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Samson - Week 2

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Emotion has driven him. Anger has burned inside. Pride comes before the fall. Alright men at all of our churches, this one is for you! Gentlemen, are you ready to get into God's Word today? If you are, somebody shout out loud please! Not bad, we'll take it, we'll take it! Judges 14 is where we're going to start in your Bibles. We're looking at a very interesting character named Samson. If you missed last week, let me kind of give you a real quick run-down of what we covered. Samson is a guy that from birth was set apart, called and chosen by God to help bring about deliverance of God's people from the oppressive hand of the Philistines. And so, God gave this man supernatural strength; inside Samson was more potential than you could ever even imagine. The problem is, like so many men, even though he had great potential from God, he continued to make self-destructive decisions again and again and again and again. In fact, last week we summarized his life with one main statement. If you remember we said that Samson was an incredibly strong man with a dangerously weak will. Just like so many of us with so much potential, God-given potential; and yet, because of the weakness of our will we end up making poor decisions. If you remember, last week we looked at three attitudes that make strong men weak. The first was lust; Samson left his town, crossed four miles to go pursue a Philistine woman, one who was off limits. He said, 'I want it!' Then we saw a spirit of entitlement; he broke a Nazarite vow, touched a dead lion for a handful of honey. He said, 'I deserve it!' And finally, his pride; when he wasn't supposed to get near alcohol, he threw himself a keg party before his wedding. And he thought, 'I can handle it'. And we watched as this strong man became very, very weak. We are going to look again this week at another one of his vulnerabilities. If you're taking notes, here's our key thought for this week. Like so many of us men, Samson was emotion driven, not Spirit led. Everybody say that with me, all of our churches, Samson was emotion driven, not Spirit led. For those of you men who are Christians, one of our big problems is we should be led by the Spirit in all that we do, but we're often driven by emotions. And the challenge is, as men we don't like to think of ourselves as emotional. Women are emotional, we're not. Women are emotional, we're strong. The reality is that we're all emotional and emotions are given by God, they're not bad; we just shouldn't be driven by them. The difference between the way men process emotions and women process emotion is very, very different. Generally speaking, women talk and men act. When women are upset about something they talk and talk and talk! Men, can you say amen? Men instead, we don't talk we just act! In fact, like if Amy's upset, she might call one of her women friends over and they'll come over. And she'll say, "Will you come over and sit down on my sofa and have some tea and we'll just talk?" In all of my life, I've never had a dude ever call me and say, "Craig, would you come over to my house and drink some tea and sit on my sofa so we could talk?" If he did, we wouldn't be friends anymore, it would be over! Men, we're very different; we tend to act, we don't like to talk as much. The problem is men, be real honest, how many of you at all of our churches would say that sometimes your emotions have led you to do something that you shouldn't have done? Raise up your hands right now. It happened to me just a couple of weeks ago. I was driving home with three of my kids when a car pulled out with three, looked like high school boys who just started flipping me off; giving me the bird, peel the banana! If you've been here for any amount of time, you know that doesn't set well with your pastor! There's a righteous anger on behalf of God or Satan or something inside of me that just doesn't deal with that well! And so, they flip me off. I'm with my kids, I forget immediately I'm a Christian, a pastor, a man of God and all of that stuff, and I'm just in pursuit man, it's on! I'm driving after them briskly! And these kids pulled up to a green light; not a red light but a green light. And they stopped at the green light and they're flipping me off and all of that stuff! And my daughter's like, "What does that mean Daddy, are they pointing to God?" You know, and now I'm madder than fire! And so, I'm sizing them up, I'm looking trying to figure out how big they are. They look relatively small and so, honest to goodness I'm thinking to myself, "I'm still 15 pounds down from the fast, I'm recovering from an arm injury, but there's only three of them! Chances are really good they are untrained, I think I can take them!" That's going through my mind! And so, the light changed from green to yellow to red. At red, they peeled out and drove across to leave me behind. And I'm like, "Oh no you don't!" And so, I drove through the red light. I had to weave around some other cars and someone else is flipping me off now! I'm like, "I'll deal with you later, I've got these guys on my mind now!" and I am in pursuit driving rather fast! My daughter's like, "Daddy no, pray for them!" My son was like, "Get them Dad, get them!" And I'm going out until finally it clicks in; what are the possible scenarios? How could this go down? Option #1: I pull them over and I whip all three of them and it's a news story! Option #2: They whip me! It's an embarrassing news story! Option #3: I get a speeding ticket or in a wreck! But it was option #4 that pulled me off of the chase. And that was when all of a sudden I realized, one of my children will tell Amy what her husband has been doing! And so, I backed off and said, "If we keep this between us it's ice cream for everybody!" That is being led by the Spirit, that part at the end and not the flesh! The problem is, for men, so many of us, because of our emotions, we often act and do the ungodly thing rather than being led by the Spirit. And we want to do what's right, but our emotions take over. And I don't know how it would play out at your home. Maybe gentlemen, you know, you work hard and you want to engage more with the children; but you know how it is, when you get home you're like, "Oh, I need to engage, but emotionally I'm fried!" So, it's easier just to sit back and disengage and click and watch TV all night long and you don't do what you want to do. Or maybe you say something stupid or you do something stupid, and you know, "I should apologize, I should apologize!" but because of your pride, you just don't do it; you're emotion driven, not Spirit led. Or someone does something and you don't want to explode in anger but you do and you end up like the Apostle Paul when he said in Romans Seven: Why is it that the things I want to do I don't do and the things I don't want to do I end up doing? For so many of us men, it's because we're emotion driven not Spirit led. That's why Paul said in Galatians 5:16-17, men help me out with this, he said: So I say... How should we live everybody? So I say, live by the Spirit... We are going to be Spirit led, and when we're Spirit led, what will we not do? Help me out: We will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature... Because verse 17 says: ...For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that we do not... What everybody? So we do not: ...do what we want. The problem for Samson and so many men is that we are emotion driven rather than Spirit led. Let's watch it play out in Samson's life. If you missed last week, let me just catch you up. He went and pursued a woman who worshiped a false god, a Philistine woman. And he said, 'I want to marry her, I don't care what God says, I don't care what my Dad says.' And so, he's kind of at like the bachelor party stage. The wedding's about to go down and because she's a Philistine woman, there are Philistines around. He's hanging out with 30 Philistines who were God's people's enemies. And so he says to these 30 men: 'Hey, I'm going to tell you a little riddle.' Let's have a battle of the wits because everybody knows men have to compete all of the time. But to make it funny he says: 'Let's put a little wager on it!' Because everybody knows, if men are competing they've got to bet something to make it fun at all. And so, he makes this really stupid bet. He says to 30 men: 'I'll bet you thirty pieces of linen and 30 pieces of clothing that I can win this and you'll lose, Which is stupid because if he loses he's got to come up with 30 outfits. If the 30 men lose they just come up with one each. And he says: 'I'll give you seven days to figure this out!' And here is the riddle. Now again, if you were with us last week you'll remember, what kind of animal did he destroy from the cat family? It was a lion. What did he do? He promised God not to touch anything dead, but what did he scoop out? He scooped out a handful of honey out of the dead lion and compromised a vow before God and that plays into this riddle. Verse 14 of Judges 14, he says to the Philistine men, here's the riddle: Out of the eater, something to eat; out of the strong, something sweet. What's he talking about? He's talking about the lion and the honey. The strong and the eater and the eat and the sweet; it's the lion and the honey. But for three days Scripture says that the Philistine men couldn't give him the answer. So, the Philistine guys, they're angry, they're losing. So, they go to the woman who is going to be his wife and they say: 'Trick him! Get the secret out of him! And if you don't get the secret out of Samson, we're going to burn you and your Dad to death!' That's what they say. So, the bride used a wife's greatest weapon; when in doubt cry, right? Works on me every time, when in doubt cry! And for seven days she cried, 'You don't love me!' So finally, he caves in to the tears and tells her the secret, she tells them, and we pick up the