Daily D – Judges 16:21
Judges 16:21 Then the Philistines seized him, gouged out his eyes and took him down to Gaza. Binding him with bronze shackles, they set him to grinding grain in the prison.
A well-known leader spoke before a high-capacity conference and declared how to choose members for a leadership team. He said potential team members require more than competence, compatibility, and commitment. The most important characteristic of leadership, or followership, is character.
He was right. That is why he was removed from his position years later.
Character flaws show up and they trip us up.
Take note we are included in the us in the last sentence.
None of us is flawless. Each of us struggles with something. We see what tripped up Samson in Judges 13-16. We do not have to wonder what his besetting sin was.
Beset = A problem that troubles or threatens persistently
Please, do not write me and tell me. No phone calls, please. No text messages. Instead, go to God and tell him. If this makes you uncomfortable, please know he already knows. He who, quite literally, has seen it all, is not shocked by your problem. He is ready to a) forgive you, b) restore you, c) protect you, d) defend you.
Jesus was tempted in every way like us and yet did not sin. (See Hebrews 4:15.) He knows how to help with whatever is your struggle.
Samson used his powerful persona for personal pleasure. He who could not see what the problem with his lifestyle was soon lost his ability to see at all. He who lived for his own pleasure could only take pleasure in dying with his tormentors in the end.
Samson is illustration A1 in the book, Don’t Waste Your Life.
Read these chapters about Samson again. At every point where he makes a bad decision, think about how his life would have been different if he had decided differently. Instead of our typical postmortem, engage in a premortem. What if he had done the hard, right thing time and again?
With this information in mind, think through your day. Engage in your own premortem.
- What could go wrong?
- What often goes wrong?
- What frequently trips up your steps?
Now, go to Jesus and seek his wisdom, his strength, and his words of truth and life for what you know is lurking out there. Decide now how to protect yourself against what you know is coming. Ask Jesus to defend you. Live this day in the confidence and commitment Christ-like character provides.
Be better than Samson. Finish today well.
I will take my besetting sin to Jesus and plot a different path.
Our Father, you know my heart and mind better than I know it myself. You know my tripping hazards. You know where I tend to fall. Let’s walk through these places now in preparation for walking through this day. Please protect me and defend me. Empower me to recall and to employ your words of truth and life when problems come my way. Amen.
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Psalm 139:17, 18 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!
2 Corinthians 5:1-5 For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 10:13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.