"He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love." --- (SofS 2:4)
Travis Case, Pastor/Teacher Northgate Baptist Church F.E.A.S.T Ministries
A. Modernism would have us believe that Samson was only a Mythical Character of Hebrew Folklore.
1. And what if Samson was peculiar?
2. Someone has said, "Better a thousand times effective peculiarity than ineffective ordinariness."
B. Samson's adventure with lion --- "The Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him." --- "He had nothing in his hand."
I. The Spirit of The Lord Comes Mightily Upon Men Today Who Are Unimpressive In Self And With Nothing In Their Hands.
A. With Samson --- if there was to be power to cope with lions it must come from somewhere else --- and it did.
B. The Sinner has nothing in himself to commend him to the mercies of God.
Conversion is an empty-handed turning from sin to the Saviour.
Nothing in my hand I bring,
II. What About Christians Who Are Defeated In Spiritual Conflicts?
A. Instead of rending the lion --- many have been rent and grievously wounded.
I Peter 5:8, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:"
B. Christians are defeated in daily living because they have fought the devil with the weapons of the earth:
1. Our resources ..
2. Our own will power ...
3. Our own moral stamina ...
C. The Christian life is not hard to live --- It is impossible --- we are helpless to live the Christian apart from the grace of God.
D. Gideon and his followers carried no weapons against the Midianites.
E. Ephesians 6:17, "... the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:"
1. But mine you, it is the sword of the Spirit.
2. It is not your sword or mine.
3. All we can do is to yield to the indwelling Spirit that He can use His sword.
III. The Saints of Revelation 12:11 Overcame The Devil By The Blood of The Lamb And By The Word of Their Testimony.
A. There is not an overcoming testimony in Christians and churches today --- because:
1. The Spirit is not empowering us,
2. We are fighting with weapons of our own devising.
B. Many Christians have a "Self-Effort" attitude of --- "When The Going Gets Tough ... The Tough Get Going."
1. Many Christians have beads of sweat flying off their heads --- they are sweating in their own power.
2. But look what happens --- When The Tough Gets Going ... The Tough Falls Flat On His Face.
C. Sunday-School Teachers rush to classes with a quarter in one hand and a quarterly in the other --- unconsecrated --- prayerless --- and wonder why they are as sounding brass and clanging cymbles.
D. Preachers get their sermons from some pulpit manual and --- not being converted --- are unable to strengthen the brethren.
1. Churches make it still harder for him to learn this lesson.
2. Whether or not the power of the Lord rests mightily upon him is secondary --- what has he got in his hand?
E. Choirs sing with artistic skill but without melody in their hearts unto the Lord.
F. It Is Always at the backside of the desert --- At The End of Self--- that we come to the mountain of God's revelation and call.
1. Moses --- was required to take a 40 year post-graduate course with the sand and sheep of Midian before he was seasoned for service.
2. Paul --- II Cor. 10:10, "For [his] letters, say they, [are] weighty and powerful; but [his] bodily presence [is] weak, and [his] speech contemptible."
3. Paul's Thorn In His Flesh (2 Cor. 12:7-11) was given to him so that he would know the sufficiency of God's grace --- rather than depend on his own False Adequacies.
4. Hudson Taylor --- said he once thought God was looking for men strong enough to use but had learned that God was looking for men weak enough to use.
5. I Cor. 1:27, "But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; --- V. 29, "That no flesh should glory in his presence." --- 2:4-5, "And my speech and my preaching [was] not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God." --- 2:5, "That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God."
G. The Original Qualification of A Deacon --- "Full of the Holy Ghost" --- is set aside, and ...
1. Social standing
2. Financial worth
3. Business ability
4. Position in the community
--- these weapons in his hands are often the deciding factors.
H. It is possible to carry all these in hand and yet be defeated --- because we depend upon them and not upon the Spirit.
1. God wants us to drop them,
2. Some of them, He may have us take up again, even as Moses took up the rod,
3. Some we may never use again ...
I. But Not Until We Drop Them and stand empty-handed shall the power of the Lord come mightily upon us.
J. Psalms 100:3, "Know ye that the LORD he [is] God: [it is] he [that] hath made us, and not we ourselves; [we are] his people, and the sheep of his pasture."
1. Sheep are totally helpless and independently desperate --- they are stupid and weak and they stink and bleat.
2. We, ourselves, are sheep.
3. Keep in mind, Dependence is not Wimpy but a Weapon.
K. It is in our weakness that we become usable because God will not compete with our False Self-Sufficiency.
1. "I Can't;
2. God is always there waiting to be our sufficiency --- He is faithful even when we're not.
II Tim. 2:13, "If we believe not, [yet] he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself."
L. Are you trying to be Christ=Like or are you living the Christ-Life? --- There is a vast difference!
1. Many Christ are trying to produce in their lives the qualities listed in Gal. 5:22-23 --- Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance:"
2. However, These Qualities Are Not Our To Produce --- it is the Spirit's fruit --- not ours.
M. The Differences between trying to be Christ-Like and living the Christ-Life are:
12. Anxietyvs Peace
IV. Samson Not Only Prevailed For Himself, But Later Gathered Honey From The Carcass of The Lion For His Father And Mother.
A. The day that you stand:
1. With nothing in your hand ...
2. Relying on no gift ...
3. Relying on no ability of your own ...
4. Relying on no resource of your own ...
B. The Spirit of the Lord shall come mightily upon you:
1. You shall rend the lion as though it were a kid,
2. Things once impossible will become easy,
3. Doubts and fears will flee away ...
4. And in the carcasses of the defeated lions there will be honey of joy for yourself and for others ...
V. Mind You, This Does Not Put A Premium On Ignorance And Poverty.
A. Empty-handedness does not mean empty-headedness.
B. But better than a full head is a full heart, and God must fill it.
C. The complement of a full heart is:
1. An empty hand,
2. A realization that we are nothing,
2. We have nothing in ourselves,
3. Our sufficiency is in Him alone,
4. "Christian" --- "I-A-N" --- "I Am Nothing"
D. Many Christians and churches are not like Samson in this experience at Timnath but like him later when deprived of strength.
Judges 16:20, "And she said, The Philistines [be] upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him."
E. Sardis --- Revelation 3:1, "... I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead."
Sinner Friend --- Conversion --- Is An Empty-Handed Turning From Sin To The Saviour.
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