Friday, October 18, 2019

Unknown Strength

18 October

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.”  Then three thousand men from Judah went down to the cave in the rock of Etam and said to Samson, “Don’t you realize that the Philistines are rulers over us? What have you done to us?”  He answered, “I merely did to them what they did to me.” They said to him, “We’ve come to tie you up and hand you over to the Philistines.”  Samson said, “Swear to me that you won’t kill me yourselves.”  “Agreed,” they answered. “We will only tie you up and hand you over to them. We will not kill you.” So they bound him with two new ropes and led him up from the rock.  As he approached Lehi, the Philistines came toward him shouting. The Spirit of the LORD came powerfully upon him. The ropes on his arms became like charred flax, and the bindings dropped from his hands. 15 Finding a fresh jawbone of a donkey, he grabbed it and struck down a thousand men.  (Jdg 15:9–15; NIV)

According to Ernest B. Beevers, J.B. Phillips paraphrases Ephesians 1:19-20, "How tremendous is the power available to us who believe in God."  Beevers goes on to say, "When we make firm our connection with God, his life and power flow through us."

Most of us had heard the story of Samson and his great strength, but did you ever notice that when he needed that strength, it was provided by the "Spirit of the Lord?"  This should tell us something.  We need his Spirit!  I hear every once in a while, someone says that God does not come to us like he did to those in the Bible.  To which I want to tell them, maybe not to you, but he sure does to me!  Of course, I don't say that, but it is true.  Faith in God is more than believing he will give us unlimited power, or heal us from every known disease.  Faith in God is knowing his Spirit comes upon us and allows us to do things that we usually could not do.  For me, I know his Spirit comes upon me each and every Sunday as I stand up to share his word with our congregation.  I do not have the power to do it on my own.  I do not like public speaking or being in front of people.  But the Spirit of the Lord comes on me, and I can do those things which I usually would not even think about doing.  Tell me he doesn't come like he did before.

Every time I see a newborn baby, I see the Spirit of God.  Each time I see the snowfall, I see the Spirit of God.  Who else can cover up the dirt and filth of this world and make it shiny and white?  Only God.  Even in the New Testament, after Jesus ascended, we read where things happened because of the Spirit of the Lord filled his people; Pentecost, where many heard the Gospel message for the very first time.  Stephen was filled with the Spirit of the Lord, for as he was being stoned, he was able to share God's message and even ask forgiveness for those stoning him.  The list of those who have been touched by the Spirit of the Lord continues to this very day where Jim prays for an infilling before he shares the Sunday message.

When you pray and believe what you are praying and when you seek the Spirit of the Lord with all your heart, you will find him, and you will be filled with more power than you could ever imagine.  Believe it, have faith.  Jesus said, "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses . . . to the very ends of the earth."  His Spirit is alive and well in his children.  Feel his power?  Use it to glorify him throughout the world.

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