Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Sampson, Wake Up!


The greatest deliverers are those that have lived in the house of the enemy, in compromise, and suddenly woken up to discover they'd been deceived. This is what happened to Sampson in the Bible. He got himself entangled in a relationship that turned out to be one the enemy used to try to destroy him. Sampson chose a woman that appealed to his flesh..  The interesting thing is, scripture tells us that GOD was getting ready to exact vengeance upon the house of the Philistines. That had a lot to do with Sampson choosing his wife, who was later killed, even though his parents tried to get him to re-think his choice. (See Judges 14:4). Yet, God used the poor choices in Sampson's life as a means to create an opportunity to take down the enemy. So, although Sampson's relationship with Delilah did serve as an ungodly yoke and a threat to Sampson's well being (both spiritually and naturally), the relationship wasn't necessarily an accident. It actually served God's purposes for a time and a season. Delilah was never loyal to Sampson. That is no surprising, given her lifestyle and reputation. Her loyalties were in another camp, with the Philistines. The enemy used her influence and relationship to try to destroy one of the Bible's strongest heroes, yet in the end, God's purposes were fulfilled because Sampson rose up and was used mightily by God to destroy Israel's enemies.   Sampson ignored many things he shouldn't have until he almost lost his life. He was literally lulled asleep by Delilah's charms and fell asleep on her lap, but how many times did she try to kill him while he was unaware? The enemy used the person he was closest to in his life to try to destroy him. The longer he lived in compromise the weaker He became. Compromise opened the door for a false sense of security and deception. He fell for the lies of one who professed to love him, while everything she did was designed to secretly destroy the anointing in his life. Now, it can be easy to try to overlook a lot when it comes to matters of the heart, but in all things we also need to consider the spiritual effect those relationships have on our lives. When all is said and done and we're standing before God, there's a lot He won't ask about, but He will ask us if we did His will while we had time on earth.

Sampsons, awake! Awake O sleeper, before it's too late! People that truly love you will encourage your relationship with the Lord. They will honor the anointing in your life and will affirm your identity in Christ. Those that don't, and that can be anyone, including family, friendships, mentors, or even those you may esteem or admire as spiritual authority figures in your life, must be viewed with an objectivity that allows a person to understand other motives that may be going on. This is when it becomes crucial to guard yourself from those that may profess they are for you, when they secretly would try to undermine your ability to fulfill all that God has for you. Those kind of relationships will set you on a different course. My friend, not everyone in your life is going to agree with you, or want what you want. Not everyone is going in the same direction spiritually, and some are only in your life for a season but won't go with you for the rest of the journey. You must be able to make some difficult decisions about the relationships in your life. Many will offer their counsel but if it is worldly and based on personal opinions and emotion, there is no stability in that sort of counsel. Not everyone is going to want you to succeed. Not everyone is going to possess honorable intentions, spiritual wisdom or have the mind of God for your life. It is so important to live in such a way that your own relationship with God is not compromised. God deals with each person individually, and no person should usurp the authority or relationship of God with another person. If anyone attempts to do so in order to control or manipulate you, you need to consider that a red flag. You need to be able to discern the Delilah's in your life. Delilah represented a person that professed love yet was actually disloyal. This can come in many forms in relationships, but often the underlying consistency is that of people with a self serving agenda. Delilah represented a person motivated by a desire for selfish gain. No matter what the relationship, actions speak louder than words. The anti-Christ spirit doesn't have to blatantly speak against Christ in order for it to be against the God in you. It will undermine your spiritual authority, attempt to destroy your credibility with others, and it will do all it can to deny the power of God, harness it, and take away your spiritual sight!

The Father loves us enough to keep telling us truth even when we don't want to receive it. His love is from everlasting to everlasting; He will do everything in His power to keep speaking truth because He knows it is the truth that will lead people out of their bondage. When the enemy has a person's faith shackled he feels confident, yet even when Sampson was bound by ropes and shackled to a grinding wheel, his spiritual sight began to come into focus and his strength returned. It was the pain of his compromised loyalties and poor decisions that led to his bondage, and though he was in chains, he began to see clearly for the first time in a long time. The enemy had  poked his eyes out and he was blind in the natural yet this became a most unusual gift in his life that allowed him to regain spiritual understanding. Eventually wearing the yoke of the enemy grows heavy, and people will yearn to be set free from it. The yoke of the enemy produces a wrestling on the inside, where choices must be made and difficult decisions must be faced. Sampson had to take a stand! Spiritual sight will return if the presence of the Holy Spirit is sought by genuine prayers of repentance! Sampson could have blamed Delilah, and maybe he did for a time; it is human nature to look for someone to blame when we are disappointed in ourselves, but eventually he had to choose to rise up and fight for his freedom. In doing so, he also managed to take down the house of the enemy and destroy the thing that was set to destroy the family of God (the Israelites). It's not what others have done to us ; we have to take responsibility for our own life and areas where we have allowed pressures, temptations, and our flesh to lead us into a place of compromise. God isn't looking for our many excuses He is looking for our repentance. The whole thing about Delilah is that her relationship with Sampson, although she was his wife, was based on fraud. Her heart was loyal to her own selfish agenda, not to Sampson or their marriage. She didn't love him, she just professed to love him. Underneath her outward confession of love and concern was a heart that was disloyal. Sampson must have known this for a while but he made light of it - until one day he woke up and realized if he didn't fight back he was about to lose his life. She had sold out to the Philistines and gave Sampson into their hands when she had an opportune time.  Delilah's loyalties were on the enemy's side. When Sampson cried out, realizing how he had been duped by the woman who proclaimed to love him, he asked God for another chance to defeat the enemy and God responded. He filled Sampson up with so much strength that his power was probably greater than at any other time of his life. He pulled the pillars of the Philistine house down and did more at the end of his life than he had ever accomplished prior to losing his strength and his sight.

