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False Assumptions

One of the most frightening verses in the Bible to me is Judges 16:20. Samson was a judge of Israel and probably the strongest man who ever lived. He was given supernatural strength at times in his life and was used by God to fight the Philistines. We all know how Delilah tricked him into telling the secret of his strength. When she had his hair cut off while he was sleeping, she let Philistines in the house to capture him. Verse 20 says, “Then she shouted, ‘Samson! The Philistines are coming!’ He woke up, thought, ‘I’ll get loose and go free, as always.’ He did not know (realize) that the Lord had left him.”

The first thing that stood out to me is that the enemy is coming. There’s not a time as a believer that the enemy is not coming for us. He is always behind the scenes trying to get to the source of our strength. He knows that if he can get to our source, he can cause us to fall. Like Samson, he wants to bind us up and blind us spiritually. The enemy desires to make each one of us as ineffective as possible. We must stand guard against him. I Peter 5:8 says, “Stay alert! Watch out for your enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”

The next thing I saw is that Samson became complacent with the gifts God had given him. He assumed that what had always worked in the past would work in the future. He felt like he was above sin. He thought he could play with fire and not get burned because he had always gotten away with it. Numbers 32:23 says, “You may be sure that your sin will find you out.” Just because you’ve sinned and haven’t had major consequences in the past doesn’t mean you won’t get them in the future. Don’t become so complacent with sin that you think God will always overlook it.

The last thing that frightens me is that he didn’t even realize that God had left him. Since he was a young boy, the Lord’s spirit had been with him. It had become normal for him to experience it. For some reason, he forgot that his strength was supernatural and thought it was his own. He relied less on God’s presence and more on his own wisdom. When we do that, we push God’s presence out if our lives. God expects us to get our spiritual strength from him and to not rely on our works to save us. In II Corinthians 12:9, God reminded Paul that it wasn’t about him. He said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.”

Samson’s biggest problem was assumption. He assumed that he would always be able to defeat the enemy and that it was his strength and not God’s. His assumptions caused him to lose the power of God in his life. When he repented, God was able to use him one more time to defeat the Philistines. He finally learned that it wasn’t about his ability, but God’s. He remembered that his strength came from God and not from within. When we do that, we can be prepared for any attack the enemy brings and defeat him in the strength of the Lord. 

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Standing Up To Lions

If you’ve never watched a documentary on lions, you should. They’re the king of the jungle and very interesting creatures. Their roar can be heard from as far as five miles away by the human ear. Male lions are typically the most active at night and that’s also when they roar the most. When I heard these facts about lions, it reminded me of I Peter 5:8. It says, “Stay alert! Watch out for your enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”

The first thing Peter tells us is to stay alert. Lions like to hide in the grass and stalk their prey. They blend in with their surroundings and sneak up on whatever it is they’re going to devour. If they’re spotted from a distance, they know they don’t have much of a chance to catch their prey and move on. Peter knew that we need to keep a watchful eye out for the devil. He didn’t say we should be afraid of him. He merely wanted us to pay attention to our surroundings. Are we putting ourselves in places where the devil can hide and stalk us?

The next part of that verse says he prowls around like a roaring lion. If you remember from above, they roar at night. The enemy chooses to come after us in the night times of our life. He knows that’s when we are most vulnerable. He roars in order to instill fear in to our hearts. He knows he can paralyze so many Christians with a simple roar from far away. Remember that the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy, but Jesus came to give us life. Are you paralyzed by the roar of the enemy or encouraged by the life giving power of Jesus?

My favorite part of this scripture comes in verse 9. It says, “Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith.” While the attacks of the enemy are real, we can hold our ground. We can stand firm against him by the power of Jesus’ name. We don’t have to cower in fear or run from him because he’s stalking us. He can stand and fight because greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the world. What can you do to stand firm when the enemy is roaring?

One of my favorite Disney movies of all time is “The Lion King”. In it, there’s a scene where Simba has lost his way in life and his father visits him in a dream. Mufasa calls out to his son and says, “Remember who you are.” I think when we’ve lost our way or the enemy is trying to instill fear in our lives, we need to remember who we are. We are children of the King of Kings and have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. By the power and authority we are to stand up against the enemy. Don’t let him cause you to submit in fear. Recognize him, call him out and stand firm in your faith against him. You will be victorious no matter how loudly he roars.

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