Sampson and Discernment

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In moving through the First5 app I came to Judges and the story of Sampson.  I was moved by the parallels to our lives in how Sampson lacked discernment.  He was enticed by the world and flirted with temptation time and time again.

It is so so easy to fall prey to those things that tempt us and just participate, thinking we can keep ourselves separate and untouched.  But like Sampson experienced, it will prove to be our undoing.

He ended up physically bound and blind, paralleling Israel’s bondage to the Philistines and their moral blindness.  His life which began with such promise because he was set apart as holy before the Lord as a Nazarite ended tragically because he neglected to seek wisdom and discernment from God.  He sadly chose to rely on his own emotions and feelings to guide him.

And there lies the relevance of Sampson’s story for us today.

We are in desperate need for discernment in these days and it should be something we actively seek from God.  Not only should we be seeking discernment but we should be doing our best to separate ourselves from half truths or untruths and sinful living, things that could potentially lead us astray.  The first step off the straight and narrow path is always a tiny one, one that seems harmless.

Eight times between Leviticus 11:44 and 20:26 , God calls His people to be holy as He is holy.

We are called to be perfect as our father in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:48)

We are called to live a life that bears witness to our faith and points others to salvation in Christ. (Matthew 5:16)

Jesus called the pure in heart blessed and promises them that they shall see God. (Matthew 5:8)

There is no room for half-truths or seemingly small compromises.

May our hearts be ever diligent to fill our minds with things that will spur us on to right thinking about our awesome and holy God.

A few days ago I watched a sermon that broke my heart. Dr Michael Youssef explained the heresy in the book and movie The Shack and gave a serious and pleading warning.

I would encourage you to watch it and have your faith strengthened.  I was encouraged to stay the course diligently in these days when the devil is being transformed into an angel of light.

But it also broke my heart that masses of people have not been taught enough truth to discern false teaching for what it is.  Or even how to be discerning.  Maybe the issue is that there has been more focus on God’s love rather than on his holiness.  The claims made in the book are not even subtle but rather blatant lies.

Friends, let’s not flirt with temptation.  Let’s not encourage our mind with wrong thinking.  Instead, let’s make sure the things we expose ourselves to line up with scripture and keep a healthy perspective of who we are and who God is.

May we never cease to remember that God is holy first and that we cannot look upon Him or we would die.  Let’s let that perspective guide our habits.  Isaiah got it right when he saw God’s attribute of holiness first.

As the children’s Sunday school song says:

Oh be careful little eyes what you see…
Be careful little hands what you do…
Oh be careful little feet where you go…

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