You, like Samson of old, have a calling from God that began before you were born.
You, like Samson of old, can discover that calling by paying attention to God when he stirs your pot and rocks your boat.
But heads up, because what happened next to good ol’ Samson is also gonna happen to you:
“The Philistines went up and camped in Judah, spreading out near Lehi. The people of Judah asked, “Why have you come to fight us?” “We have come to take Samson prisoner,” they answered, “to do to him as he did to us.” – Judges 15:9,10
Seriously? Opposition? I thought if I found my calling…
That everything would go up and to the right from there on out? Sorry. It doesn’t work that way. Not that the Philistines are going to be a problem. They’re just a symbol for the real enemy in your life: Satan and his demonic forces.
But why would Satan bother with lil’ old me?
Oh, lil’ old me isn’t a problem. But that’s not what you are anymore, not when you’re tapping into your calling like this. Not when you’re starting to act on it like Samson was. You’re no longer lil’ old me. Never again. Now you’re something else entirely.
A threat. Like Samson was. Samson doesn’t back down, though. He keeps on rolling.
So the enemy realizes he’s serious and lays off, right?
“Three thousand men from Judah went down… and said to Samson, “Don’t you realize that the Philistines are rulers over us? What have you done to us?” – Judges 13:11
Satan opposed Samson directly, but intimidation didn’t work. So he enlisted the help of Samson’s own countrymen to help put Samson back in his place.
But why did he enlist the men of Judah?
Because Satan knew he wasn’t the only one threatened by Samson’s new lease on life. His friends and family were too. “Samson, we get it. This Philistine occupation sucks. But it is what it is. Now sit down and stop rocking the boat or the whole thing is gonna tip. We’ve worked out a delicate kind of compromise here, and you’re threatening our way of life. And making us look bad. So behave yourself.”
Hey, that’s happening to me, kind of.
Really? How so?
Well, as soon as I got all serious about Jesus and started chasing his vision for my life the people around me started telling me I was going overboard, that I should slow down and work with the system, be a nice person, that kind of thing.
I’m not surprised. Samson saw that for what it was, too, and rose above it by depending on the power of the Holy Spirit to work within him. But you know what happens when we rise above the enemy? He tries to undermine us by tempting us to compromise. In Samson’s case, the enemy recruited a hot chick named Delilah. It played out like so:
“The rulers of the Philistines went to (Delilah) and said, “See if you can lure him into showing you the secret of his great strength and how we can overpower him so we may tie him up and subdue him.” – Judges 16:4-5
But he didn’t give in, did he?
Not right away. But…
“Then she said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when you won’t confide in me? This is the third time you have made a fool of me and haven’t told me the secret of your great strength.” With such nagging she prodded him day after day until he was sick to death of it.” Judges 16:16
Satan nags us, too—not with huge, “Hey, let’s go wreck your life” temptations, but subtle ones. Little compromises that add up little by little, until we’ve lost our connection to God, the Source of our calling, our power, our very lives.
Tell me about it. One day,
“Delilah… sent word to… the Philistines, “Come back once more; he has told me everything.”… After putting him to sleep on her lap, she called for someone to shave off the seven braids of his hair, and so began to subdue him. And his strength left him.
Then she called, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you! He awoke from his sleep and thought, “I’ll go out as before and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the Lord had left him.” – Judges 16:17-20
What next? Tune in tomorrow…. but in the meantime, can you relate to this temptation to compromise?