I Am Not That Strong
There’s a moment we all reach when we realize that we are actually not that strong and we need Jesus so badly.
I had the chance to chat with my brother last week. Our conversations get deep, real fast. We had just finished leading worship together (which we don’t get to do often) and we happened to hear a sermon about Samson. Afterwards, we drove together for 2 hours to get home and we talked about what God was trying to say to us personally. He began to share what he believed God was saying. He said something that stuck with me:
I really think that the message was about how we get so comfortable with ourselves that we stop relying on God’s strength. We may even reach a point where we notice that His presence isn’t even a part of what we do anymore. The most important thing about what we do is His presence. Once that is gone, we are nothing.
Honestly, I’ve always known the Samson story as him being some crazy guy that liked crazy women and how we need to stay away from the world, etc. I’ve also heard that we need to be set apart and take care of the gifts that God gives us.
So pretty much he was this guy with long hair that thought he was super cute and he VERY strong. Although everyone knew he was strong, they didn’t know why. So, the Bible takes us to his weakest moment. He had demonstrated strength many times before but this time something was different. He started to feel confident- not the good kind. So confident that he actually became weak. He really started to believe that he was IT. He ends up telling Delilah his secret. She ends up betraying him, cuts his hair and basically turns him into the Philistines.
You know that point we reach when we’ve been working at our craft for so long and we think we are actually pretty good at what we do? There’s nothing wrong with that. I think we should always take a moment to see how far we have come and then take the next moment to see how we can improve. I am not saying that you should be weak, what I mean is that we kind of reach this point where we don’t come to Him anymore. We shouldn’t reach a point where “preparation” doesn’t matter anymore.
Practically this looks like- not practicing anymore, not preparing anymore, no longer praying before entering a situation, no sense of excitement, etc.
Every time I step on stage, I have a moment of panic and I find myself praying:
GOD, please don’t let me sing this set over these people if you’re not going to show up. God anyone can sing these songs and sing them so much better than me. However, NO ONE can resist when you enter the room. There are no words we can say when you show up and do something no human can do!
I say all this to say that it doesn’t matter what God assigns you to do. Sometimes God will give you huge opportunity and sometimes they are small opportunities, but they are still GOD opportunities. I think if it’s a God opportunity then we will always need His grace to do it. Every opportunity is going to take effort, skill, and most importantly His presence. You can’t just wing it!
At the very end of the story Samson no longer has his long hair or his strength, and ends up being betrayed by his wife. The Philistines are able to capture him this time because his strength/God’s presence had left him. He then asks God to show up ONE MORE TIME. It was at this time that he finally understood that he was just man but he served a STRONG God. God ends up showing up one more time and he defeats the Philistines but unfortunately it had a very heavy cost that ended his life.
You see, it is okay that you are not THAT strong because we have POWERFUL God who wants to us people like us to do things for HIM! We enter such a dangerous place when we get super comfortable with our abilities but we need both ability and His presence to do what He’s called us to do.
So, my prayer is that we would always have that sense of excitement-panic- like feeling before we do what we do. That we would feel the urgency of asking God to be a part of what we do. Big or small, we need Him to use those opportunities change the world.
A word for those struggling with confidence: Know that your strength comes from Him. Always remember it’s not that people are better or that you are better, it’s that we all have different abilities. However, these abilities are just abilities without His presence gracing us. Our abilities along with His presence become something wonderful in His kingdom. We were given these gifts to build His Kingdom.
Then Samson prayed to the LORD, "Sovereign LORD, remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes."