Saturday, July 23, 2016

Beware, Satan is Price Shopping

Judges 16:4-5
“And it came to pass afterward, that he loved a woman in the Valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah. And the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and said unto her, Entice him, and see wherein his great strength lieth, and by what means we may prevail against him, that we may bind him to afflict him: and we will give thee every one of us eleven hundred pieces of silver."
The Valley of Sorek is where the spies had brought a bunch of grapes from as an example of the fruit that was in the land of Canaan.  Because it was a valley filled with many vineyards, it became known for having the best wine. This is where Samson would head to whenever he desired refreshment or wanted pleasure.
If we are not careful, we can allow the blessings that God provides for us to become a curse and they will lead us into sin. How can that happen?
Proverbs 20:1
“Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise."
The wine in this passage is not just referring to the drinking of “adult beverages” as they are called today, but it is also speaks of anything in life that can become intoxicating to the point that it has the power to change your way of thinking and your way of acting.
I’ve seen people lose their inhibitions in many ways. Some lose it in their manner of speaking and use profanity, some lose their inhibitions in their manner of dress, and some lose their inhibitions towards honesty and become liars and thieves.
1 Peter 5:8(NKJV)
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because[a] your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 
We must be aware at all times of this fact, the devil is looking for your price. He is seeking buy your loyalty. If he can, he will find a way to give you what you want, and offer you a deal for your soul.
What’s your price?  What does the devil have to put in front of you to make you do his will?  Is it a title behind your name? Is it a house? Is it a man or a woman?What will it take to get you to sell out? What does Satan have to offer you to get you to forget righteousness, even for a moment?
Samson’s price was sexual pleasure and the intoxication of alcohol. Are you willing to sell for that, or even less?  I did, even when I thought it couldn’t happen to me, I did. That compromise nearly cost me everything including my soul.  I, just like Samson, decided to depend upon my own limited wisdom and strength and that is the recipe that put me on Satan’s menu!
One thing that really strikes me is that Samson didn’t go into this temptation blindly. Delilah was honest with him right from the start. She didn’t hide her true intentions. Samson chose to ignore them. He knew exactly what was at stake, and he still decided to play with fire. He thought that he was stronger than anything that could be used against him. He presumed upon the grace and power of God.
The Word says that when we return to our sinful ways after knowing the Lord, it is like a dog returning to it's vomit. I am convinced that every believer that returns to their vomit, knows exactly what they are doing.  The Holy Spirit is constantly speaking to them, drawing them to turn around, and yet they continue on. Every time they sin, I know that God speaks to their heart and presses them with feelings of condemnation, and yet they continue to travel on down the road to death.
From the day that I came to know the Lord, i cannot recall a single instance when I fell, that I didn’t know what I was doing. The Holy Ghost was always there speaking to me, warning me, and calling me to repent and turn back to God. Most of the time I listened, but eventually just like Samson, I ignored the voice of God, and did what I wanted to, thinking that I could control it and that I could stop whenever I wanted to, I was mistaken.
That’s the way every alcoholic thinks. That’s the way every drug addict thinks. That’s the way every habitual sinner thinks. They all think that they can beat it, even when it’s obvious to rest of the world that they are hooked.
One major step in Samson’s downfall was something that most people really don’t catch in this story. It was the fact that he began to lie continuously. He couldn’t tell the truth and be friends with the world, so his whole life became a lie.
That is the entrance to the road that leads to destruction, it begins by playing around with the world and flirting with sin, but pretty soon you have to lie just to maintain the appearance of Christianity. You lie about being caught in sin, then you lie and make pitiful excuses when your sin becomes evident. You lie about everything, and eventually you begin to believe and accept your own lies. No matter how we try to disguise our sin; no matter how we try to excuse it, and no matter how much we try to explain it away, sin is still sin, and sin brings death. There’s no escaping that fact, no matter how much we try to manipulate things.
The first bondage that Samson flirted with was something he knew he could beat. “Just tie me up with a few green branches off of a tree.”

