Updated: Jan 24
If living through a pandemic has taught us anything,
it is that tomorrow, as it is today, is promised to no man.
Over 23 years of ministry, and countless interactions with all kinds of people, I’ve learned that there are two types of people, the meaningful and the superficial. And, without fail, when I evaluate the lives of people who seemed to be the most authentic in their Christianity, I have found one common factor, PRAYER. Their prayer lives were deeply real. They knew how profoundly influential a deep and meaningful prayer life is to the success of their own lives, and they prioritize it.
History provides the same testimony:
John Bunyan, the writer of The Pilgrim's Progress, had this to say on the topic of prayer, “He who runs from God in the morning will scarcely find Him the rest of the day.”
George Muller, a great evangelist, and missionary, was asked how much time he spent praying. He answered, “I spend hours every day, but I live in the Spirit of prayer. I pray as I walk, when I lay down, and when I arise. And the answers are always coming."
Martin Luther, a great reformer, said, “If I should neglect prayer, but for a single day, I should lose a great deal of the fire of faith.”
Yet in Scripture, we find a man named Samson, perhaps the strongest man who ever lived. The Spirit of God would come upon his life, equipping him with supernatural power. He could defeat 100’s, if not 1000’s of enemy soldiers, all by himself because of how the Spirit of God used him. But his life does not end well, and I think it’s because of this reality. According to Scripture, Samson only prayed two times in his entire life. Despite his strength, Samson failed to live a meaningful life because he did not prioritize prayer.
Then he became very thirsty; so he cried out to the LORD and said, “You have given this great deliverance by the hand of Your servant; and now shall I die of thirst and fall into the hand of the uncircumcised?” - Judges 15:18 (NKJV)
This Scripture is the record of the first time Samson prayed. He had been in the fight of his life. One-thousand men came to apprehend him. The enemy had marked his life and wanted to take him out. He fought to survive, and God helped him. With the jawbone of a donkey, he kills a thousand men! He used what was available to him, even if it wasn’t what was desired, and he experienced a great victory!
Are you fighting for something meaningful?
Does it seem like the enemy is coming against you from all angles?
Do you feel outnumbered?
Maybe your battle is in your marriage, relationships, career, or finances. Perhaps, like Samson, you feel all you have to fight with is inadequate and undesired weaponry. But, thank God, you refuse to give up, and you're willing to use what God has made available to you to keep moving forward! You believe that God will show up and help you win your battle even though what you have right now doesn’t feel like enough. You believe that God will give you a supernatural power, and you will claim your victory.
I’ve got good news, despite using an undesirable and uncommon weapon, Samson was victorious in his battle! However, the bad news isn’t over, either. Samson got tired. Maybe, for you, the struggle you’ve been fighting has felt very strenuous, and you’re exhausted. Samson’s biography teaches us that it is possible to have a tremendous spiritual victory and still feel physically weak.
Typically entering into a new year rejuvenates us; it serves as a time to start dreaming, planning, and allowing excitement for all the new possibilities to grow. But maybe for you, just surviving 2021 has left you spiritually drained and exhausted. It was a victory, but you’re tired. You survived, and you're thankful for everything God did for you, but you are exhausted.
I want you to be encouraged through Samson's prayer:
Then he became very thirsty; so he cried out to the LORD and said, “You have given this great deliverance by the hand of Your servant; and now shall I die of thirst and fall into the hand of the uncircumcised?” - Judges 15:18
There is still the opportunity to cry out to God, the one who is more significant than you, and receive revival, refreshing, and renewal! Remember, the only reason the “jawbone'' in your life worked, to begin with, is that God’s hand was upon it. And, the only reason you're thirsty now is that God is reminding you that you can not go on without Him. You need Him to continue!
So God (split the hollow place and) caused water to gush out of the ground at Lehi, and Samson was revived as he drank. Then he named that place “The Spring of the One Who Cried Out,” and it is still in Lehi to this day. - Judges 15:19
Samson got thirsty, and God gave him refreshing, and it came from an empty space, from a place that Samson did not expect it to come from and had never experienced refreshing from before. So don’t disqualify the crevice from which God may be preparing to refresh you. It may have previously been empty in your life. But this is how God will get the glory from the victory and revival.
God is aware that you are tired. He is aware that you are exhausted and what you see in your hand feels insignificant and undesirable to keep fighting, but He wants you to be mindful that in the same way, He heard Samson cry out, He will listen to your cry too!
It’s okay to let God know you need a drink of His Spirit, His presence. A drink of what only Heaven can offer you.
He is the same yesterday, today, and forever!
I invite you to view this message in its entirety at this link: https://youtu.be/hI4Lemjz2tM
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