Samson amazingly typified the nation of Israel. He was specially chosen by God, and empowered with eye-popping strength. Yet, like his countrymen, he chose the cravings of his flesh and failed miserably. What prompted the man set apart for God to make decisions set apart from God?
Delilah was paid by Philistine rulers to lure from Samson the secret of his strength. It didn’t take long for her to succeed. She nagged and prodded him daily until the Bible says he was “tired to death” (Judges 16:16). “He told her the whole truth and said to her, “My hair has never been cut, because I am a Nazirite to God from birth. If I am shaved, my strength will leave me, and I will become weak and be like any other man”—(Judges 16:17).
Samson consistently made feeling-based decisions without considering or consulting God. His operative philosophy was “if it feels good, do it.” His choice to confide in Delilah caused God to leave him, cost him his life and gave his enemies reason to rejoice in their god Dagon.
Much of our life is determined by our decision making. The Apostle Paul wrote, “In the same way the Spirit also joins to help in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with unspoken groanings. And He who searches the hearts knows the Spirit’s mind-set, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God” (Romans 8:26,27b). If Paul, a spiritual giant, admitted the inability to know what to pray for, how critical is it that we depend on the Holy Spirit to help us in our decision making!
So many times I have jumped to conclusions or made choices based on a gut feeling or because it was self-pleasing. I recall a couple of key decisions made many years ago I wish I could do over. I should have relied on the Holy Spirit for direction. I have also observed leaders who chose not to make decisions, put their trust in waiting and missed God-given opportunities because they failed to act. When it comes to decision making the spectrum for error is wide; there is a great difference between Samsonite luggage and Samsonite baggage!
Before making important decisions, we ought first to pray and seek God’s will. Second, we ought to examine our motives. Third, we should ensure that whatever we decide is in consonance with God’s Word. Fourth, we should seek the opinion of those who have a track record for making God-honoring decisions (it is often wise to consult people much different than we are). Fifth, we should trust in God and recognize that the process of trusting may be more important than the result. Often our worst decisions are those that come from our strength and abilities—we took God for granted and He granted what we took.
Are you about to make an important decision? Here’s a great place to start. “O Heavenly Father, may Your Kingdom come, may Your will be done, here on earth as it is in heaven. I’m not sure what to do, but You know. So guide me Lord, show me Your way and take all the glory!” May God guide you and bless you because He delights in you and you depend upon Him.
We must check all impulses by this test—Does this glorify Jesus, or does it only glorify us? Does it bring to our remembrance something Jesus said, that is, does it connect itself with the Word of God, or is it beginning to turn us aside and make us seek great things for ourselves?—Oswald Chambers in If You Will Be Perfect
©2005 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)