“Who are you, anyway?”
Have you ever been asked that question?
If so, what kind of answer did you give?
Well, uh, I’m just a person. I don’t do anything really significant. I write a bit and – oh yeah, I’m a Christian. I try and help out at church when I can, but I’m really nobody important. It’s not like I’m on staff or anything.
And I don’t have a college degree – even had trouble finishing high school. I’ve done a lot of different types of jobs over the years: clerical, sales, restaurant work – you know, stuff like that.
I guess I’m just ordinary…
Hmmm. Do you feel the same way about yourself? That you’re just an ordinary person?
I certainly have my moments. Except my Heavenly Father keeps reminding me that I’m anything but ordinary – I just need to remember that!
But why am I not ordinary?
Because I serve an extraordinary God. A God who delights in me just as I am – because He made me (Psalm 139:1-16). And since He made me, does that not make me special? Look at the universe – is there anything ordinary about all that? If He put the whole world together so creatively, would he make me like a piece of junk? Certainly not!
Plus, in 2 Corinthians 5:17 it says when I surrendered to Jesus – recognizing all that He has done for me – I became a new creation. That definitely means no ordinariness. Just specialness.
And, I am now royalty (John 1:12)!
So as I do my best to listen and follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance daily, I know He’s walking right alongside me. I know He is fully capable of turning everything I do into a mission field – if I let Him. According to His plan, not mine.
What happens when I hit a crossroads, and am unsure of just what I’m supposed to be doing? I pray for direction (James 1:5), and He guides me.
I love my Father; and I’m so thankful that He loves me. I’m also thankful that the Holy Spirit intercedes for me according to God’s will (Romans 8:26-28); because He wants the best for me.
Yet I certainly still mess-up sometimes (actually a lot). But when I do? I repent and turn back to my Father (1 John 1:9). He forgives me once again, and often helps me fix my mess-ups. Not that there aren’t consequences, however!
Jesus. His mercy and love is beyond what my finite mind can understand.
And He loves you, just as much as He loves me.
There’s a man in the Bible who forgot for awhile that it was God who made him special. God had big plans for him. Yet as this man grew up, he began thinking more of himself and his personal wants, and less of what God wanted for him.
Because of that, there were consequences. God loves His children too much to let us keep on sinning once we have surrendered to Him. This man had to pay dearly for his continued disobedience. However once he finally called out to his Father, he was redeemed. Our God is always faithful to us, even when we haven’t always been faithful to Him. Because of His undying love.
Who was this man? Samson, and you can read about him in Judges 13-16.
Without going into a detail-by-detail account, his story begins with the woman who was to be his mother. This dear lady had never been able to have children, and as I wrote in my post What Happened, not having a son to carry on the family name back in those days was a very big deal.
One day while Samson’s mother-to-be was crying her heart out to the Lord, an angel appeared and informs her that she and her husband are going to have a son, and he was to be dedicated to God. Their up-and-coming son had been chosen to become the leader in rescuing Israel from the evil hand of the Philistines.
You have to believe with such a bright future in store for their son, that his parents often went out of their way to make sure as long as they had him at home, they were going to try and make him happy.
And they did, even when Samson in his disobedience decided he wanted to marry a woman not from the Israelites like he should have, but from their enemy – the Philistines. His parents plead with him not to, yet Samson wants what he wants, and acts like a spoiled little kid. He whines, and his parents give in.
The marriage didn’t last. Samson’s wife deceives him, and she’s given to one of his friends instead.
Later on, Samson decides he wants his wife to come back to him, but her father refuses to let her. So war between the Philistines and Israelites bubble to the surface. Samson is fierce, burning up many of the Philistines’ fields, vineyards and olive groves. They try to capture him, yet are unable to do so.
Why? Because God had graced Samson with supernatural strength. And through that strength he was able to kill 1,000 of the Philistines all by himself.
Yet after this great victory? Samson begins to pout. He does gives glory to God – but he’s thirsty. He whines to God, and our loving Father provides for him something to drink.
Samson later decides to go against the commandments of God again, and begins to visit prostitutes (once more in enemy territory). Later he falls in love with one of them, named Delilah.
Who proved to be his final downfall.
Delilah knew how to play the game quite well. She certainly wasn’t in love with Samson – she was in love with money. And the Philistines said they would give her a bundle if she would find out for them the secret of Samson’s strength so they could capture him.
What was that secret? God had said his hair was never to be cut – as he was a Nazrite (Judges 16:17).
Delilah finally breaks Samson down after nagging him day-after-day. He decides to tell her his secret. He can no longer tolerate her constant wheedling and whining.
She then wastes no time informing the Philistine army, and they come and cut off his hair as he sleeps. God allows Samson’s supernatural strength to leave him because of his disobedience, and he is captured. His eyes are gouged out, and he’s brought to enemy land and placed in prison.
However over time Samson’s hair begins to once again grow, and he calls out to God. He repents, and asks for God to be with him just once more so he can avenge his enemies. His request is granted, and one day when Samson was called to the temple to entertain his enemies, he ends up killing about 3,000 people.
Yet Samson also died (Judges 16:28-30). His life, once so full of promise, was now over. He had completed what God had called him to do.
So going back to the question I asked at the beginning of this post: Who are you?
No, you are most likely not like Samson.
But do you realize that if you are a believer in Jesus Christ that you have been granted supernatural power through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit? That you have inside you the strength and power to accomplish everything God asks you to do – even when you don’t feel like you can?
Do you also realize that even though you often feel weak and insufficient in your life, that God has you right where He wants you, in order to reach who He wants you to reach?
I love 2 Corinthians 12:10, which says it’s through our weaknesses that we become strong. Why? Because typically that’s when we lean into God more. When things are going perfectly we often forget all about Him.
I try and remember to praise and worship my Father throughout my day regardless of what’s going on, but it’s definitely in those times when I suddenly find myself in unknown territory that I realize how much I really need Him.
And that’s exactly where He wants me. Because then He can use me just as He desires. To fulfill the purposes to which He is calling me, at that particular time.
Sometimes I’ve felt His presence strongly when I’ve found myself speaking to someone. I really hadn’t been expecting to say the words that came out of my mouth, but as I had been leaning and trusting in my Father, the Holy Spirit used my mouth to say what He wanted me to.
And there have been times when I’ve met with someone, and after leaving have felt as if I had totally blown everything I was trying to say. I felt my words came out jumbled, and that I probably confused my friend more than I helped.
But then I’ll hear later (sometimes not until years later) that my friend still remembers certain words I’d said, and how much they had meant to them.
Trust your Heavenly Father, friends. Have faith to believe.
Believing and trusting in God is essential. You must believe that when you feel the nudging of the Holy Spirit to step out in faith, that He is right beside you and will provide the supernatural strength you need, for just the time you need it.
Remember, when you feel weak, lean into God – and He will make you strong (2 Corinthians 12:10). It’s a promise. And God does not lie.