For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
I’ve watched a fly get trapped between the drapes and a window pane. The fly sees what he wants and applies himself with all earnest to achieve the freedom that he desires. Yet, the window refuses to give way and allow the fly to pass. So the fly buzzes and the window resists. I’ve watched as the fly redoubled his efforts with the same goal in mind and presses himself against the window this time with greater effort but still ends up with the same results. The fly buzzes louder and the window continues to resist.
Undaunted by his lack of success, the fly buzzes louder still as he presses himself against the window with all of his might but the glass remains intact. The fly falls to the windowsill having exhausted himself and dies. Harder is not the answer.
As a kid I tied one of my grandmother’s sheets about my neck, climbed to the pinnacle of the hay barn, studied and set my trajectory, and gave it my best leap. I was determined I was going to fly like Superman. With a bruised ego, I got up and dusted myself off a much wiser man. It didn’t take two or three more plunges off of the hay barn to realize something wasn’t working. But as adults we try to resolve spiritual problems with fleshly effort.
For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.
There had been rumors of a murderous giant that stalked the borders of the Philistines. He was the frightening tale told around the campfire. Parents whispered his name to scurry their children off to bed. It was said that he had three heads and was only part man. One man said that he had killed a thousand soldiers by himself. Another man said that he had carried off the gates of Garza. Still another said that he had ripped a lion in half with his bare hands. His name was Samson.
Samson did carry off the gates of a city and he had ripped lion in half with his bare hands. He also had killed a thousand philistines with a jawbone. But Samson was no monster and he wasn’t physically intimidating because Delilah begged of him, “Tell me, I pray thee, wherein thy great strength lieth…” Judges 16:6. If it had been his stature or his bicep, she would have never asked the question. It wasn’t in his flesh.
We don’t need a weatherman to tell us we are in a storm. We need the one that said, “…peace be still” to calm our fears. We do not need a doctor’s prognosis to let us know how bad it is, but we need the Great Physician to heal us. We aren’t in need of more counselors to talk us through our problems but what we need is a Savior.
Ultimately, Samson succumb to something as natural as laying his head down and falling asleep.
Samson’s strength was found in his commitment. His secret was his obedience. When Samson betrayed his commitment to God, it scattered God’s people and it popularized false beliefs.
We have all bailed out of the top of the hay barn trying to fly and plummeted to the ground. We’ve all tried like the fly, to do the impossible with more effort and gained only disillusionment and frustration as a result.
“…Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.”
Some of you are tired. Weary of trying to make things work. Wore out on trying to get all of the pieces of your life to fit. Some have felt like just giving up. You have almost succumb to family troubles, bills, medical problems, or work stress. Instead of trying to fix it, ask God to help you. Ask Him for the game changer. Ask God to touch you one more time. Ask God for His Spirit.
“…O Lord God, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee…”
Samson prayed after his failure and God heard him. God will hear you this week.