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Judges 16:20 is one of the saddest verses in all of Scripture.
But he did not realize the Lord had left him. (Judges 16:20, NLT)
Can you imagine? Actually, I can.
You see, it’s not one big catastrophic event that leads to something like that happening. It’s small compromises, over and over.
How many times do we neglect the things of God just a little here and a little there, getting further and further from with each small choice? Lord, forgive us and call us back before we end up where Samson did.
Do You Know When God Is There?
It’s sad enough to read that the spirit of God had left Samson. That alone would make this story devastating. Truly.
But for Samson to not even know it? That is what breaks my heart. Can you relate?
Samson saw what he wanted (Delilah) and demanded her. He didn’t care what God had declared best for His children (not being unequally yoked, as it were).
He knew what he wanted, he was confident enough to ask for it and get it, and that was that.
I’ve totally been guilty of that in my life. What I’ve often failed to do is count the cost. How about you, dear one?
Do you know what God’s presence and blessing are present in your life? Of course we know that God is always present. He’s everywhere.
Honestly, it would be more accurate to ask: Do you know when you are abiding in God or when you choose to walk away from Him?
Being (Too) Comfortable With God
Perhaps what happened is that Samson took God for granted. He got so used to the Holy Spirit covering him and using him in mighty ways that he forgot to intentionally listen and obey.
What might that look like today?
Perhaps it’s being so used to doing ministry that somewhere along the line you forget your early fervor and prayer for it and just start to do it out of habit.
Maybe it’s forgetting the simple joy of being a mom and praying for your kids day in and day out with purpose and intention and instead sliding into the rhythm of doing the next thing.
Hearing that Samson didn’t realize the absence of God’s blessing -His spirit!- should serve as a reminder to us all that we need to be diligent in abiding in Christ.
This verse also makes me incredibly grateful for the finished work of Christ on the cross. Although Samson didn’t have that gift, there was a moment of redemption. Listen in and we’ll chat about it!