Tonight I sat here in this very spot pouring out my words from my heart into my other private blog, and it felt far more like scraping the burnt off of toast than it did a fluid flow of thoughts.
I wrote a poem that spoke of struggle and Samson making mention of the most terrifying verse in scripture. Judges 16:20
20 She said, “The
Philistines are upon you, Samson!” And he awoke from his sleep and said,
“I will go out as at other times and shake myself free.” But he did not
know that the LORD had departed from him
I cant think of anything worse than that thought right there. Not knowing that the LORD had departed from him. I went to a men's bible study and we were talking about courage and being a courageous man of God. Much of the material text is based out of Joshua, and tonight was no exception. Joshua 1:9
9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
The thing that drew me to God in the first place wasn't redemption of sin, which I am grateful for. It wasn't The gift of compassion or the promise that the Holy Spirit would reside in me, which I cherish. It wasn't the testament of his mercy which I wouldn't have survived without...
No, it was this promise given to Joshua in 1:5
No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you
That God would never leave or forsake me.
I believe that God doesn't change, and that he is the same yesterday today and forever, nor does he go against his word. I've been at war with this. I have fought my thoughts back and forth because I have wanted to be Joshua but often I feel like Samson. When I screw up I feel like God is distant and I try to figure out where I left him. But Joshua... HE keeps God at the forefront of his focus and follows him in battle. I want to be this man in the fluid flesh of the blood in my heart, yet... I find that I am often Samson. These two men are different. Look at this example:
Joshua's warning in chapter 23:
8 But you are to cling to the LORD your God, as you have done to this day. 9 For the LORD has driven out great and strong nations from before you; and as for you, no man has stood before you to this day. 10 One of your men puts to flight a thousand, for the LORD your God is He who fights for you, just as He ]promised you. 11 So take diligent heed to yourselves to love the LORD your God.
12 For if you ever go back and cling to the rest of these nations, these which remain among you, and intermarry with them, so that you associate with them and they with you, 13 know with certainty that the LORD your God will not continue to drive these nations out from before you; but they will be a snare
and a trap to you, and a whip on your sides and thorns in your eyes,
until you perish from off this good land which the LORD your God has
I'm pretty sure that was a prophecy for Samson,
18 When Delilah saw that he had told her all that was in his heart, she sent and called the lords of the Philistines, saying, “Come up once more, for he has told me all that is in his heart.” Then the lords of the Philistines came up to her and brought the money in their hands. 19 She made him sleep on her knees, and called for a man and had him shave off the seven locks of his hair. Then she began to afflict him, and his strength left him. 20
She said, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” And he awoke from his
sleep and said, “I will go out as at other times and shake myself
free.” But he did not know that the LORD had departed from him. 21
Then the Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes; and they
brought him down to Gaza and bound him with bronze chains, and he was a
grinder in the prison. 22 However, the hair of his head began to grow again after it was shaved off.
Now Samson and God reconciled as Samson died...
but I don't want to be that guy. I don't want to realize that I screwed up and then die. True that is one heck of a way to go out, but I want to be the guy that never let God out of my sight to begin with. I want to be that guy... but I'm not.
My heart gets crusty. My eyes go blind. I wonder where God has gone... and why he left.
I know he didn't really leave, but he goes silent. I hate that part. Why does he do it?
I believe that God goes quiet to test our hearts to see if we will follow his word.
That is spoken of a few times in Judges 3 and other places.
I know I fail at this all the time. God goes quiet and I turn to sin. He tests my heart and my heart is wicked. My spirit gets so disappointed in my flesh. My heart is crusty and crumbly, like a burnt log after the fire dies down. I don't want to be the ashen remains of a man on fire for God. I want to burn with a passion to live like him. The Josh and the Sam in me are at war... and they both are amazing fighters. Yet only one slayed giants.
This is my prayer. The prayer of a giant slayer.That God always be my focus, even when the lights go out. That no destruction befall me due to my own negligence.