“So Delilah said to Samson, ‘Please tell me what makes you so strong and what it would take to tie you up securely.’” (Judges 16:6 NLT)
Lust is a powerful, seductive, and addictive force. Satan uses the demonic pull of inappropriate desire to lead us in ways God never intended for us to go, yet masks it in such attractive and appealing ways it seems so right it’s nearly impossible to say no.
Think of the people in the Bible who yielded to their lustful desires, with such devastating results. Do you think Eve fell to Satan’s temptation because she loved fruit and there were no other trees from which to choose? Did David’s lust for Bathsheba result from his lack of available wives and concubines? Did Samson’s strong desire for Delilah stem from his determination to obey God and fulfill His purposes?
Think of Jesus in the wilderness, literally starving and physically spent, facing the enemy of our soul at His weakest point, yet able, by God’s grace to say “NO” to the greatest temptations any of us will EVER face. How did He do it? How can we follow His example, and not the dictates of our sinful nature?
Samson, like all of mankind, loved himself more than anything or anyone else. At it’s core, Samson’s fall, as Adam and Eve’s and yours and mine, resulted from his life-long love affair with himself. The real battle Samson faced wasn’t simply his strong sexual urges, it was his inability to deny his inexhaustible desire to please himself.
Why do you think Jesus, when seeking to help us understand what it’s going to cost us to follow Him, said: “If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine. If you cling to your life, you will lose it, but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.” (Matthew 10:38-39 NLT)
In this context, to “take up your cross,” essentially speaks to our willingness to accept and carry out God’s will above and before our own will and desires. It means to put obedience to God before the fulfillment of the lusts of our flesh. And to “give up your life for me…” means in life as well as in death.
Like Samson, we are powerless to see the folly of our own way apart from the revealing presence of God’s Spirit. We will confuse lust and love, right and wrong, our will for God’s will EVERY TIME unless and until we face the demon of our own desire. By the revelation of God’s Spirit alive and at work in our hearts and minds we are able to accept the fact that our old self, our sinful, lust-filled desires, were crucified on Christ’s cross and we are now free to choose His will and way over our own. We can learn to prefer His High Way over our earth bound way.
Samson lost his way, as we surely will without moment by moment dependence upon God’s Holy presence alive in our heart and mind. By God’s grace we, just like Jesus, can say no to Satan and yes to God. It’s literally our choice.