Just As Before

Ric BenderDevotionals

just as before

…So he awoke from his sleep, and said, “I will go out as before, at other times, and shake myself free!” But he did not know that the LORD had departed from him. – Judges 16:20

This story is certainly one to create a holy fear in the heart of one that Loves the Lord. It is a sad story but one we must take time to meditate on. It didn’t happen overnight, it never does, does it? But little by little Samson the powerful man of God has become a blind enslaved grinder in the prison of his enemies.

Before our verse, we learn how Samson yielded to his own passions, rather than the Spirit of God. Little by little, it seems he became less and less sensitive to the presence of God living in a presumption of all things will remain the same. I can do these things and God will be okay with me. But as we read here God no longer can co-operate with Samson and yet Samson doesn’t even know it.

Is the power that once existed in your ministry gone? Samson had great experiences of power, and he went on expecting them to continue even though his very lifestyle was making it impossible for God to continue to allow such behavior. Are you making it impossible for God to continue?

Related Article: Before Revival

I like how G. Campbell Morgan describes this “…appalling condition, that of the unconscious loss of the one essential to success in the work of God.” I believe this story is a lesson of great importance and relevance. I know we are sealed by the Spirit of God when we come to salvation in Jesus but God will not continue to allow us to operate in His power as we are seeking to yield like Samson to our flesh and it’s passion. And even more striking is the fact of men and woman thinking everything will be the same as always. You might be saying “I stop doing that tomorrow or just one more time and I’m through. And the hard cold reality is God has removed His power from your service and His presence from your life and you don’t even know it.

The lesson is a clear and concise one. God will indeed remove His power from our life, ministry and service if we presume everything is fine. Instead, let us cultivate daily intimacy with Jesus and a sharpening of our senses to know when we are drifting away.

Just as before is a dangerous thought for the servant of God. Presuming God’s grace will allow you to walk in your sin is a very dangerous thing. Look closely at the life of Samson once again. This great man of God now blind, imprisoned. Yes God restored him at the end to destroy his enemy but what a price he had to pay for his passions and lust.

Take the hard road of repentance, turn to the reward of God’s presence and power in your life. Stop deceiving yourself, your life and ministry are showing the signs, however, you can no longer recognize them. You were once so sensitive to the Spirit of God’s leading and leaning but now you’re deciding not to listen. Act now, don’t tell yourself He will be with me just as before because just as before thinking is going to surprise you one day and you won’t like it at all. God’s power gone and you are enslaved.

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