I don’t want to be like Samson.
Perhaps you remember him from the bible lessons you heard as a child. If you had an illustrated children’s bible, he was the one with really long hair and super strength shown standing between two pillars with his bulging muscles getting ready to knock the pillars down and kill some Philistines.
That’s actually the heroic ending. The majority of his life he failed miserably to use the gifts that God had given him.
The first time I read the entire story of Samson’s life (Judges Chapters 13-16, director’s cut) I remember thinking, what a goofball. How could someone called and equipped just let those gifts go to waste? His life seemed tragic to me, God really wanted to use him!
And then I felt that familiar poke of the Holy Spirit on my heart.
“Hey, go easy on Samson you can be a lot like him.”
To which my heart responded “really?” I was excited at first, I’ve always wanted better hair; and then the sweet lessons of scripture, which is one of the ways God speaks to us, came alive.
“Oh my gosh, you’re right Lord, I can be like Samson.”
I too have the exact same potential to waste what God has given me and fail to maximize His will for my life.
Because make no mistake, God is sovereign. His plans are ALWAYS accomplished, but He will never violate our will.
Although Samson finally fulfilled God’s purpose for his life he took the long way and as a result, he wasted his potential.
What does that mean for you and I?
We have a choice. We determine the potential.
We determine if we are going to let God use us for the maximum impact HE HAS PLANNED.
God wants to use you. He has given you everything you need to accomplish His plan for your life.
Maybe you can sing. Draw. Comfort others with great empathy, problem solve.
Have you ever looked at someone and thought their life could be so much more because God’s gifts of intelligence, creativity or personality go untapped and therefore never live up to what they could accomplish?
Sure you have. I have. You might be thinking this of yourself.
Here’s the deal. Sin messes with our calling and keeps us from being all that God created us to be.
Samson’s main hang-ups were lust, pride, disobedience and self. Samson lived for Samson and as a result He only experienced a fraction of the victory that God had in store for him. That’s sad.
It’s a harsh reality to know that we can actually go through life, think we’re doing a pretty good job following Jesus, only to have the Lord show us on the other side all of the ways He wanted to use us; but we didn’t heed and therefore we’re left with a pile of wasted potential.
(Theology note: That’s not really going to happen so you can breath again. God isn’t going to show you what you missed or messed up. That’s not how Grace works – but indulge my unconventional way of thinking this through; I know there are a few of you who get the picture I’m painting).
Let’s be motivated by Samson’s life. Motivated to do it differently than he did.
I know for me I’ve learned that the only thing standing in the way of all that God has planned for me………..is me.
My pride – My fear – My doubt – My selfish living (see I told you, a little like Samson)
Yikes. That makes me cry out “Lord save me from myself so I can experience ALL that you have for me! I don’t want to leave behind a pile of wasted potential!”
How about you? Is your walk with Jesus on autopilot? Do you have skills and talents that God wants to use but you don’t think they can make a difference? Are you content with occasionally letting God use you rather than a life overflowing with opportunity as you allow God to use you to your greatest potential?
My prayer is that we all choose the latter.
Let’s leave it all on the field.