Comfortable On the Lap of Delilah

Samson was certainly not one of God’s wisest servants; nevertheless, he was a man of extraordinary faith. He is listed among those of faith in Hebrews 11:32. Although a genuine man of God, appointed to be a Nazirite and judge before he was born, his carelessness eventually cost him. He took the calling and blessings of God for granted, and he was lured by the forbidden. He became comfortable resting on the lap of Delilah.

Much speculation has gone on concerning Delilah, but the point is Samson was wooed by, fell in love with, and grew comfortable with the very one who led him to his downfall—and this is because he saw himself both strong and wise, and he rejected godly instruction.

Samson experienced some incredible victories wrought by God (understand, his might was because of the Holy Spirit’s anointing), but he was seduced by Delilah’s beauty and charm. Bribed by the Philistines, she tried to get the secret of his strength, as he rested his head on her lap and she stroked his hair and rubbed his face, eventually lulling him to sleep. She would then awaken him with, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” Samson would then wake up and “take care of business.” Samson just seems to laugh it off each time, not understanding he was in a dangerous predicament.

With a puffed bottom lip and a little pouting, Delilah finally got Samson to open up. “If you cut my hair I’ll lose my strength.” Don’t miss this, while what he he said is, perhaps, in part true, “If you cut my hair I’ll lose my strength,” his strength came from God not his hair. 

Again, she lulled him to sleep. We then read,

When Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called the lords of the Philistines, saying, “Come up again, for he has told me all his heart.” Then the lords of the Philistines came up to her and brought the money in their hands. She made him sleep on her knees. And she called a man and had him shave off the seven locks of his head. Then she began to torment him, and his strength left him. And 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 left him. And the Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes and brought him down to Gaza and bound him with bronze shackles. And he ground at the mill in the prison. ~ Judges 16:18-21

Did you catch that? Samson “did not know that the Lord had left him.” Samson was clueless that the Spirit of the Lord had departed from him. God did not utterly forsake Samson, but He did step away and let Samson suffer the consequences of his self-centeredness and religious flippancy. We are told that Samson was blinded (his eyes were gouged out), and he was imprisoned both in his darkness and a Philistine dungeon.  

This world is not our home, but how easily we can be distracted and wooed by the charms of this world. Seduced by its flattery and glamour while holding to a religious false security, as though God will permit no harm simply because we are His. So we lay our head on our Delilah’s lap, giving credit of our strength to our education, experience, influence, and the like, not realizing the Holy Spirit’s anointing has been lifted from us. Our downfall comes, our eyes “are gouged” as we are forced to abide in our darkness.

If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. ~ 1 John 1:6

How many Christians have been seduced and wooed by persons, money, or power trips? They took their eyes off the Lord and played religious games, but eventually God said, “Enough!” Not realizing His anointing has been removed, one’s world collapses like a house of cards. While God never fully abandons His own, He does allow consequences to crush us in order to reveal our need for Him and to bring us to repentance.

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. ~ 1 John 2:15-17

But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. ~ 1 Timothy 6:9-10

Are you being wooed by a Delilah and trusting in your own strength and past victories? Don’t rest your head on her lap, and don’t get comfortable in her presence. Remember that all of your victories came from God and His workings, not from you. You and are nothing more than conduits, mere channels and vessels God uses. He gives, and He can certainly take away (Job 1:21).

As for Samson, he had some time to think while he was in his darkness and prison. He was able to reflect and see his folly, and what’s more is he was able to turn back to the Lord . No, things could not go back to what they were but God’s anointing and presence did.

Friend, if God has allowed you to be betrayed by a Delilah, don’t blame Him or the church. You allowed yourself to be wooed, and I guarantee God have multiple warnings you ignored. You might have lost it all, but there are further victories to be had of you own up to your foolishness and turn your attention back to God. 

Be of good cheer. God might step away, but He will not totally abandon those who truly belong to Him. Come rest your weary head on the lap of your Redeemer and God who loves you.

5 Vital Works of the Holy Spirit Neglected by Many Charismatics

From the outset, while I am not a Charismatic, neither am I a cessationist. I believe God still heals and uses various spiritual gifts according to His purposes. However, I must stress that I do not believe so much of what is promoted as moves of the Holy Spirit are necessarily such. Many Charismatics put undue emphases on what the Holy Spirit had done in Acts to fuel the early church that they disregard the very teachings about Him spoken by the Lord Jesus Christ. While many Charismatics put unwarranted emphasis on the Holy Spirit, spiritual gifts, and emotional experiences, Jesus explains the true purposes of the Holy Spirit. Spiritual experiences can be extremely deceptive, especially if one is not willing to let the Scriptures be the blueprint to understand the appropriate perimeters. While some will say, “You can’t put God in a box!” God, who is infinite, does have perimeters. He who is holy cannot go beyond into practices which violate His holiness. He who is Truth will not involve Himself in what is deceptive. And the God of order is not the author of confusion and chaos. Isaiah writes, “To the teaching and to the testimony! If they will not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn” (8:20). The apostle John commands, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God” (1 John 4:1). And the apostle Paul warns, “For even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness” (2 Cor. 11:14-15). 