story in verse 18: Before sunset on the seventh day the men of the town said to Samson... Here's the answer: ..."What is sweeter than honey? What is stronger than a lion?" And Samson is furious that they figured out his riddle and he lost! He's embarrassed, he gets angry and he said to them the stupidest thing he could have said, he said: "If you had not plowed with my heifer, you would not have solved my riddle." You can laugh if you want to because that is funny! I looked it up in the Hebrew language and what he was really saying just so you'll know is, 'If you hadn't plowed with my heifer, you wouldn't have solved the riddle!' That's what he said! I mean, you talk about an arrogant jerk, loser, no good, bad decision maker over and over again! So men, there's got to be some lessons from that that statement somewhere and I think these are the two God wants you to internalize: 1. Gentlemen, don't ever let anyone plow with your wife...and don't you ever call her a heifer! And all of the women said amen! So anyway, I don't know why that's funny, I just laughed, I laughed, and I still laugh! Don't plow with my heifer! So, we're going to watch as Samson caves into a weakness that so many of us men battle with. Rather than responding by the Spirit of God, he reacts with emotion. He is emotion driven, not Spirit led. And watch as he falls victim to two emotions that often take strong men down. Maybe gentlemen, you can relate to these as can I. The first one if you're taking notes is this: 1. There is anger. Samson burned with anger. Verse 19, the middle of the verse it says: Samson went down to Ashkelon, struck down thirty of their men, stripped them of their belongings and gave their clothes to those who had explained the riddle. He went and took the lives of 30 innocent men just for their clothing. Then watch him, the Bible says what? Say those next three words aloud with me. Scripture says he was: Burning with anger, he went up to his father's house. Verse 20: And Samson's wife was given to the friend who had attended him at his wedding. Now you may say, "Wait, wait, wait, what just happened?" Let me tell you what happened. Samson lost the bet; he left before the wedding basically started, ran onto his killing spree; who knows how long it took to kill 30 men, get their clothing and make it back. And the bride's father was sitting there going, 'This is embarrassing, we've got this party, all of our guests,' and it wouldn't have been uncommon at that time to say, 'Well, she's of marrying age, he's not here, I'm giving her to another man.' And that's exactly what happened. You can only imagine when Samson the hothead comes back, he's already in a bad mood and now he goes into a rage. He went out and he's so mad at the Philistines, he went and got 150 pair of foxes, tied their tails together, put a torch in between their tails. He lit the torch and let these animals loose on the Philistine fields where they were growing their crops. You can only imagine the chaos, you know, 150 pair of foxes with fire in between them running around like crazy, and because of that, Samson for all practical purposes burned all of their fields and their crops. Well, guess what the Philistines are now? They are furious! So you know what they did? They went and burned the woman who should have been Samson's wife and her dad, burned them, and killed them. And we see what we're going to see many times in Scripture, Samson's emotion driven anger cost him as it often costs so many men. Here's the challenge gentlemen, for many of us anger is our negative default emotion. And for many of us, it's our negative default emotion. For example, if someone embarrasses me, I often just don't feel embarrassed, what do I get? I'm what? I'm angry about it! I'm not just embarrassed but I'm also angry, "I'll show them, they shouldn't do that to me!" It's as simple as, if a man stubs his toe on a chair, what does he do? A woman might sit down and nurse her toe on the chair, the man turns back and kicks it again, "Stupid chair, I hate you chair!" because for us, anger is often a negative default emotion. Think about this though, think about it for a moment, think about it. What did Samson have to be angry about? What did he have to be angry about? He was the one who went and pursued the wrong woman. He was the one who decided to marry her. He is the one who ignored his parent's advice. He is the one who taunted the Philistines with the riddle. He is the only one who knew the secret. He's the one who gave the secret away. He's the one who left his wife at the alter to go kill the men, he's the one who burned the villages and crops down with the foxes. In other words, he's mad at the world, but the reality is most of his mess is his own fault. And that's where so many of us as men end up living. We're angry at the world, when in reality is, we should be angry at ourselves. Sound familiar? Gentlemen so often, I mean, it could be anything. You know, "I hate my boss, hate my stupid job, I hate my boss! This