Neglecting spiritual gifts

Then Delilah realized that he had told her everything in his heart, so she sent and called for the Philistine lords, saying, “Come up this once, because he has told me everything in his heart.” Then the Philistine lords came up to her and brought the money [they had promised] in their hands.  She made Samson sleep on her knees, and she called a man and had him shave off the seven braids of his head. Then she began to abuse Samson, and his strength left him.  She said, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” And he awoke from his sleep and said, “I will go out as I have time after time and shake myself free.” For Samson did not know that the Lord had departed from him.  Then the Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes; and they brought him down to Gaza and bound him with [two] bronze chains; and he was forced to be a grinder [of grain into flour at the mill] in the prison. – Judges 16:18-21

The question for us today is this: have we gradually become so ensnared by the world that we don’t even know the Lord has left us? We understand and believe but we began toying with the Delilahs of our age. Samson kept the sign of his vow, long hair, but lost the relationship with God and ultimately the power which God had given him. Perhaps we sometimes trust more in a symbol of our religion than in the Saviour Himself and so lose the power of the Spirit. We can get so used to our slow backsliding that we do not even notice that the Spirit of God has departed and we are simply following our own path. Suddenly, we realize we’re trapped, enslaved, blinded, and we wonder what happened. Mark 12 Ministries

The practical lesson against the presumption of self-dependence, and the all-importance of a hearty dependence upon God‘s Holy Spirit, must not be overlooked. Studylight Commentary

His church is to worship Him in spirit and in truth. What happens when we neglect these items? What happens when we leave our first love? We can be a body whose candlestick is removed and would not even know that the presence of the Lord has departed from us.

A similar thing happens to the Christian who dabbles in the things of the world. They go deeper into sin, slowly sliding away from the Lord, without knowing what is happening. It is not until they have had some startling experience—perhaps due to God’s discipline—that they see their true condition. When brought under the searchlight of the Word of God, the deceived one’s shocked to realize how Satan has stripped away their spiritual power and discernment.

Guard carefully your spiritual walks.  Watch for the danger signs and move quickly to repent of failures – treadingwatertilljesuscomes.com

 Samson drifted into sin one inch at a time, but finally there was a point when God withdrew his favor and denied him access to the gift of strength. Pride, presumption, and neglecting your spiritual gifts may result in the same end. What task has God set before you at this point in life? Are you aware of your privilege and, as Paul encouraged Timothy (2Ti 1:6note), are you stirring up your gift into a righteous flame? (Before the Face of God: Book Three: A Daily Guide for Living from the Old Testament)

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Stirring up the gift of God

 

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