The Bible says: “When he came to Lehi, the Philistines came shouting against him. Then the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him; and the ropes that were on his arms became like flax that is burned with fire, and his bonds broke loose from his hands. He found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, reached out his hand and took it, and killed a thousand men with it. Then Samson said: “With the jawbone of a donkey, Heaps upon heaps, With the jawbone of a donkey I have slain a thousand men!”And so it was, when he had finished speaking, that he threw the jawbone from his hand, and called that place Ramath Lehi.” (Judges 15:14-17 NKJV).
Notice Point #1: SAMSON ALLOWED THE ENEMY TO BIND HIM: “…We are come down to bind thee…we will bind thee fast…AND THEY BOUND HIM…” (Judges 15:12-13). If the truth be told, much of what we would like to blame on others, WE need to take Accountability and be Honest that WE Alone are to Blame.
“It is not only what we do, but also what we do Not do, for which we are Accountable.” (Moliere).
Samson was not shocked, surprised or caught off guard by his enemies! In fact, his enemies even had the audacity to let him know, IN ADVANCE, that they were coming for no other reason or purpose than to BIND HIM! The bible says, “…We are come down to BIND thee…we will BIND thee fast…AND THEY BOUND HIM…” And sadly enough, the enemy was true to his word!
Now, I already know Samson’s story, but might I ask YOU, “what has you tied up today?” Or better yet, “what have you ALLOWED to tie you up today?” “What/Who have you ALLOWED to bind you, tie you up and hold you back from the work assigned to your hands?” And before you answer, know that you can’t say you didn’t know that the enemies purpose was to hinder and harm you, because Jesus gave you a heads up: “The thief’s PURPOSE is to STEAL and KILL and DESTROY…” (John 10:10 NLT). So, since you knew, IN ADVANCE, but the enemy was able to bind you ANYWAY, that only means you entered into battle WILLFULLY UNPREPARED! You did not obey the orders of your Commanding Officer:
“…God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels. BE PREPARED. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.” (Ephesians 6:10-18 MSG).
People of God, you have Far Too Much Ammunition to Use to Your Advantage to continuously be bound, held captive, restrained and detained from the work of the Lord! Stop putting up help wanted posters on your life for the enemy to answer! Remember the Word of God admonishes: “Leave no [such] room or foothold for the devil [GIVE NO OPPORTUNITY TO HIM].” (Ephesians 4:27 AMP). Stop Allowing him to turn your life into his career opportunity! Stop offering him room for growth, advancement, increase in pay, vacation, sick, personal and comp time, stop giving him the stocks and bonds in your life that are making him rich and leaving your body, soul and spirit bankrupt! And most of all stop handing him bonuses every time he’s successful at binding you! And all of this is what YOU allow when you keep showing up to battle ill-prepared with no armor or weaponry!
Listen to that text again:
“Don’t provide an opportunity for the devil.” (CEB)
“and don’t give the devil a chance.” (CEV)
“Don’t give the devil a way to defeat you.” (ERV)
“Don’t give the devil any opportunity to work.” (GWT)
The devil is seeking the want ads for employment, stop hiring him! Stop giving him opportunities to keep working to defeat you! Stop extending ‘grace’ to the devil, we give him just as many chances as we ask God to give us! Which is why it’s so vital that you are never without your armor! The devil is always busy, and clearly always employed to wage war on us and win! God said to BE PREPARED, and the best way to BE prepared is to STAY prepared!
Understand that: “When the devil is called the god of this world, it is not because he made it, but because we serve him with our worldliness.” (Symeon). Remember you are in Spiritual Warfare, you can’t keep allowing your flesh to give the devil a foothold or you’ll never win the war!
