Sr. Pastor Darrell G Vaughn
                                                        Faithfulness - A Key Step to Happiness
July 7, 2010                        "When the Strong becomes Weak!"

Wed pm Worship                         

Text: Judges 13:1-24 (King James Version)

 "Father, I am your servant, willing and desiring to be used to bless your people."

From the text we just read out of Judges 13:1-24 we have learned of Samson  

(1) His birth was of a miraculous nature, -------- So is ours
(2) He was a Nazarene, in covenant with God --------- So are we
(3) He had godly parents --------- This also means spiritually
(4) He had a special call of God upon his life --------- You do too
(5)He had a special anointing to go with his call ----- You have the same anointing

Samson had a problem he had wandering eyes, which means he wasn't satisfied with what God had made available to him. ( There were plenty of Israelite women) but Samson wanted to cross the line.
If you let your eyes wander long enough your feet will follow.
                             Beware if you think you are above a fall!

1 Corinthians 10:12   Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

1 Corinthians 10:13   There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

1 Corinthians 10:14   Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.

1 Corinthians 10:15   I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say.

 

Job said: I have made a covenant with my eyes.
David said: I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes.
Paul said: Set your affection on things above and not on things of the earth.
 Samson went down to timnath.( 6 Times it says that Samson went down)

That means that he of his own will took steps that led him in the wrong direction.

Eventually Samson reached a place where he was no longer in control of his life, and the bible says :
Jud 16:21 But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house.
 Samson Was a strong man, but he was also weak.
 He was strong in public, but he was weak in private
 His church life was good enough to fool a lot of people, but his private life was in shambles
                             Character is who you are when no one is looking.

A man took his daughter to the carnival, and she immediately ran over to a booth and asked for cotton candy. As the attendant handed her a huge ball of it, the father asked, "Sweetheart, are you sure you can eat all of that?" "Don't worry, Dad," she answered, "I'm a lot bigger on the inside than on the outside."

That's what real character is - being bigger on the inside.

 

1. Character Is More Than Talk.
Anyone can say they have integrity but action is the true indicator.
Your character determines who you are.
People that always seem to be at war with themselves have a problem in their character.
James 2:18 But someone will say, "You have faith, and I have works." Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.
Prov 20:11 The character of even a child can be known by the way he acts-- whether what he does is pure and right.
"Your walk talks and your talk talks but your walk talks louder than your talk talks."

2. Talent Is A Gift, But Character Is A Choice.
There are a lot of things in our life that we have no control over - We don't get to pick our parents, our upbringing, our talents, our IQ
But we do choose our character.
In fact, we create it - every time we make choices.
Deut 30:19 "I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;
 Prov 1:28-30 (28) "Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently, but they will not find me. (29) Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the LORD, (30) They would have none of my counsel and despised my every rebuke.
 Prov 3:31 Do not envy the oppressor, and choose none of his ways;
 Will you choose the easy way or the right way?

 

Most people won't come right out and say it, but you'd better believe they're thinking it. They're not interested in committing their lives to Christ unless they observe attractive and consistent patterns of living in the Christians they know. Joe Aldrich, author of the book Life-Style Evangelism, put it like this: "Christians are to be good news before they share the good news."

 

Let me share with you three types of Christians that repel the lost from Christ.

1) In Your Face Christians

These are the hard sell, confrontational evangelists. They are the ones who pull up in the car next to you at the stoplight, and yell across to you, "Hey,  Do you know you are going to hell without Christ?"

2) Next, we have the - Holier-Than-Thou Christians

These are the smug and the self-righteous types. They have exchanged their priestly, Pharisaic garments for more contemporary clothing, but their hearts are just as judgmental. They make it very plain that you probably could never live up to their level of spirituality, so you might as well not try. You know the type don't you?
3)  We have the - Cosmetic Christians
These are the Christians which seekers realize only have a veneer of Christianity. Their faith, only skin deep, doesn't change their character and values. The seeker sees these people, and says, "There is no real difference between me and them, except that I might have more fun."

Samson was the strongest weakest man in the bible because he was defeated by his enemy, without his enemy even striking one blow, He just laid his head in her lap and went to sleep.  The Church is fast asleep

Yes the philistines bound him and put out his eyes, but not until Samson of his own free will revealed the secret power of his covenant with God.