is a stupid job!" When in reality, maybe you're mad because you didn't finish college, or you accepted a job that you feel like is beneath you. You're mad at yourself and you're taking it out on someone else. Or, "My wife won't meet my emotion, my physical needs; you know she's just not meeting my physical needs." When in reality, you haven't met any of her emotional needs in months and you should be held accountable for your actions. You know, "I'm mad at God! I don't know God, I can't believe you let me in this place!" and "You know, I shouldn't be going through this in life!" When the truth of the matter is, you are where you are because of your unwise decisions and you're blaming it on God. If that's you gentlemen, let's own it. Because that's been me at so many different seasons of my life, driven by the emotion of anger rather than being led by the Spirit. Be honest, be honest, for so many of us it's our anger, it's our outbursts that get us into trouble. We should be led by the Spirit; instead we're driven by the emotion of anger. I'm hopeful that there will be some men of God that just call it what it is and say, "I really need help here, I need forgiveness." Say to your other friends, "Man, would you hold me accountable, would you pray for me?" There may be some apologies to take place. You know, "Kids, your dad has not treated you well. I've blown up." There may be some apologies to a wife, "I've taken out my frustrations on you, I'm sorry!" Not, "It's been really tough!" No excuses just listen, "I have not treated you with honor and respect, and will you please forgive me? I want to be a faithful man of God. I want to be led by the Spirit not driven by emotion." And then, ladies what you're going to do is you're not going to be some kind of jerk woman like, "Yeah!" No! You don't do that, you don't dare do that! When your man comes with his hat in his hand humility, you embrace him, you receive it, you don't take any jabs. You love him, you love him up toward God, you never tear him down. You tear him down, he's going to take his ball and go home. If he can't win, he won't want to play. You help him win; you help him be all that God wants him to be. He's being led by the Spirit, he's doing something that takes courage, you embrace him, you lift him up. The first problem is that he was burning with anger. The second thing is: 2. Samson was filled with pride. He was filled with pride. Still dealing with his anger, he goes out and because of the strength that God has given him, what does he do? In verse 15, here's what he does, and this is all because of God's strength: Finding a fresh jawbone of a donkey, he grabbed it and struck down a thousand men. Now, can we pause for just a moment and say, "That is cocky!" I'm serious, I mean, you're talking about UFC on steroids times a thousand plus God! That's what it is! Honestly, I do think on a good day I could take three high school boys by myself! I do, not all high school boys, but the small ones that were flipping me off, okay! With a set of nunchucks, half a dozen easily I could take down, no problem at all. Ten, probably not, 15 no way, okay! But here, we see under the power of God, all credit has to go to God, Samson takes down a thousand men. There's nothing impossible with God and if God wants that done, in His power it was done. But watch who tries to take credit for this in verse 16. After this God event, Samson says: 'With a donkey's jawbone I have made a donkey of them. With a donkey's jawbone...' What does he say? He said: '...I have killed a thousand men.' What do we see? We see a raw, direct case of a man's worse kind of pride. Now, just so you will know, he is being a smart aleck. When he says, 'I made a donkey out of them,' that is the Bible translators being very polite. There is another word for donkey, A crooked letter-crooked letter! And that's what he said in the Hebrew language. He's like, 'I made a mmm...mmm out of them!' And that's what he said. And so, he's full of pride. Why is it that so many of us men battle with pride? "Look at me, look what I did!" "Hey, do you like me now?" "Am I strong?" "Have I won enough to impress you?" "Have I conquered enough?" "I mean, you do think I'm great don't you?" Remember, for men pride is always born out of insecurities. Pride is always born out of our insecurities. When we don't know who we are in Christ, pride is the first emotion that will rise up to take us down. Scripture says that God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Scripture says that pride comes before a fall. But for so many of us men, it's "Hey, look at me! Didn't I do good? Don't I have worth based on what I've accomplished?" And the flipside of pride is equally as dangerous, it's not just, "Hey, like me for what I've done!" but it's, "I don't want to ask for help when I'm in need." I don't want you to know where I'm weak. The same men full of pride that won't ask for directions can find themselves in a horrible place of need and don't have the courage