Samson: A Man Of Faith

In the popular Faith’s Hall of Fame found in Hebrews 11, there’s a surprising entrant that seemed kind of out of place.

For years, I battled with the idea of Samson being counted as one of the heroes of faith.

Seriously, it didn’t make any sense to my little church mind.

Religion had taught me that Samson was a moral and character failure that had a lot of biceps, but very little brains.

But, I believe that Samson’s name wouldn’t have occured in Hebrews 11, if he didn’t have a particular trait of faith that the Holy Spirit wanted to pass across to us.

However, I’ve found some interesting answers that I’d share shortly.

First of all, I don’t believe that Samson was a physically imposing figure.

But what of the comics?

For once, forget the comics and movies depicting Samson as a muscular guy with bulging biceps and a 6-pack abs.

Astonishing, right? Stay with me…

You see, when it comes to describing the physical attributes of individuals, the Bible is quite explicit about it.

For example, Saul was a head and shoulder taller than all the Israelites of his day (1 Samuel 10:23); while Zacchaeus was extremely short (Luke 19:3); and 2 Samuel 23:20 refers to the two lionlike men of Moab. By the way, Vashti (Esther 1:11) and Rachel (Genesis 29:17) were very, very, very beautiful.

My point is this: If Samson had been a muscular specimen of a man, the Bible would have mentioned it!

And since the Bible was silent about Samson’s physical attributes, it’s safe to say that he was a very ordinary-looking guy. The Bible was also silent about Jesus’ physical looks…but that’s a matter for another day.

It’s important that we understand this, because it’s key to our understanding how Samson could be an example of faith to us.

Now, Judges 13 tells us the story of the circumstances surrounding Samson’s birth. His parents had received the revelation from the angel of the Lord, and they were given specific instructions on how he would be brought up as a Nazarene because he would be used to deliver their nation from their enemies.

Again, Samson was not yet born when the angel visited his parents with God’s Word about his life and destiny as a deliverer. Yet, Samson could walk in supernatural strength for one single reason.

His parents told him about God’s Word concerning his destiny!

Of course, his parents told him, what’s the big deal?

Well, Romans 10:17 tells us the implication of that truth,

‘So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God’

That’s what made Samson a man of faith.

Samson had no physical sign that could indicate to him that he was going to be a great deliverer filled with supernatural strength. He had no angel appear to him, neither did he see a glory cloud or feel a goose bump…

All that Samson had was the Word from the angel of the Lord that his Mama had told him!

It was that Word that was manifested when Samson tore a lion like a baby goat (Judges 14:6).

That same Word caused Samson to tear out the gates of Gaza (Judges 16:3).

That same Word provided the wisdom that Samson used in catching 300 foxes, pairing them by their tails and putting a burning stick between the tails (Judges 15:4).

That Word came to Samson by hearing God’s Word about him, as his parents told him!

Samson was able to look at things that were not seen with the eyes of faith – created by the Word. He was able to call things that are not as though they were, because somehow, Samson got to know that he did not need to see large biceps and triceps, complete with well-developed pects and 6-pack abs to match, before God could use him mightily.

Samson didn’t need any of this. His parents had told him that he would be the deliverer of Israel. Samson believed, and the Spirit of God could move him as He willed.

Friend, Samson may not have been an epitome of excellence when it came to moral matters. But, in terms of having a crazy faith in God’s Word concerning his life, very few can trump Samson’s attitude.

Has God spoken His Mind concerning your destiny? Emulate Samson – a man of faith!


Rejoicing When Passing Through

If there’s anything we need to rehearse in our minds over and over again, it is this:

God loves you and He has your best interests at heart.

The oft quoted Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that God knows the thoughts that He thinks towards us. He says they are thoughts of peace and not evil.

We have to come to the point where we know in the very core of our hearts that God wants the best for us.

3 John 2 tells us that God wants us to prosper and be in good health, even as our souls prospers.

If we are able to reach the point where our minds come into agreement with the truth of unconditional God’s love for us that is already in our spirits, we would be able to respond appropriately when challenging situations arise.

Consider what Paul said to the Phillipians: ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice’ (Phillipians 4:4).

