“If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me” (LK 9:23).
While reading the tragic story of Samson [Judges 13-16] this morning, along with our Lord’s admonition above, and Paul’s teaching on walking in the Spirit [Galatians 5:16-26], I was reminded once again …
While DOING SOMETHING FOR GOD is important, BECOMING SOMEONE FOR GOD is far more important. The fruitful Christian life is first and foremost about who we BECOME, rather than what we have DONE!
As believers, we have three enemies: the world, the flesh, and the devil. Of course, if you have been following Jesus for any length of time now, you know our greatest enemy is not from without, but from within. It’s our flesh!
In the story of Samson (Judges 13-16), we have a powerful reminder of a man that did much for God-exhibiting great power and influence for God-yet, his pride and lustful passions eventually led to a great downfall!
If we aren’t careful, if we don’t walk circumspectly, we will find ourselves drifting from God into a life of carelessness, callousness, and carnality. As one author noted:
Either you are drifting with its current and, therefore, not feeling its strength as it carries you to ruin, or it is craftily deceiving you by its silence only to strike when you are not watching. Thus, Paul warns, “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (I Cor. 10:12).
Another author wrote, “Over the past three decades, I’ve watched Christians, including servants of God whom the Lord used mightily, start the race out powerfully, even burning up the track, only to disappear from it years later. … The track is littered with the carcasses of those who couldn’t survive failure …”
May God help us to walk circumspectly and deny our flesh of it’s sinful desires!
Galatians 5:16-26, This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. 18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.