What is your favorite story? Every story is built upon the bricks and mortar of great characters.
Every great movie changes us because the characters motivate us and evoke something in us. Sometimes we look within ourselves and see things we are proud of, but we also see things of which we are ashamed. The hero, the traitor, the villain, the sidekick. These characters drive the plot and make us care and connect.
What kind of character are YOU?
Everyone plays a role. Everyone makes choices. All of us have the opportunity to be the hero or the villain. The way we respond to the options God places in front of us will determine who we become.
Think about Samson. He was his day’s Superman, endowed with unbelievable strength! He could do anything he wanted and no one could stop him. God gave this man a mission: rescue your people from their oppressors. You would think that with all that power and this heroic mission, Samson would jump in to save the day, right? Wrong! Instead, we see a totally self-absorbed person whose only goal in life is to do whatever he feels like at that moment.
It seems as you read through the narrative of Judges 14-16 that Samson is just reacting to his circumstances, not living out God’s mission for him. He feels like visiting a prostitute, so he does. He sees a beautiful girl, so he attempts to marry her. He sees honey in a lion, so he eats it. Samson gets conned, so he seeks vengeance. This is the man who was supposed to free the Israelites from their captivity at the hands of the Philistines, their foreign oppressors, yet seldom do we see him take steps toward accomplishing this.
Eventually, Samson does deal a great blow to the Philistines and Israel breaks free from their bondage, just like God said, but it seems almost like “blind” luck (literally!- read ch. 16) that Samson ends up where he can destroy the Philistine lords. Along Samson’s pain-ridden path are heartbreak, betrayal, murder, immorality, torture and destruction.
Samson made his choices, and he reaped the consequences for those actions. But remember, God’s plan won’t fail, but you DO get to choose which character you get to be in God’s story.
God’s story is about Jesus. He will be the reigning King, the Savior from our sins and the Punisher of His enemies. Satan will be crushed; Christ will be Lord of all. You get to choose how you want Him to accomplish His purposes: using you, or in spite of you.
We shouldn’t be like Samson. We’ve got to get on the same page with God and seek to do His will, not ours. Whenever we try to do “what’s right in our own eyes,” all we get is destruction and heartache, just like Samson.
So why are you doing what you are doing?
Are you just drifting through life reacting to everything and everyone else?
Or are you actively seeking your place in God’s plan?
What is God calling you to do?
Will you stand with Him or work against His desires?
God’s plan was accomplished: Israel was delivered from the Philistines. However, Samson was never the hero he could have been.
God’s plan WILL be accomplished. How will you play your role?