to tell anyone else they're in need because they're too full of pride. Why is it that that's such a problem for us as men? It's because most men want to be the main character in the story. We want it to be about us, we want to win. When we win we're proud, when we don't win we're angry because we want to be in control, we want to be the main character in the story. But gentlemen, we are never the main character of the story. God is always the main character in the story! And when we understand that God is the main character in the story, then we won't be tempted to be driven by our emotions, but we want to be led by the Spirit. So I say live by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of your fleshly nature, because your fleshly nature is in conflict with the Spirit and the Spirit is in conflict with the fleshly nature, so you do not do what you want. If you are continually driven by emotions, you will end up just like Samson, a man with divine potential who continues to self-destruct, but if instead you will put your emotions on the altar of God and sacrifice them and say, "Yes, I may feel them, but I won't be driven by them. I want to be led by the Spirit!" Then God becomes the main character in your story and suddenly you're not living for the approval of other people, pride; but you're living from the approval of God and that changes everything. All of a sudden, you can be who God created you to be. And men, I just want you to know that I believe in you so much. Men, I believe those of you that have surrendered your hearts for Christ, there is potential spiritual greatness in you. I believe it with all of my heart. And it's not that difficult when we just recognize, "Yes, I've been driven by these emotions, but I don't want to be. I want to be a man of God, I want to be a man of integrity, I want to be a man of character. I want to be a man with Spiritual strength; I want to love my bride as Christ loved the church. I want to have integrity in all of the business dealings I do. I want to be a man who imparts Spiritual truth to the next generation. I want to be a man of God." The world has yet to see what God can do through one man whose heart is wholly surrendered unto Him. You could be that man. Many of you right now, you're going to say, "But I've blown it man, I've messed up so big, so bad. You wouldn't even believe what I've done." There are many of you right now that in your life there is a secret darkness that you worry about all of the time, "If she found out, if they found out, if anybody knew." Many of you, you look at something you've done and you think, "There's no recovery from what I've done. I could never rebuild trust, my kids could never look at me that way." Listen, if that's you right now, I've got great news for you; you're in need and if you will acknowledge your need before a Holy God, this could be the greatest day of your life, I'm telling you. Here's the final thought, write this down: Men, if you let your need drive you to God, God will meet your deepest need. That is powerful. If you let your need drive you to God, God will meet your deepest need. This is what happened to Samson. He killed a thousand men. He was like, 'Oh no! Now I'm public enemy number one, I'm in big trouble. They're either going to kill me or I am going to die of thirst out here in this desert.' And here is what he does, he lets his need now drive him to God. Verse 18: Because he was very thirsty, he cried out to the Lord... Now no longer is he full of pride but he's humble. He says: "...You have given your servant this great victory. Must I now die of thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?" Verse 19: Then God opened up the hollow place in Lehi.., A miracle! God is the main character in this story and: ...water came out of it. When Samson drank,... Men, help me out, what happened? When Samson drank: ...his strength returned and he revived. Men, when you return to God your strength will return; but not your strength, it's His strength in your weakness and you will be revived. In other words, guess what? You come back to life! You can be who you were created to be! You can make a difference, you can be a leader, you can live righteously, you can be a man of integrity! When you let your need drive you to God, He can meet your deepest need! And when Samson returned, God gave him water and his strength returned and he was revived. And the good news is today, men, if you will have integrity and be honest and say, "We have been driven by emotion, anger and pride," or whatever it is for you, "...but I want to be led by the Spirit of God." If you will allow your deepest need to lead you to God He will meet your deepest need and you can do everything God wants you to do for His glory and His namesake. The world has yet to see what God can do through one man wholly surrendered unto Him. You can be that man! Father I pray that your Spirit would stir within the hearts of men today, that you would cause us to rise up to live with