Just offer me a little bit of sin. I’ll take it, and then I’ll easily leave it and get back to God. Just offer me a little more of anything, a little bit of anything taken in moderation won’t hurt me. I can drink a beer once in a while and it won’t hurt me. I can smoke a joint once a month. It won’t kill me.
Listen to me very carefully, it has nothing to do with the amount of sin you commit. It has nothing to do with how much you get or how often you get it, the real problem is a problem within your heart. It’s wasn’t right with God to begin with or you wouldn’t have desired whatever it was that Satan wagged in front of you.  Only hungry fish hit the bait.  If your heart is filled with the Spirit of God it won’t desire the things of the world.
Samson managed to break free that time, but Satan, and Delilah were not finished yet. The plans for Samson’s demise had been laid and nothing would stop the enemies of his soul from bringing him to destruction and absolute bondage. Let that be a lesson for all of us. Satan isn’t satisfied with you sinning once and then breaking free and coming back to God. He won’t stop until you’ve lost it all for good.
Now the temptation becomes a little harder. Samson fell the first time. What do you think will happen this time since he has already become fascinated with Delilah?
Just like Delilah, the worldly crowd, and the voice of Satan, will become even more enticing. The world will begin to draw you even stronger into their ways of sin. Satan will offer you even more if you will only take another sip and taste just a little bit more. He will begin to tell you that you’ve already failed once and got away with it, so why not do it again, and again, and again. No one will ever know. Satan, like Delilah, just keeps drawing you into his web of lies.
Still, even though he knew beyond any doubt now what Delilah’s real objective was, Samson just knew that he could overcome her tricks and still stay close to God, so he played her game, on her turf, just a little bit more.
In Samson’s mind, he was making a mockery of Delilah’s trickery, and the Philistine’s plans. But what he didn’t realize was that Satan was really making a fool out of him. What could not be bound on the outside by new ropes was already bound on the inside by sin in his heart.
One more time Samson laughed as he walked away a free man. God was still on his side. He was still strong in the Lord. Sure he played around with sin, but he still had the “power”. He still felt the “Spirit” in his life. I wonder if he might have kept saying the words over and again, “greater is He that is in me than these people in the world who are trying to trick me.” He was still counting on past experiences but it had been a long time since he had truly heard the voice of God.
Now, with each passing temptation and each flirtation with sin, Samson is getting a little deeper in, and closer to the point of no return. Child of God, it may look like you are still strong, still winning, still a part of the Body of Christ, but be sure your sin will find you out. And when the day comes that the secret sins in your life have become strong enough, you will no longer hear or feel the Lord in your life.
Samson went one step too far, just one time too many playing with sin, and just one time too many to the gates of temptation. This time he didn’t come back in victory.  The sad thing is that he was so blinded, so deceived and so in love with the world that he never even realized that God had left him. That’s where nearly all backsliders are today. Sadly there are many who don’t realize that God’s Holy Spirit has left them.
All over America, there are powerless churches, with powerless preachers, preaching powerless messages, to powerless people.  They have compromised too many times and the Spirit of God has left them. When it comes time to shake loose from the bondage of this world, they will realize suddenly, how far from God they have gone. The same holds true for many who are in a backslidden condition right now. Many will be “left behind” while sitting on the pew when Jesus comes again.
Notice now that the bondage that held Samson were green limbs, new ropes, or braided hair, they were now bonds of brass. Brass is a symbol of judgment in a number of places throughout God's Word.
In Samson’s life, and in the life of all sinners, the brass fetters that hold them in prison are the judgment of God for the sin in their lives. Samson couldn’t break these fetters because God wasn’t with him there in his sin. Neither will you have the power on your own to break free from the sin that binds you once it has you in its shackles.
The wonderful thing about this story is that God still had plans for Samson even though he had failed so miserably.  Even in the prisons of sin, bound by the chains of sin, there is still hope, if we will allow the Holy Spirit to draw us back again.
As Samson’s hair began to grow, symbolizing his coming back to the place of his consecration and promises to God, so did the hope of deliverance.  Though he could not see with his natural eyes, Samson could see things more clearly now, than ever before, and he knew that God was his only hope.
I made it back from my bondage as well.  In the depths of the circumstances that I had created for myself, in the middle of the storm that I had no business going out in, I was able to find a piece of wreckage to hold on to.  Thank God!  I made it back to the shore of His love where I found Him waiting with grace and mercy.
I hope and pray that I will never forget that lesson. I hope that I never have to go to those depths again, before I turn back. 
If you will just turn back to God, lay your life on the altar of God, and repent of your sin, and allow God to come back and clean out your heart, then you too can see the victory one more time.

"Repent and be baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost" - Acts 2:38

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