I Will Shake Myself Free, as Before! Oh, Really?

by Oran Burt
That’s the way it usually plays out, isn’t it? We think we will just shake it off and walk away and start over. After all, we’ve done it before, right? Nice try. What about your adversary, the devil? He watches in delight as the Christian’s vexed soul tries to break free–but says to himself, “Oh, really?
And he is postured to launch a counter-attack measured to stop your progress!
What about your spirit? Has it been fed, nurtured and exercised regularly? Do you walk after the Spirit? Have you Kept your vows?
What about the Lord? Is He still with you? Are you still with Him?
Think about Samson, when Delilah was trying to get him to tell her the secret of his strength. He had deceived her several times about how he could be subdued. She bound him with seven cords (bowstrings) as he suggested. But when she called for the Phillistines to come in and cap-ture him, he simply shook them off and escaped.
Then she tried the same thing with the new ropes, and again, he just snapped the ropes off his arm like a thread. Then she wove the seven locks of his head together into the fabric on the loom, thinking his strength would fail. Again, when she shouted that the Philistines were upon him, he broke free.
Finally, she pulled the old, cut-to-the-quick, sure-fire doozy of an accusation in order to get what she wanted: “How can you say you love me, when you won’t confide in me?” (Judges 16:15). She kept after him about it: “And when she pressed him hard by her words day after day, and urged him, his soul was vexed to death. And he told her all his heart.” (Judges 16:16-17).
This time, she called for a man to come in and cut Samson’s hair. And when she called for the Philistines to come get him, he awoke, and said, “I’ll go out as before and shake myself free!.”
I love it when a plan comes together! And here was a decisive man, strong and determined, who had successfully picked a fight (sought an occasion) against the enemies of God’s people. And now he’s about to once again show off his excellent, pristine ability to handle himself, and mock the Philistines. Go Samson!
But, wait. Something is different this time. Something ever so subtle has been taking place, silently, invisibly, yet very real. The LORD had departed from him, and he did not know it.
With just his own human strength, he suffers a different outcome this time. He is captured, blinded, and humiliated before his enemies.
Consequences are sometimes irreversible. I suppose that if Samson could somehow not have been blinded, and could have escaped and been restored to his previous condition, he might be more careful in the future. But in his case, there was no going back.
Often we are overcome by temptation (led away by our own lusts) and find ourselves repeating the same mistakes and sins over again.
Possibly, we wake up in time, escape back to safety & normalcy and vow to never do it again.
And Satan says, Oh, really?” Brace yourself for another flaming dart!
But are we ready for the battle? Possibly, we have spent so much time nourishing the flesh, that the spirit is weak. Maybe we have not abstained from the fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul.
Or, could we have neglected the spiritual disciplines that grow the soul? Nothing else on the planet, nor in heaven, nor in the Christian life does the same thing as the constant, fervent, bold prayers of the saints! If I have neglected my worship of God; my feeding on His Word; my supplications for my brethren; my serving among my neighbors–I may not be able to shake myself free this time!

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