It was his covenant with God that gave him his power

 

Luke 10:19   Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

When his covenant was gone so was his power
It didn't happen all at once, it was a gradual thing
The enemy will never tell you that it is a question between a covenant with him or a covenant with God, He will tell you that it is a question of God trying to keep you from having any fun,
God's will for you vs. your will for you.

Samson's mess was of his own making, It was a series of wrong choices that brought him down.
Proverbs 4:26 Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.

Samson reached a place that even when he was up he was down,
Jud 15:8 -12 he (Samson) went down and dwelt in the top of the rock Etam.
Then three thousand men of Judah went to the top of the rock Etam, and said to Samson
We are come down to bind thee, that we may deliver thee into the hand of the Philistines.

This is a condition many people are in, they have made wrong choices so long, that in their minds, what used to be wrong is now right.
If you justify wrong attitudes, and wrong actions long enough you will sear your conscious to the point that you no longer feel any conviction over wrong thoughts, or actions.
If you allow your flesh to rule in your life, you will reach the point where you may be on the top, doing everything you want to do, enjoying the grass on the other side of the fence, but Spiritually you will be on the bottom, No joy no peace, No victory, No song in your heart.
Samson ended up being bound by the philistines with his eyes poked out, grinding mill in the philistines camp. (a slave to the enemy)
Not because his enemy was so powerful, but because he was so weak, = He let his flesh rule him.
(Don't live your life by feelings or emotions, just because it feels ok does'nt make it right).
(Just because you don't see anything wrong with it, doesn't make it right, go to the bible, and see what God says about it.)
Listen to me

There is nothing that attracts the attention of the Lord like emptiness
There is a natural law that nothing remains empty, it must be filled, It will be filled.
That introduces 3 very important points
#1 Emptiness is a choice
#2 We will be filled
#3 What we are filled with is up to us. Samson made his choice
Since nothing can remain empty we realize that this condition must be intentional, we must by a deliberate act of our wills choose to be emptied, and to empty ourselves.
This emptiness we're speaking of is a heart condition,

it's an attitude and disposition of the heart that places the entire life before God as weak.. and hopeless, and helpless, and powerless.

It is a life wholly given up to God
It is a life that is totally sustained by God.

The only life that can be wholly sustained by God is the Life that is wholly given up to God.

The branch draws it's life from the vine when it ceases to live for itself, and lives to bring glory and honor to the vine.

Against Israel's enemy God chose a very foolish weapon
(A Clay Pot and a Candle)

Jud 7:16 And he -Gideon divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put a trumpet in every man's hand, with empty pitchers, and lamps within the pitchers.

No swords, spears, knives, or even shields.
Just a trumpet, a clay pot and a candle.

Jud 7:20 And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow withal: and they cried, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon.

What was it that made the pitcher valuable to Gods purpose?

Not their beauty, not their particular shape or design, not what they had done in the past,
Not whose house they had come from, Not because they were made out of silver or brass or Gold,
What made them valuable to God's purpose is the same thing that makes us valuable to him today-----

#1 they were available

#2 they were empty.= Fill- able

#3 they were breakable.

*We are too often only available for what we want
*Too full of what we like
*Too proud of having it together to be broken

 

Thankfully this is not the end of the story, Samsons life did end on a positive note.
Jud 16:30 So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.

The choice is yours tonight, Which will you be (The strong man) or the (weak man) ?
It's all about choices, and keeping your covenant with God,
It's all about trusting God and accepting his will for your life, over your will for your life.
It's all about living by the Word, Instead of living by the lusts of your flesh.

Thank God for the positive note at the end to Samsons life, But i would rather have positive life, than a negative life with a positive note at the end.

It was never Gods plan for Samsons life to get so messed up.
But God will even take our mess ups and make something good out of them if we will let him.

I want to pray for everyone of you tonight, to be the strong man or strong woman, that Samson should have been and could have been. ( I want to pray for you that You will have strong spiritual character.
Pro 22:1 A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches,
Ecc 7:1 A good name is better than precious ointment