Church, you can’t get free with SECULAR ANTICS, only with SPIRITUAL ARTILLERY! With that said, if you want to really get free and stay free, I’ll give you a little hint: “And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, AND THE YOKE SHALL BE DESTROYED BECAUSE OF THE ANOINTING” (Isaiah 10:27). This might buck up against some folks theology, but you will not get free by running around the church, jumping over pews, singing, dancing, praising, praying, spinning, falling out at the altar, or even worshiping! The Bible says: “…THE YOKE SHALL BE DESTROYED BECAUSE OF THE ANOINTING”! And the Scripture does not say the yoke will be broken, bruised or battered, but DESTROYED! The word ‘Destroy’ means to “put out of existence by severe damage or attack; to completely ruin or spoil”. That’s why it’s vital that you locate your anointing and live there! A yoke cannot and will not withstand the presence and power of the anointing! And you’ll always know when you have the right Spirit behind the anointing, because there will always be a RELEASE! The Bible says, “…the Spirit of the LORD entered Samson and gave him great power. The ropes on him weakened like burned strings and fell off his hands!” (Judges 15:14 NCV). The anointing will destroy anything or anyone trying to bind you to the extent that it will “put out of existence” your yoke of bondage, that it never returns again! Don’t allow the enemy to bind you, and even if he has already, don’t become distressed, depressed, discouraged, dismayed, disheartened or doomed for destruction, simply follow the road-map to release, IT’S FOUND IN THE ANOINTING!
The Bible says: “…He found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, reached out his hand and took it, and killed a thousand men…’” (Judges 15:14-18 NKJV).
Notice Point #2: SAMSON NEEDED TO SEE WHAT HAD ALREADY BEEN GIVEN TO HIM: It was just the jawbone of a donkey, but with God’s help it was enough to win the day! Unfortunately, however, we spend far too much time focusing on what we DON’T have, that we lessen the value in what we DO possess! We focus on the gifting’s that others have, while down-playing the gifts the Holy Spirit has “willed” and “desired” for us to have. We continuously want what’s in someone else’s hand when what we actually need is placed right in our own!
“Instead of complaining at his lot, a contented man is thankful that his condition and circumstances are no worse than they are. Instead of greedily desiring something more than the supply of his present need, he rejoices that God still cares for him. Such an one is “content” with such as he has.” (Arthur W. Pink).
If the truth be told, many marriages and ministries have been destroyed by the foolish assumption that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, when in actuality, if we simply took the time to nurture, weed and water our own lawn, it would supersede even the fantasy-image we have conjured up of someone else’s yard!
“Christian Contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God’s wise and fatherly disposal in every condition.” (Jeremiah Burroughs).
Many of you may have looked at the jawbone of the donkey and thought, “what am I supposed to do with that?”; “God you didn’t have anything else you could give me?”; “God you gave Saul full armor, you couldn’t give me the same?”; “It’s just a jawbone of a donkey, are you trying to say that’s all I can handle?” Or can we really be honest and bring it home and say: “God I can sing just as good as her, why can’t I lead a song?”; “I worked with women longer than she has, why can’t I be over the women’s ministry?”; “I’m nicer than Sister Celery, why can’t I be on the usher board too?” And the list could go on and on forever, because we love to complain about all that we don’t have, or better yet, all that we THINK we don’t have.
“Discontent is a sin that is its own punishment and makes men torment themselves; it makes the spirit sad, the body sick, and all the enjoyments sour; it is the heaviness of the heart and the rottenness of the bones. It is a sin that is its own parent. It arises not from the condition, but from the mind. As we find Paul contented in a prison, so Ahab discontent in a palace.” (Matthew Henry).
Saints, learn to be content both with what God gave you, and with what He saw fit NOT to give you! If you truly trust Him, then you’ll rejoice over what He has approved AND what He has Denied!
“The very first temptation in the history of mankind was the temptation to be discontent…that is exactly what discontent(ment) is—a questioning of the goodness of God.” (Jerry Bridges).
