Monday, June 14, 2010
Wow, Andy brought the heat yesterday! It was the kind of message where you feel like the pastor is standing right in front of you shaking you by the shoulders. (I love those kind!) If you missed it, you missed out and you REALLY need to listen to the audio sometime this week. You can find it here with the date June 13 and the title "Underestimate Their Need for God".
Andy dissected the idea that God opposes the defiant and proud, but He embraces the dependent and humble.
We looked at the story of Samson in Judges 13-16 and how Samson lost his God-given strength by telling Delilah the "secret" about not cutting his hair. That story has always bothered me because I just painted Samson as some naive goof that kept believing the best about Delilah even though she tried to have him killed multiple times. What an idiot, right?
But Andy gave me a fresh perspective on it yesterday when he said that perhaps the reason Samson eventually told Delilah the truth was because he didn't actually believe he would lose his strength. After all, he had already broken part of his Nazarite vow by touching a dead animal and God didn't take away his strength because of that. Maybe he thought he was strong enough in and of himself and he could do whatever he wanted with or without God's Spirit. In fact, when he woke up and his head was shaved, he still thought he'd be able to fight off the Philistines. Then the passage says this very scary phrase:
"he [Samson] did not know the Lord had left him."
Samson had become so proud, so self-confident and self-reliant, that he did not even realize that he no longer had the Spirit of God on his life.
It's sobering to realize that just because you walk in the power of the Spirit at one point in your life does not guarantee that you will walk in His power at another point. We can quite easily create comfortable lives where we marginalize God and don't realize our desperate need for him. We don't see how urgently we need him from day-to-day and can become numb to His presence altogether. It doesn't really matter to us one way or another if His Spirit is with us. Our lives float right along as usual and we don't even realize that the power of His Spirit has left us. Scary.
Andy closed with these convicting questions, "How long will you wait until you get desperate for God? Will you wait until your marriage is about to dissolve or until your child is in critical condition in the hospital? Will you wait until your whole world falls down around you? How long? What will it take to make you realize your desperate need for God?"