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Thursday, December 19, 2013

What It Means to be Filled with the Holy Spirit # 49

The Natural Man Receiveth Not the Things of the Spirit (continued)

Samson's life was just as broken and crushed as the grain he was forced to grind; but as "he did grind," he began to realize that the only strength he had ever had was when "the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him" (Judges 14:6). Helpless, weak, and imprisoned, Samson was now stronger than he had ever been; for now he knew, "when I am weak, then I am strong" because God's strength is made perfect in weakness (2 Cor. 12). Samson is ready for war!

"Howbeit the hair of his head began to grow again after he was shaven," not into the long mane that had never been shorn from his birth. No, the word says it had just begun to grow, a tiny stubble had appeared. No outward show of strength was visible, to the contrary, he looked weaker than ever before. But Samson was ready to make war, for he had become a man of prayer, he had become wholly dependent upon his Lord. And when the "lords of the Philistines" gathered to make sacrifices unto Dagon their god because they thought he had delivered Samson into their hand, they called for Samson so that they might make sport of him. But the Word of God says, Samson prayed: "O Lord God, remember me, I pray Thee, and strengthen me, I pray Thee, only this once ..."

Thus, Samson had joined that great cloud of witnesses, he had joined those who laid down their lives for the testimony of Jesus. He had joined those: "Who through faith subdued kingdoms wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions ... out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens" (Hebrews 11:32-34). And as Samson prayed he took hold of the two pillars which supported the Philistine temple, "and he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords (of the Philistines), and upon all the people that were therein." God's purpose for Samson's life was fulfilled, "for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb [he shall be one who shall become wholly devoted unto God]: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines."

We Can Exercise Control Over the Natural Man

We have seen that the Philistines embodied the antichrist activities of that old serpent, called the devil, and satan. And we have seen that that which is of the antichrist gains its strength, becomes stronger and stronger, when God's people, either individually or corporately, give ground to the devil by allowing their natural man to control their lives. Samson, in giving in to his fleshly lusts and passions, allowed the lasciviousness of his natural man to control his life. David had this problem when instead of going to war, he allowed himself to lust after Bathsheba, who was the wife of one of his own mighty men (2 Sam. 11). Solomon also had this problem who, instead of depending upon the wisdom of God, allowed himself to love many strange women, and allowed his heart to be turned away after their gods (1 Kings 11). We all need to recognize that this uncontrolled lust has always been, and is, a disgraceful problem in the Church today.

In Ephesians 4:17-20, the Bible tells us that those who are saved are not to walk as the Gentiles walk, they are not to walk as the people of the world walk. They are not to give themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness - which means self must be satisfied, self must be gratified, self must satisfy its evil desires. Hence, the Lord is warning us that, no matter how this evil lust and passion expresses itself, whether in thought or in deed, this lasciviousness that works all uncleanness with greediness must not be allowed in our lives.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 50)

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