You see, too many of us would rather preach to 500 people, who don’t care to hear us in the first place, than sing to 5 people who receive fresh strength for the journey from one simple song. Why? Because the pulpit Appears more prestigious, than the podium on the floor, hidden in the corner, unnoticed by the organ! But as for me, I would rather use what God gave me to bless, strengthen and encourage 5 people than waste my time, energy and life doing something for 500 that produces absolutely no fruit! Whatever God has given you is enough! You don’t have to be like him, you don’t have to look like her, you don’t have to act like them, you don’t need to sit over there, you don’t need that title, you don’t require that position, leave their talents, gifts, and skill-set alone. What God assigned to you is all you need to fulfill YOUR assignment! Stop comparing your equipment to others, and simply use what God has equipped YOU with!
“God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in Him.” (John Piper).
Family, Samson’s “…jawbone of a donkey…” may seem little, insignificant, unnoticeable, irrelevant, unimportant, useless and unimpressive. But the Bible states: “…He found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, reached out his hand and took it, AND KILLED A THOUSAND MEN…” Pay close attention, what God provided for Samson appeared, little, insignificant, unnoticeable, irrelevant, unimportant, useless and unimpressive, but, “…HE REACHED OUT HIS HAND AND TOOK IT…”
Listen: If you don’t learn anything else, learn to accept what God has given YOU! Accept what God has made available for your use. Accept the road He’s called you to travel and the path He’s allowed you to cross. Whether it’s your spouse, your children, your job or your church, reach out your hand and take hold of what God has blessed you with!
Think about sports, not everyone is holding the ball at the same time. Only those who need to, do. We may praise the quarterback’s position, but not even he keeps the ball. Everybody on the team has their talents, gifts, and assignments, everybody on the team has their role to play and their position to hold. And if winning is key, then you don’t attempt to take someone else’s spot! We have to learn to work together in the Kingdom if we are to advance the Kingdom. We can’t win trying to beat our own teammates! I can’t play the organ, but so what, I don’t need to. But what I can do is join in the singing and praising and worshiping with everyone else. I don’t usher, I’m an Elder. Usher’s have their role in the church and so do I. Our ushers don’t attempt to preach, and I don’t attempt to take their bulletins and tell people where they can and can’t sit! Respect what your brothers and sisters have been assigned to do in the Kingdom of God. Stay your lane so we don’t all crash on impact and die because someone was trying to move over into a lane not needed for them to travel in order to get to their intended destination. I hope you’re getting this. Samson was successful because he used what was made available to HIM! He did not attempt to grab anyone else’s weapon in his warfare! And neither should you! What God Gave YOU Is Enough!
“The contented person experiences the sufficiency of God’s provision for his needs and the sufficiency of God’s grace for his circumstances. He believes God will indeed meet all his material needs and that He will work in all his circumstances for his good. That is why Paul could say, “Godliness with contentment is great gain.” The godly person has found what the greedy or envious or discontented person always searches for but never finds. He has found satisfaction and rest in his soul.” (Jerry Bridges).
Reach out your hand and take hold of your spouse, children, job and church and don’t try to change them, alter them, or compare them to what others have! His grace is sufficient, and so is all that He has given you (and all that He’s kept from you as well)! Stop complaining and comparing and learn to be content with what you have!
Can you imagine if Samson picked up that jawbone and said, ‘I don’t want this, I want a big, shiny, new spear!’ And so he throws away the very thing that was made available to him to win! Do not discard your ‘jawbone’! You see, jawbone’s are easy to dismiss, after all, who wants one? It’s the remains of something that died! It’s a bone with no life, no breathing, no organs! And since just about everything was dust and dirty then (not like our marbled streets, and paved roads) the jawbone would’ve been dusty and dirty too. Not to mention the bible says it was a ‘fresh jawbone of a donkey.’ So it had rotting flesh and blood on it as well. Surely everybody wants to be given that right? Wrong! But regardless to what was left of it, regardless that it’s no longer what it used to be, regardless that it’s bloody, dirty and dusty and a very little use, still it was what Samson needed to use to kill his enemies and win his battle! Likewise, your spouse is more than likely not as small or as young as they used to be. Wrinkles have formed, bags and sags are so disrespectful since they were not invited to be a part of our bodies. They are no longer 21 and ready to take on the world, no they’re 51 and ready to take on the bed for a nap! Yet, they are who God allowed you to marry and build a family and life with. They are who God allowed to be available to help you build that ministry, that church, that business, that school! And although they may not look like they did 20 or 40 years ago, don’t you dare discard your ‘jawbone’ now! They are a part of your life for the long haul! And since you haven’t fought your last battle with the devil, I suggest you hold on to who helped you win the last fight!