We would find it easy to rejoice in the Lord if, and only if, we have settled the matter of God’s unconditional love for us in our hearts!

Now, despite the fact that as believers, we have settled the matter of God’s love in our hearts, we would still have some ‘passing through’ moments that creates in us more questions than answers.

The reasons are not too far-fetched:

First of all, we still live in a fractured, sin-affected world under the bondage of corruption (Romans 8:22). This is where we live in, despite not being citizens of the world (John 14:16).

Secondly, we live among people in the world who by their actions give the devil and his demons the right of way in their lives. This is consistent with Romans 6:16,

‘Know ye not that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey’

People are yielding themselves to the devil on a consistent basis, and as a result, they become devil-controlled and would never promote the course of God’s kingdom. Rather, they antagonize God’s perfect plan.

But in spite of all these, we can still thank God, because He causes us to always triumph (2 Corinthians 2:14). The devil tries to take his best shot at us, using the sin-corrupted world and the actions of devil-controlled people. Yet, God is able to turn these situations into something beneficial for us.

Matthew 5:10-12 makes us understand that despite the fact that the devil would inspire people to persecute believers, it would still end in the great inheritance of the kingdom of Heaven…starting from this side of eternity!

The Pharisees in Acts 5:40-42 were evidently not led by the Spirit of God. As there’s no equilibrium in the realm of the spirit, if you’re not Spirit-led, you’re devil-led! So, these Pharisees yielded themselves as tools to the devil for the persecution of the apostles. Yet, the disciples chose to maintain the correct perspective, choosing to see themselves walk in the great reward of the kingdom of heaven. They chose to revel in the love of God, and as a result, they found more strength to go on the offensive for the kingdom.

Friend, God doesn’t tempt with evil (James 1:13), but when temptations and trials do arise, God is able to use it to build patience in us. Patience is simply faith sustained over a longer period of time. And the good news is that when patience has had its perfect work, there’s no limit to what we can believe God for by faith (James 1:2-4).

Once we are convinced in our hearts by our consciences and by the Holy Spirit (Romans 9:1) that whatever sufferings, trials or temptations that we are going through at the moment is not caused by a door we’ve opened through sin (John 5:14) or because we’ve stepped out of God’s grace and Perfect Will in disobedience (2 Corinthiains 2:10-11), then we can rest in God’s love that whatever we’re passing through at the moment would end in joy unspeakable.

With the right mindset, we can rejoice in the Lord always and taunt the devil; telling him that, if he had known the great work that God was using that particular situation to do in your life, he wouldn’t have brought up the challenge in the first place!

God is the master of doing good (Psalms 85:12) and whatever circumstance we may find ourselves in, would always be turned around for our good. With this at the back of our minds, we can boldly say, ‘All things work together for good to them that love God…’

Wanna Receive From God? Here’s How (Part 3)

Do you remember the story involving Jesus and Lazarus’ sisters in John 11?

In the previous installments of this particular topic, I remember sharing with you how having an understanding of God’s love for you, and taking God’s Word as your ultimate reality could go a long way in positioning you for receiving from God.

Let’s revisit the story to see what more we can glean from it.

John 11:6 says,

‘…He abode two days still in the same place where He was’

That may look like an ordinary verse…but it contains the very heart of what I’m trying to communicate to you.

When you consider the fact that the original Greek manuscript, in which the New Testament was first written in, had no commas…look at what one comma would do to that verse….

So, instead of having: He abode two days still in the same place He was….

We now have: He abode two days STILL, in the same place He was….

That verse is telling us more than the mere fact that Jesus continued to stay in the same place He was for two days.

No, what that verse is saying is that Jesus stayed STILL for two days.

STILL…as in, calm in His Mind!

Hmmn…I see a lot of folks rolling their eyes!

You see, while He was on earth, Jesus was 100% Divine and 100% Human.

He was in every sense like us.

He slept, cried, got tired, got hungry, got thirsty, and so on!

Because of this, it’s my belief that Jesus must have felt strong emotions for the sick Lazarus and his sisters. Furthermore, I believe He must have been very eager to go down to Bethany and get Lazarus healed.

I think that’s the whole significance of John 11:5 which tell us that Jesus deeply loved Martha and her siblings.

