Archive for the ‘self-willed’ Category

I Don’t Want to Do it My Way!

Oh I can’t wait for the refreshment that will be found in Ruth! Because these last five chapters have been a real cesspool…and sometimes hitting a little too close to home.

The last chapter of Judges (Judges 21) continues the soap opera of life where “every man went to his own tribe…to his own family….every man to his own inheritance. In those days there was no king in Israel, and everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
(her could just as easily be substituted for his)

And just like I couldn’t wait for Judges to end, so I can’t wait for the same conniving to end in my own life.

Just how many man-made schemes have we read about this month in our journey through Judges? Every question posed to the “children of God” seems to end up one way or the other, involving harm and death.

And what have these brilliant plans of men accomplished? They have gone full-circle. Their ultimate solution for the mistreatment of a woman (Judges 19) is the exploitation of at least 600 more women (Judges 21).

Oh the progress and forward thinking of mankind!

I have a tendency to relate more to the prodigal son rather than the older son in Luke 15. As a result, I’m inclined to criticize those who look down on others, all the while sympathizing with the one who wasted their riches with swine.

So in my forward thinking, I end up judging those who judge others. Hmmmmmm. Now how is that really all that different?

So here are the children of Israel judging the Benjamites for mistreating a woman, who end up mistreating women to help the Benjamites! Oh God for a heaven-centered balance!

Just how scheming, conniving, manipulative, rationalizing, and deceived we can become if the Lord does not intervene in our lives and disrupt the whole vicious cycle of it all!

O Lord, I don’t want to do it my way. My heart is desperately wicked and is unable to see what is right and good. Let me live in Your reality. Lord Jesus be my King.

Good Guy? or Bad Guy?

Sometimes I have to ask that same question about myself! The way I behave sometimes, you’d think I was a self-willed youth making decisions based on the strict criterion of “what will make me feel good!”

Other times, though not as frequent as I’d like it to be, there are moral victories, wise decisions, or good choices made.

In today’s chapter of Judges 14, the same question can be asked of Samson! Is he a noble fella or a spoiled child?

Some of the mounting evidence for the latter is:

  • Hanging out at the vineyards watching girls
  • “I want her”
  • “Get her for me”
  • “Get her for me” (again!)
  • Keeper of secrets
  • “I’m smarter than you are”
  • “I’ll betcha”
  • Seemingly has an insatiable appetite for clothes!
  • Easily manipulated by a woman
  • Given to anger
  • (and what is he doing down by the vineyards to begin with [verse 13:24; 14:5])?

But the word for me today is…when he was surprised by a young lion that came roaring at him, he didn’t tuck tail and run. He confronted his fears head on, faced them and supernaturally conquered them. Who wouldn’t want to experience that?

And in that nike (victory) over his fears, there was much sweetness to be found. How often the Lord may give me a victory in certain areas, and I immediately try to minimize it, rather than indulging in the sweetness of it, like Samson did in his conquest. By all means, dear Deborah, enjoy the sweetness of a God-given triumph. Acknowledge the gracious hand of the Lord in it, and relish the fresh taste.

So not only did he 1) confront his fears, and
2) indulge in the sweetness gained by the victory, but
3) he shared it with others, freely.

I desire to share any sweetness the Lord has given to me in with others. But I would do it just a smidgen different than Samson did. I would be sure to share exactly where the honey came from and by what power (verse 6) such a feat could have been accomplished!

So, even though we have a pile of evidence to demonstrate what a whiney womanizer Samson is (a far cry from the holy Nazarite he was to be), it is a blessing to see how the Spirit of God can merciful use him. (He even makes an appearance in the Great Hall of Faith)

Could it be that God could use a “Good Guy:Bad Guy” kind of person?!
I hear Him saying “yes!”

Oh Lord God, may You be acknowledged in every success in my life. And may I be faithful to share the sweet honey You provide with others. I pray You will make me more and more the “good guy” and daily help me say good-bye to the “bad guy”!