It’s so sad to say, but we’ve become a comfortable circumstantial church of convenience. If we don’t like the circumstances we quit; if it’s not comfortable and convenient, we quit. NO! Believers, that’s not our lot. We value and appreciate what/who God has made available to us to help us and make us better! So don’t be so quick to quit! Don’t throw away your ‘jawbone’, you need it to fight and win! My dad used to say, ‘don’t chase a shiny penny because you don’t like a crumbled dollar! No matter what either one looks like, their value is still the same.’ And that’s exactly what many of us are doing, casting aside our crumpled dollars for a shiny penny! But you do realize, crumpled or not, the dollar has 99 cents more value over the one shiny penny! Be careful in the decisions you make to discard people! You Have Everything You Need in YOUR Jawbone, Keep It!
“Discouragement is dissatisfaction with the past, distaste for the present, and distrust of the future. It is ingratitude for the blessings of yesterday, indifference to the opportunities of today, and insecurity regarding strength for tomorrow. It is unawareness of the presence of beauty, unconcern for the needs of our fellowman, and unbelief in the promises of old. It is impatience with time, immaturity of thought, and impoliteness to God.” (William Ward).
Yes, saints, it was just a “…jawbone of a donkey…” but it “…KILLED A THOUSAND MEN…”!
So I admonish you today, be careful about underestimating, overlooking, undervaluing and discrediting what God provided FOR YOU, IT JUST MAY BE THE WEAPON YOU NEED TO KILL YOUR ENEMY! Your spouse, children, job and church may not be all that you thought they should be, or all that you wanted them to be, but if God provided them, YOU BETTER BE GRATEFUL, BECAUSE THEY’RE THE WEAPON YOU NEED TO KILL YOUR ENEMIES! Samson had to see what God had ALREADY provided for him, accept it and use it, and so do you! Why? BECAUSE IT IS ENOUGH!
You see, Samson used his jawbone to kill a thousand men in chapter 15. But over in chapter 16, he killed more than three thousand! Judges 16:26-30, “Samson said to the young servant who was leading him by the hand, “Place my hands against the pillars that hold up the temple. I want to rest against them.” Now the temple was COMPLETELY FILLED WITH PEOPLE. All the Philistine rulers were there, and there were about 3,000 MEN AND WOMEN on the roof who were watching as Samson amused them.Then Samson prayed to the Lord, “Sovereign Lord, remember me again. O God, please strengthen me just one more time. With one blow let me pay back the Philistines for the loss of my two eyes.” Then Samson put his hands on the two center pillars that held up the temple. Pushing against them with both hands,he prayed, “Let me die with the Philistines.” And the temple crashed down on the Philistine rulers and all the people. So he killed more people when he died than he had during his entire lifetime.” (NLT)
Samson had to first use that jawbone to kill a thousand before he got to the slaughter of three thousand plus! And sometimes we forget to pay attention to using what has been made available to us in our first battle. You see, if they killed him before the jawbone, he would’ve never gotten the opportunity to slay all of his enemies! Use what God has given you, and use it when He gives it to you and how. There will be more and greater opportunities down the road, but if you don’t handle the little, don’t look for the much!
No more competing and comparing, no more envy and jealousy, no more trying to grab somebody else’s gift (or spouse, yep I said it!) What God has Given YOU is Enough for YOU! Don’t discard your small beginnings and please don’t discard your ‘jawbone’!
Be Warned: “The person with the discontented heart has the attitude that everything he does for God is too much, and everything God does for him is too little.” (Don Kistler).
Be Content With What and Who God Has Made Available for YOU! It is Enough!
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