson in Judges chapters 13 through 16.
Samson did many mighty things. His strength seemed super natural, much like that of a superhero in the movies. Samson’s strength came from the Lord. The spirit of the Lord would move upon Samson and grant him the strength he needed to defeat the enemy.
Although Samson was called and chosen by the Lord, he made many mistakes. Samson showed weakness when it came to choosing women. The women Samson chose to love were not godly women, and Samson even went against the counsel of his parents to marry anyway. He suffered great heart ache due to his first marriage (Judges ch. 14).
The last woman Samson loved was Delilah. This maybe one of the most famous love stories in the Bible. Most people have at least heard the names: Samson and Delilah. The details are quite sad.
Delilah agreed to deliver Samson to the Philistines for a payout of 1100 pieces of silver (Judges 16:5). She enticed him and inquired of him, “how may you be bound to afflict you?” (Judges 16:6) Why would someone who loves me need to know how to afflict me? The question of the hour, yet, Sampson did not seem threatened by her inquiry, he just told her a lie. While he slept, she carried out the steps Samson said it would take to afflict him, then called for the Philistines & they attacked Sampson, but his strength saved him.
Even after realizing she had tied him up and put him in danger, Samson came back into Delilah. Two more times Samson created stories of how he might be defeated, and Delilah called in the Philistines.
Samson defeated the Philistines three times in Delilah’s care. Finally, Delilah nagged and nagged Samson every day for the truth. The Bible says, “…his soul was annoyed to death.” (Judges 16: 26b)
“So he told her all that was in his heart.” (Judges 16:17)
Delilah had his head shaved as he slept upon her lap, called for the Philistines, and when Samson awoke, he had no strength.
One of the saddest scriptures in the Bible: “But he did not know that the Lord had departed from him.” (Judges 16:20b)
The Philistines captured Sampson, gouged out his eyes, bound him with chains, and made him a slave to push a grinder like an animal.
Have you ever experienced the presence of the Lord?
Have you ever been in a place where you knew the presence of the Lord was not?
We need to be more aware of God’s presence. Without Him we have no hope. Ask God to let His spirit guide you every day. Don’t lay in the lap of sin so many times that you neglect to even recognize it’s sin anymore. The consequences are too great. We must live in the presence of God every day.
Perhaps you feel like you’ve stepped out of the presence of God. Come back to Him. As long as you are living, it’s not too late.
Judges 16:22 tells us,”However, the hair of his head began to grow again after it was shaved off.”
Judges 16:28 says, “Then Samson called to the Lord and said, ‘O Lord God, please remember me and please strengthen me….'”
The Lord remembered Samson, returned his strength to him for one final feat, and “…the dead whom he killed at his death were more than those whom he killed in his life.” (Judges 16:30)
Call upon the Lord today. Be in his presence. Stop walking in places where God spirit is not.