However, if Jesus had made a move to get to Bethany instantly, it would have been a merely impulsive emotional response, rather than the leading of the Spirit!

Does this mean that emotions are evil?

No. They aren’t.

In fact, like your imagination, your emotions can be a tool that could glorify God…when used appropriately.

Jesus Himself was often moved with compassion before He ministered healing, provision and deliverance (Matthew 9:36, Mark 5:19, Luke 7:13 are a few examples).

The problem is just that when your emotions become your life’s driving force, you are at risk of totally missing out on God!

That, my friend, is not good enough.

I believe Jesus had to stay two days in the same place, so that He’d be solely led by the Spirit.

Another thing I should add here is that the fact that Jesus stayed still (calm) in the same place did not mean that He disconnected Himself from all that was going on around Him. It doesn’t mean that Jesus became a monk or hermit.

Rather, it simply means that Jesus didn’t allow His emotions drive Him around. I believe He chose to be Spirit-led and Spirit-conscious, even as He was interacting with His disciples and associates for two whole days.

You might be wondering how all these applies to you.

It’s simple: Don’t be dominated by your emotions!

God has empowered you to be in charge of your emotions.

You have to bring your emotions under your control.

Before you met Christ, your emotions reigned over your entire conduct.

But once you gave your life to Christ, you became a new creation! The old has passed away, and now you can rein your emotions by the power that’s at work within you.

Isaiah 26:3 says, ‘You will keep in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee’.

When your mind (will, emotions and intellect) is totally established on God and subject to the Spirit, you will find it easier to let the perfect peace of God position you to receive from Him.

It’s that simple.

It’s A New Year: Get Understanding

It’s with great pleasure that I welcome you to this brand new year. Indeed God has been faithful to us and we give Him all the glory for what He has done, what He is doing, and what He is set to do in our lives, both collectively and individually.

As we embark on the journey into the new year, I’ve come to realize that understanding would be a key for the uplifting of many this year.

What then is understanding?

Understanding is a supernatural discernment and perception of reality from God’s point of view. It is the experience of knowing and identifying whatever, whoever and wherever God’s Presence has vetted per time.

The truth is that by understanding, you cannot be confounded, depressed, confused or at a loss this year. Why? You have the benefit of a supernaturally elevated perception – one that is backed by the very breath of God.

By understanding, you are tuned into the dynamics of the spirit and your comprehension of actions, events and intentions becomes razor-sharp.

To me, the most outstanding feature of understanding is that it is applicable to EVERY aspect of your life. That includes your physical well-being, career, social life, relationships, spiritual walk with God, emotional intelligence, financial health and so on.

Proverbs 8:9 says, ‘They are ALL plain to him that understandeth’

Understanding makes all things plain to an individual.

Understanding is all-encompassing.

When it’s in full manifestation in your life, you understand the ways and timings of God, you undestand people, and you understand things.

Therefore, this year:

1. Apply your heart to understanding (Proverbs 2:2)

Your heart is the core of your being, as an individual. It’s where your values, principles and worldview are developed. That core is the seat of understanding. By applying your heart, you are attached to understanding – to the point of spiritual and emotional involvement. The truth is that you cannot and will not grasp understanding, if your heart is not involved. The heart of the matter is a matter of the heart. No heart involvement, no understanding! The goodnews is that the more you apply your heart, the more you experience a phenomenon called ‘largeness of heart’ (1 Kings 4:29) which means that your capacity for understanding is even stretched more.

2. Lift up your voice for understanding (Proverbs 2:3)

This year, you cannot afford to be ‘gentlemanly’ in matters concerning understanding. You must not be ashamed of your need to get understanding. Shout for it. Cling to God in desperation for the manifestation in your life.

3. Bow your ear to understanding (Proverbs 5:1)

Ears that are submissive to the dynamics of understanding are key for its manifestation. The truth is that the hearts of many are hardened, and as a result, their ears cannot be sensitive to understanding. However, if your heart is in the right place, your ears would be sensitive to understanding. And if your ears are sensitive, you’d always hear and understand what others do not! That’s what distinguishes the extraordinary ones from the ordinary.

It’s my heartfelt prayer for you this year that you would not only possess understanding – understanding would also possess you!

Happy New Year.