Playing with Fire

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This week we will look at the life of Samson. There were four fires associated with his life in the book of Judges (13:20, 15:5, 15:6, 15:14). Two fires were of God and two of the flesh. Samson’s life was a mixture of miracles and mistakes. We can all relate. By looking at ways he “played with fire,” we will learn what to do when our flesh wants what the Spirit says is wrong.

The Fire of Lust
Judges 14:1 says Samson “saw a woman.” Jesus equated lust with adultery. Samson looked and was hooked! That’s the way sin works. You may say, “I can handle it.” No! Stronger people than you have fallen. It’s a slow fade. Samson’s struggle was the same as ours: the lust of the flesh, the eyes, and the pride of life. Is it all about what pleases you or what pleases God? If you, then you are playing with fire!

The Fire of Disrespect
Samson demanded that his parents get the woman for him as a wife, even though he knew that would be disobedient to the Lord. Samson was unteachable. He always knows best and does what he pleases. There’s a little bit of Samson in all of us. We want to do what we want when we want. God is sovereign, however. He rules and overrules. What the enemy meant for bad, God can turn for good!

The Fire of Secrets
In Judges 14:6 and 9, we read that Samson “did not tell” his parents about his actions. He had broken his Nazarite vow. Hiding the truth is a sign of disobedience. This man of faith became unfaithful to his parents, his vows, and to God. Where are you being unfaithful? What secrets are you hiding? Your sin always affects more than just yourself. If you play with fire, you will get burned!

The Fire of Anger
Samson has been betrayed by his fiancée. He has been embarrassed by his wife marrying his best man. Judges 14:19 says, “his anger was aroused,” meaning that he burned with anger. We all experience anger. The issue is how you deal with it. We do not make rational, godly decisions when we are angry. What sets you off? Who pushes your buttons? Jesus equated lust with adultery and anger with murder.

The Fire of Revenge
The Philistines kill Samson’s wife and father-in-law, so he sought revenge (Judges 15:7). Because of Samson’s revenge, his own army came to arrest him and hand him over to the Philistines. “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord” (Rom. 12:19). Don’t let the sun go down on your wrath. Be angry and sin not, nor give place to the devil (Eph. 4:26-27). When we are hurt and become angry, we allow the enemy to work and set up strongholds in our lives. Let it go and let God fight your battles.

The Philistines came against Samson and “the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him” (Judges 15:14). He killed 1,000 of them with the jawbone of a donkey but did not give glory to God. He said, “I have done this.” Every victory we have is because of the grace of God. I have done nothing. Neither have you. Apart from Him we can do nothing. It is always about Jesus and the Gospel, His Name and His Glory!

What do you do when the flesh wants what the Spirit says is wrong? The answer to the burning lust of the flesh is the revival fire of the Spirit. In Judges 15:18 we read that Samson “became very thirsty” and he “cried out to the Lord.” Verse 19 says “he revived.” Are you going through a dry season spiritually? Have you been playing with fire? What God did for the Israelites in the wilderness, God did for Samson. He will do the same for us if we thirst for Him. We must cry out to God in prayer, humble ourselves, and become a servant. God resists the proud. Then, and only then, will He revive us again.

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