hearts after you, empowered by your Spirit and strengthened by your Word. All of our churches today as you're praying right now, both men and women, many of you will realize, "I am driven by emotion and I want to be led by the Spirit. I'm driven by emotion; anger and pride, and I want to confess that before God. I need His help, I want to be different; I want to be led by the Spirit so I do not gratify the desires of the flesh. I want to live to honor Him." All of our churches, both men and women of all different ages, you'd say, "I really am, I'm more emotion driven; I want to be more Spirit led!" Would you lift up your hands now, just all of our churches, lift them up as an honor before God. All of our Network Churches, all of our campuses, Church Online just kind of clicking right below me. Father, I pray for those with hands lifted toward heaven that you would hear our prayers. God, we just confess our sinfulness to you, our anger and our pride. And God, we ask that you would forgive us and by faith we just put those emotions on your altar. God we ask that Your Spirit would be our guide. God, that we would be convicted and reminded when we're slipping into our default emotions, and God we just... maybe feel the emotions, but more so we wouldn't be driven by them God, we'd be led by you. God, I pray especially for the men. I pray oh God that your Spirit would rise up within them. God, they would be sensitive to your voice. God, they would be humble in weakness, falling in desperate need before you and I thank you that their deepest need would drive them to you God. And I thank you God that you will meet those needs. God, empower them to be men whose hearts beat for the things that matter to you. Thank you in advance for how you're raising up godly men set apart to serve you, to do your will and to bring glory to your name. As you keep praying today at all of our different churches, I'm so thankful that there are many of you here today with significant needs. You may say, "Craig, that's kind of rude, I wish I didn't have these needs." I'm telling you right now, I believe with all of my heart that if you'll let your needs drive you to God, He will meet your deepest needs. Above all else, there a lot of you right now that when you just kind of survey your life you think, "I've really have blown it, I've messed up, I've done so many things wrong." And the truth is, we all have; every single one of us, we've all sinned against a Holy God. The fact that you're aware of that sin is really good news because we need to let our sin drive us to God so He can save us. The good news is, God is so crazy about you, He loves you so much that He sent His Son Jesus, who was born of a virgin and was without sin. Jesus on the cross became sin for us. He shed His blood and died, and on the third day he rose from the dead so that anyone who calls on the name of the Lord would be saved. I'm telling you, God brought many of you here because you're hurting in your guilt and in your fear, "Where do I stand with God?" and when you call on Jesus every sin that you've ever committed will be forgiven; you will become a brand new person in Christ. All of the old is gone and behold, everything will become new. That's why you're here today. Let your need drive you to God and He will meet your greatest need. Call on Jesus, He will hear your prayer and he will forgive you and you will be new. All of our different churches you'd say, "Yes, I'm in need; I need His forgiveness, I need His power, I need His grace. Today, I give my whole life to Him. Jesus, take my life and make me new!" If that's your prayer, lift up your hands right now. All over the place, lift them up high and leave them up if you will just so I can find you and point you out. In this section here, both of you and sir, right here in the middle section, wipe those tears away. Right back here, God bless you man. Look at all of the men, sir, right here and up close; praise God for you. Others of you who would say, "Me too!" Right up here close, welcome into God's family. Others today say, "Yes Jesus!" Right up here in the back, here in the middle section, both hands right here! We praise God for you. Church Online you all click right below me. Others today who say, "Yes, Jesus I need you; I'm weak, I need forgiveness, I need a Savior!" Everybody pray aloud with those around you. Pray Heavenly Father, save me from my sins, make me new. I believe Jesus died for me so I could live for you. Fill me with Your Spirit so I could serve you with the rest of my life. Thank you for new life, I give you mine. In Jesus' name I pray. Would somebody shout, cheer, applaud? Worship God for new life in Christ!

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Duration: 35 minutes and 47 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
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Posted by: lifechurchopen on Mar 7, 2012

Samson - Week 2 - Craig Groeschel - LifeChurch.tv

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