Many people get into relationships for one reason only to learn later on that those relationships are actually doing more harm than good. If the people in your life have bad fruit, leave you feeling discouraged, emotionally drained or frustrated...if they are needy or have unhealthy attachments of a co-dependent nature...or perhaps they are so selfish that they can't relate in a healthy manner then it's probably time to re-think the value of these relationships and what they are doing to sabotage your future. Friend, don't wait so long to take charge of your life that you lose your life (spiritually) in the process. No relationship is worth a loss of salvation, and one can still be very much alive in the physical sense while the spiritual reality is that they are dead or dying on the inside. Bad relationships corrupt good company. If you surround yourself with those that have bad fruit in their life (unbelief, full of fear, mocking God, slandering or gossiping about others, disloyal to God, etc.), eventually it will rub off and corrupt you in the process. People most often gravitate to others that they find things in common with. Raise the bar. Unhealthy relationships will serve to strip you of your anointing and leave you spiritually weak, vulnerable and prone to further attack by the enemy. Recognize those that the enemy has planted in your life to accomplish his agenda. If relationships continue to drain you of strength, continuously sapping the energy and life right out of you, something isn't right. The enemy subtracts from people's lives in order to wear them down and deplete their spiritual strength. It's a form of thievery and plundering. Friends, you need to evaluate your relationships. If you don't set some healthy boundaries for yourself those things can easily steal from your life. Disentangling yourself from those relationships that drain you emotionally and spiritually is a part of loving yourself and setting healthy limits form how much you should tolerate from others. Respect yourself enough to know when to say "No more." Part of taking care of your own emotional health is to lovingly but firmly set some guidelines on what others are allowed to do - to you! If they can't or won't respect those boundaries, or if the relationship is not adding something valuable and healthy to your life, you need to ask yourself if you should really be holding on to it. Are others holding you back from growing with God? Do others prevent you from being healed emotionally or spiritually? Often times there are soul ties to others that must be renounced so that God can either cut it off or renew the relationship in a healthy way. If you can't bring yourself to do what you know needs to be done, then ask the Lord to do it for you. He will. There are many strong men like Sampson, that are bound. There are many women of strength and grace, yet they are equally bound. Male or female, God wants to unshackle your chains and lead you into freedom, but you're going to have to deal with those Delilahs. No matter how much you may love or care for those individuals, you will have to make a choice whether or not you want more of the same, or to be able to move forward with God and into freedom, emotional health and be able to regain your spiritual strength. Who we join our loyalties to is so very important. God wants us to have covenant relationships that bless our lives, and add something vital and life giving.It is never too late to make new choices, put your loyalties with God and take a stand. In doing so, you may just be setting others free. Sampson did!

God wants to give his children their power back. He is waiting to release their shackles and fill them with fresh strength. He wants to break you free! If there is a truth that you have resisted, then take the time today to talk to God. His love is so great, He will not scold or scream at you. He wants you to know you can always come back to Him! Let Him fill you with a fresh anointing, and lead you out of captivity. Yes, you'll have to deny those Delilah's in your life that want to strip you of strength, keep you in compromise and profess to love you when they really don't have your best interests at heart. Truth will bring people to a point of decision. The Holy Spirit will continue to reach out and show love, hoping, praying, that one day those He is trying to reach will hear and respond to God.

Father,

You know and discern heart and motive better than I. You know those relationships in my life that are unhealthy and some set in place by the enemy in order to strip me of all spiritual strength. I ask You to take those relationships out of my hands and do what you know needs to be done with them. If separation is needed, help me not to fight to keep those people you want to remove from my life. I do ask that You bring new healthy relationships with people you draw into my life. Those that will support and encourage my relationship with you. Let all those that bring confusion and bad fruit be separated out of my life. You bring the separation, Lord. I trust You to do what's best. I also pray this prayer for those in my family, in my neighborhood and those in my city. Bring a divine shift in our relationships, and help us to connect in new ways. Lead us in new paths that will take us into Your plans. In Jesus name, amen.

I declare a disentanglement and separation from all relationships that are designed to destroy, hinder, sabotage, and undermine my identity in Christ, and those that have set themselves against the anointing, calling and purposes of God my heavenly Father.

I declare the enemy's plans are ruined as of this day and no weapon formed against me or my family shall prosper, according to Is. 54:17.

I declare I am anointed with fresh oil, as it is written in Psalm 92:10.

I declare a release of renewed spiritual sight and let the strength of the Lord fill me now, for it is written in Ps. 92:11, 'My horn You have exalted like wild ox.'

I declare Your faithfulness and mercy are with me, and in Your name, Lord Jesus, my horn (my strength) is exalted, according to Ps. 89:24.

I declare the enemy's house is pulled down and the captives set free, (Judges 16:30).

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