While many churches are crediting the Holy Spirit for tongues, strange behaviors, wonders, and persons prostituting the Gospel, in these spiritually perilous times may we truly keep in mind the following teachings about the Holy Spirit from the lips of Jesus Christ the Lord.

  1. The Holy Spirit will be our Helper. Jesus teaches us that the Holy Spirit is our Helper. The New Testament reveals that the Holy Spirit comforts and encourages is in our trials and advocates for us. How shameful that in some circles persons give credit to the Holy Spirit for convulsions, seizures, behaving, literally, like animals, and chaos. How disgraceful to give credit to the Holy Spirit for inducing behaviors of which Jesus delivered persons from, ad is recorded in the Gospels. We do not even read of such madness in Acts. So where does such thinking come from?
  2. The Holy Spirit comes to convict the world of sin. Jesus says the Holy Spirit will come to convict the world concerning sin and righteousness (John 16:8). Does it not stand to reason if He convicts the world of sin, then He would certainly bring conviction to those within the church? Yet, many churches and movements claiming moves of the Holy Spirit are not being convicted of sin. Instead, there is a condoning of pride, sensationalism, homosexuality, greed, love for the praises of people, and various expressions of idolatry. Regardless of any signs or wonders happening, is it truly the Holy Spirit at work if people are not being convicted of sin and repenting of them?
  3. The Holy Spirit brings to our remembrance Christ’s teachings. An irony of so much said to be “moves of the Spirit” is much of it goes against the very teachings of Christ, and there seems to be a spiritual amnesia when it comes to such. Jesus says the Holy Spirit  “will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you” (John 14:26). One chilling truth of Jesus that is cast aside is the truth that signs and wonders are not proof of the Holy Spirit. Jesus says plainly in the Sermon on the Mount, “On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness’” (Matt. 7:22-23). Elsewhere He warns, “For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect” (Matt. 24:24).
  4. Guiding Christ’s people in the truth. Similar to the previous point, Jesus says the Holy Spirit—the Spirit of truth (John 14:17)—“will guide you into all the truth” (John 16:13). Later, while praying to the Father, Jesus says, “Sanctify them [His people] in the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:17). The Holy Spirit guides the followers of Christ in accordance to the Scriptures. The Scriptures are our blueprint to Christian living and our map for spiritual wanderings. It is by the Scriptures we are to “test the spirits” and to discern between truth and error.
  5. The Holy Spirit bears witness about Christ. One of the chief works of the Holy Spirit is to direct people’s attention to Jesus Christ. Jesus states, “He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you” (John 16:14). The Holy Spirit never seeks to draw attention to Himself, but to drive us to Jesus. Yet, in many Charismatic circles the focus is on the Holy Spirit and the supposed works of Him. This focus is unbiblical, for He seeks to direct us to the Cross and to the risen Savior. Even in Acts the purpose of the moving sand giftings of the Spirit were to direct people to Christ. If one’s attention is not being directed to Jesus, the works are certainly not of the Holy Spirit but some other spirit.

This post is not at all meant to criticize my Charismatic brethren. I know of some who are very godly individuals who strive to be anchored on God’s Word. Yet, I have also witnessed the abuse of spiritual gifts, persons separating believers as the “haves” and have nots.” Such prideful exhibitions are the very attitudes Paul condemns in his letters to the Corinthians. The gifts differ amongst believers and are always meant to build up one another, not to be showcased like children during show-and-tell. Furthermore, I’ve come across individuals who have outright denied the very Gospel message, saying that if a person does not manifest certain gifts then he is not filled with the Holy Spirit, and thus is not saved. But such heretical teachings go directly against the clear teachings of the New Testament—including Acts—that persons are saved by grace through faith and believing on Jesus Christ who died for our sins and was raised from the dead. The evidence of the Spirit are not in the gifts but the fruits of the Spirit (Gal. 5:16-24).

Churches must return to the teachings of Scripture or else face dire consequences. While it is true we do not ever want to attribute true workings of the Holy Spirit to the devil; however, we must also beware of attributing works of the flesh and of devils to the Holy Spirit. Both errors are fatal.