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Monthly Archives: July 2012

If Only

Deuteronomy 28:13,  And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be
above only, and thou shalt not be beneath…

This passage came up in conversation with the Lord yesterday and I remember thinking at least inwardly, if not aloud, that I need to be determined not to be put under!

So, this morning, when I woke up, again this came to mind and I went to Deuteronomy 28 to read it and realized that all of the promises of that passage hinged on one little word… if.

I cannot afford to overlook the ifs of the Word of God. They are vital to our well-being.  It’s the narrow way (Matthew 7:14) that the Word speaks of.  It’s the street called Straight. (Acts 9:11)

I thought I would be witty and search how many times the word if is in the bible and of course, it was inconclusive!  What happened next though startled me.

They did what they call a “partial match of the query”. Another words, here is every where we find those letters inside of words in scripture. Here are just a few of the words that surfaced.

life, sanctified, wife…and that’s only in the first 20 of 4516 results.

That got me thinking…what other words might apply and even be found in the Word?

Here are some that came to mind.

qualify, testify, purify, simplify, justify, sacrifice, different, glorify, gift, sift…

Striking, isn’t it?

What’s more is that I can read God’s word and leave the if up to Him. I’ve even prayed that way, “God, if it be Your will…”

But clearly God has stated something different.  For example in Deuteronomy, God stated no less than three times, “if you will…”

And that’s just the beginning.  Exodus completely outnumbers Deuteronomy in the if department.  If you can’t handle Deuteronomy, turn no further.

All this to say that I’m embracing if today.

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Where Great Strength Lies

For a couple of weeks now, I’ve been studying the story of Samson, preparing to teach the children in Sunday school.

Now for brevity sake, I will refrain from posting the text here but you can read the story in its entirety in Judges 13-16.

While Samson’s mother was expecting him, an angel appeared to her and told her that this child was different, set apart for the Lord and that his hair should never be cut.

There was a lot that went on in Samson’s life but the part that I’ve been mulling over in my spirit is Delilah.  (Chapter 16)

Disclaimer:  I thought of posting on this subject before now and hesitated.  I’ve been taking a bit of a break from blogging. But just yesterday, we were together praying as a church and a very discerning woman of God said that one spirit that is on the rise right now is Delilah.

That being said, I thought I’d better move forward and share what Father has been sharing with me.

1.)  The very first thing I see when I begin reading in Chapter 16, is that Samson was entering into an “adulterous” relationship.  Of course, this was in the natural that he had entered into a harlot’s house but spiritually speaking, this is where this spirit begins to take hold on anyone. When we become adulterous in our relationship with the Lord, we can open the door to this.  We must be fully committed to God.

2.) …they surrounded the place and lay in wait for him all night at the gate of the city.  The enemy is watching and waiting for this kind of opportunity.

3.) And Samson lay low till midnight…  Samson was lying low, thinking that no one took notice.

4.) …then he arose at midnight, took hold of the doors of the gate of the city and the two gateposts, pulled them up, bar and all, put them on his shoulders, and carried them to the top of the hill that faces Hebron.  In his pride, he made no mistake about letting the enemy know he thought he could get away with it.

5.) Afterward, it happened that he loved… We must take heed that our affections can be divided.

6.) And the lords of the Philistines came up to her and said to her, “Entice him, and find out where his great strength lies, and by what means we may overpower him, that we may bind him to afflict him.”   Delilah’s assignment is to go after our strength.  To find out where we are strong in the Lord and target it.  Or could it be that the assignment is to seek out our places of pride (our own strength) and take us out?  I think it could be both.

7.)  Pride will cause us to “play the game”.  Because it’s obvious that’s what Samson was doing here.  Playing.  After several rounds of this…same conversation, same outcome, there was no way he was ignorant to her devices.

8.) Then she said to him, “How can you say, “I love you,’ when your heart is not with me? You have mocked me these three times, and have not told me where your great strength lies.”And it came to pass, when she pestered him daily with her words and pressed him, so that his soul was vexed to death…    Eventually, the enemy will call our bluff and require of us, ALL or nothing.  At this point the stakes are high enough that our soul cannot handle the pressure.

9.) …that he told her all his heart.   Sure enough, we’ll come to a place where we “tell all our heart”.  What once was precious, the very treasure of our heart, is easily cast before swine.  God’s word to us has become commonplace.

10.) Then she lulled him to sleep on her knees…At this point, we’ve become comfortable with our sin and half heartedness that we are easily lulled to sleep.

11.) …and called for a man and had him shave off the seven locks of his head. Then she began to torment him,  and his strength left him. So was it the cutting of the hair or the torment that depleted him?

11.) But he did not know that the LORD had departed from him. Pride (selfish) and presence (the Lord’s) have shared the same place in our life for so long that we can’t tell one from the other.  Samson did not discern that the Lord’s presence had left him and his strength was gone.

12.) Then the Philistines took him and put out his eyes.  The very last thing to go is vision and this is the agenda.  Where there is no vision, the people perish.  We perish.  (Psalm 29:18)

It is of upmost importance that we guard where our great strength lies! It can only be found in our fidelity to Jesus.

 
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Posted by on July 11, 2012 in Fidelity, Obedience

 

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