‘He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.’ (John 3:30)
Recently, I was re-reading the sad story of one of the judges of Israel. His name was Samson. I came to this story for the first time as an adult, not having seen or held a Bible until I was aged seventeen. I have to be honest in saying that Samson has never been one of my favourite characters. I wonder if there is anyone else who shares my sentiments.
The NLT Study Bible observes that, ‘Samson was a rescuer of Israel without even trying or caring. He did not care about his people, his family or his God’. However, there is no doubt about it, God was able, for a short time, to use Samson despite his shortcomings. Eventually, though, Samson effectively abandoned his calling which led to his gifting being stripped from him. Only, at the end of his life, when he called out to God, did God anoint him again for service one last time.
Has the thought ever crossed your mind about how much more God would have used Samson if only he had had stepped aside from his own desires and followed God with a pure heart? It is a very sobering thought that, probably, most of the plan for his life was never realised. How true is that of many Christians today! I remember a preacher once saying that most people don’t get out of the way long enough for God to use them deeply.
When speaking about ‘Helping Others’, Madam Guyon wrote:
“It certainly is a great death to self to unselfishly release the work of the Lord. Do not step out of the path in which He leads you. When you mix your ‘self' in what He is doing, you only get in the way and slow down all progress.”
If only Samson had got out of the way, how different his story could have been. He could have been acclaimed with the likes of Joseph, David and Daniel. It’s too late now for Samson, but it’s not too late for us. Let us all endeavour not to ‘mix our self in what He is doing’ and stand back and see how much God can accomplish in, and through, each one of us.
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