Week 1 - God's Promises and Purpose for our lives
Week 2 - Unguarded Strength Becomes a Weakness
Week 3 - Untangling the Strands of Bitterness
Week 4 -
God’s Sovereignty Is Unmatched and His Gifts Irrevocable
Week 4 of 4
Never underestimate the slippery slope/Slow Fade of sin. We always reap what we sow. Falling into sin always comes with a hefty cost. The agony of sin can be so overwhelming that it leads some into deep dungeons of darkness and despair. And this is where we find Samson, yet that's not the end of the story.
God’s will was never to leave Samson nor any of us behind, but to raise us up and orchestrate a comeback with His unmatched sovereignty and irrevocable gifts.
I know that I could speak to many who find themselves or have found themselves like Samson in Judges 16.
You’ve felt the glory of God on you and the power of God flowing through you but have now fallen and feel like you can’t get back up.
Allow the following words to ring clearly in the depths of your heart, soul, and mind. You can and will get back up when you rely on the power of Christ to break the power of sin.
When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus. (Romans 6:10-11, NLT)
That’s a lot of power, my friends.
And that power isn’t limited by anyone, not even your worst critics or those who like to stand in judgment of others.
I declare with assurance that He didn’t bring you this far if there wasn’t kingdom purpose for your life!
He didn’t give you that ministry for it to end in disgrace.
He didn’t give you that gift for you to lose it.
Recheck your Bible; He did not come to destroy. Rather Christ came to restore and SAVE! (See Luke 4:18-19.)
Some of you are in the process of God restoring your soul and you haven’t even noticed that God is doing a new thing in you.
The best weapon Satan has is blindness. Oh, if he can just shut your eyes to the promises of the Word of God, just get you to lose your vision.
God restored Samson. God gave him His strength. While he was working the mill in the darkness of that dungeon, Samson wasn’t aware of how God was going to work it all out for His good.
In Judges 16:21, we see the devastating beating and terror Samson went through as a consequence of his self-indulgence, unrestrained anger, and intentional drifting from the divine calling and purpose of God.
We see how the Philistines seized him, cut his hair, and gouged out his eyes. We also see how they carried him off into slavery.
But slow down and take in the next verse.
I know Judges 16:21 is a significant verse on the consequences of Samson’s sin. That’s the part of the story that hit the “Breaking News” headlines.
But thanks to God’s amazing grace, there’s more to the story. Slowly take in Judges Chapter 16 verse 22:
“However, the hair of his head began to grow again after it was shaved off” (NASB).
God is always – go head say it w/ me –
God is always working on our behalf, even when we can’t see it.
A while ago, I had a barber who cut my hair too short. (If you know anything about me, what hair I have I am pretty vain about it).
Anyway, as I looked in the mirror, I told the barber: “My hair is going to take forever to grow back.” His response to me was classic.
“Sir,” he said, “it already has started to grow back.” I hadn’t even gotten out of the barber’s chair yet, I still had a towel on me, but according to the barber, my hair was already growing back.
Twenty-four hours had not even passed since Samson’s haircut, and though Samson didn’t know it, his hair was starting to grow back.
I see Samson being dragged off to prison. I see people mocking him, talking about who he used to be, what he used to be able to do. I can see him grinding in the mill in prison.
I see him broken down, murmuring, “This is all that is left of my life.” Nevertheless, with every step he took, with every turn he took around the mill, another strand of hair grew back longer than before.
All of this was happening, and Samson didn’t have a clue as to what was going on. Why? Because he was blind! He couldn’t see his hair—the witness of his anointing—growing again.
Notice how a loss of vision affects a man. He should’ve been able to “feel” the hair growing down his neck again, he should’ve been able to feel that there was more hair than before, but his lack of vision also handicapped his keen sense of feeling.
Maybe the worst thing that happened to Samson was not that his hair was cut, but that his eyes were gouged out.
Perhaps the devil has some of you so blinded that you can’t see that the “comeback” that you’ve been praying for has already begun to take place!
Sin slowly binds and blinds us with insecurity, causing us to question who we are and what we’ve been called to do. The enemy tries to blind us with condemnation, convincing us we are of no use to the kingdom of God anymore.
The Word of God declares Satan is “the accuser of our brothers and sisters . . . the one who accuses them before our God day and night” (Revelation 12:10, NLT).
Yes, the devil would like you to become spiritually blind. The devil would rather have you pursue self-indulgence with unbridled passion than engage with the Word of God and take in this sermon.
I believe he knows this is a life-changing prophetic word that is going to mess up his plans.
Hold up your spiritual mirror. Take a good look. Your hair is growing back.
I know it hasn’t been easy. I know you’ve been talked about, criticized, and some even worse than others.
Nevertheless, the - Word of God reminds us that “a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again” (Proverbs 24:16, KJV).
You are not who you used to be.
You are not worthless because you messed up last week.
You did not lose your relationship with God over your latest crisis.
Take another look at the mirror. Your hair is growing back again. Your strength is being restored again!
With every “Hallelujah” and with every “Thank you, Jesus” that you say, God is restoring you and lifting you up.
Open your eyes wide. Take in the view with the vision God is giving you. Savor new seasons with His divine guidance.
Experience the revival in your heart. (Acts 3:19-20.)
Experience the restoration of your soul. (Psalm 23:3.)
Experience the renewing of your mind. (Romans 12:2.)
Experience the rebuilding of your strength. (Isaiah 40:29-31.)
As Samson’s hair grew, God also empowered him to accomplish His will again.
Being consumed with self-indulgence is blinding many. Unbridled bitterness, anger, rage, slander, and all other evil behavior are binding many.
I know “the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:17, NLT).
Today – EVERYONE SAY W/ ME TODAY –
TODAY you can experience the freedom that comes from the Spirit of the Lord. Here’s how:
Seize this divine moment now and
“approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that [you] may receive mercy and find grace to help [you] in [your] time of need” (Hebrews 4:16, NIV).
Allow the Holy Spirit to restore the joy of your salvation and grant you a willing spirit to sustain you (see Psalm 51:12).
Allow the Holy Spirit to empower you to break the power of resentment, bitterness, and anger you are holding toward someone else (see Ephesians 4:31).
Allow the Holy Spirit to empower you to forgive because Christ has forgiven you (see Ephesians 4:32).
Samson’s fall into the miry pit of self-indulgence, unrestrained anger, and intentional drifting from the divine calling and purpose of God are warnings to us all. It’s a slow burn.
God’s response of grace, mercy, and love toward him is also a reminder to us that His “gifts and his call are irrevocable” (Romans 11:29, NIV).
God doesn’t call the qualified; He qualifies the called.
Move beyond merely surviving and into thriving in God’s mission for your life. He has given you gifts, talents, and abilities to influence every realm of your life and to be the answer to other people’s prayers.
Come boldly to God. Admit you need His forgiveness and accept it through Jesus Christ. Ask in the authority of Jesus’ name. Christ gives you and me the power to ask in His name and according to His revealed Word. As you do He will answer by empowering you to resist the devil’s schemes and let go of the sin that so easily entangles you (see Hebrews 12:1-2).
It’s all part of our heavenly Father’s great grace. He’ll never leave you or forsake you in a dungeon of despair. Where sin abounds, grace abounds even more. Respond to God’s sovereignty and grace today. His gifts are irrevocable and He’s getting you ready for your comeback.
Let’s look at this clip from the Samson movie, in which Samson, in an epic moment, sees the fulfillment of his purpose and the call of God on his life.
[Play clip 4].
Close I prayer: