The Enemy Within.
A lot has already been said about the tragic story of Samson in Judges 13-16. However, I would like to draw your attention to an aspect of his life: his failure to conquer the enemy within.
Samson was special. He was blessed with amazing physical strength which gave him great advantage over his enemies. But he had a problem. His strength couldn’t help him deal with the enemy within his own soul. He could fight and defeat the enemy without but was quite clueless when it came to fighting the enemy within.
Fighting external battles was important but fighting and winning the battle within was crucial to his long term survival as a leader in Israel. The invisible battle within his soul was more important than the physical battles he fought and won daily.
Samson never lost a single battle he fought against the enemies of Israel, but he lost many battles within his own soul. When Samson fell, he wasn’t captured by his enemies during a battle, he was captured by the enemy which lived within his soul. Samson lived with that enemy daily. He nurtured it, bred it and fed it until that enemy became a monster that controlled and eventually destroyed him.
He failed to master the enemy when it was little, but in his arrogance he watched it grow until it became a monster in his life.
It is easier to pray against the enemy we can see and totally overlook the destroyer that lurks in our hearts. What we see is easier to deal with than things we don’t see.
From the story of Samson we discover that little things, little weaknesses, never remain little for very long. They grow. They become big and begin to dominate and take control of our lives in unbelievable ways.
Delilah didn’t destroy Samson.
She couldn’t have. She didn’t have the ability to.
What destroyed Samson was the sin within. The real enemies were in his soul.
These were the instruments of his destruction, not Delilah.
It makes a good story to blame Delilah for Samson’s fall, but she didn’t make it happen. Although she was complicit in Samson’s downfall, she wasn’t responsible for it. Samson’s enemy wasn’t Delilah or any of her kind. His real enemy was the sin within: the enemy who lived, dined and reigned in the inner sanctuaries of his soul.
Pride. Lust. Foolishness. Recklessness. These were his enemies not Delilah or any other woman.
From the day he broke his Nazarene vow and chose to live recklessly and without moral restraint, Samson began to die gradually. Eventually he became a walking corpse. If you looked at him on the outside, he looked strong and invincible, he fought battles and won. But if you looked within his soul, you would have seen a very dismal and sad picture. Inside his soul, the real Samson was an awful sight.
His magnificent mane had been shaved clean. He was bald.
His eyes were gouged and had become hollow receptacles of darkness.
His hands and feet were bound in fetters of iron.
He was naked.
He was incarcerated and held a prisoner by the sin in his soul.
It was just a matter of time before the condition of his soul became a living fact in his life.
Delilah didn’t have the power or ability to hurt Samson. He hurt himself. He destroyed himself.
Samson didn’t fall when he met Delilah. No. He was fallen and defeated long before he met her. When he chose to desecrate his Nazarene vow, he chose a path of defeat, failure and death. If he hadn’t fallen in his soul, his feet would never have found the crooked path that led to the darkness of Delilah’s lair.
When believers or ministers of the gospel fall into sin, it isn’t because they were seduced by their accomplices to commit that sin.The truth is that they were already fallen in their hearts before they met whoever they fell into sin with. That sin was already a reality in their soul before it manifested itself in their lives. Instead of blaming someone else for your sin, you should take responsibility for it and ask The Lord for forgiveness. Ask Him to deliver you from the sin lurking within your soul.
The Bible says in James 1:14-15 that we are ensnared by unrestrained desires within which gives birth to sin and when sin is fully mature, it brings forth death. It is the lusts that war in our soul that keeps us bound, not the temptations without.
Have you ever heard a man say, ‘she seduced me and I couldn’t resist her’? He is lying through his teeth. He wanted to do it more than he didn’t want to, that was why he did it. Dear woman, please don’t flatter yourself; you cannot tempt or seduce a man to fall into sin with you unless that sin is already in his soul. And you cannot be seduced to fall into sin with a man unless that sin is already in your soul.
If the desire is not in your soul, you will never be drawn to commit that sin.
It is the covetousness in your soul that makes you want to keep accumulating more and more even when you already have a lot.
If you don’t deal with pride in your soul, you will always want to prove something to people around you no matter how successful you become.
If there is no lust within your soul you won’t be tempted by it.
If there is no desire to steal, you won’t be tempted to steal.
In Revelations 3:1, The Lord speaking to the Church in Sardis said, “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive,but you are dead.” Speaking to the Church of the Laodiceans in Revelations 3:17-18, he said, “because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’- and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire that you may be rich; and white garments that you may be clothed, that the shame of your of your nakedness may not be revealed and anoint your eye with eye salve that you may see.”
The Lord Jesus looked into their soul, but they looked at themselves on the outside and couldn’t see their deplorable state. They were rebuked for what was a reality in their soul, not what they looked like on the outside.
What matters is the state of your soul.
When we deal with the sin in our soul, it will never find expression in our lives.
Hebrews 12:1, says we should lay aside every besetting sin.
The real battle is within your soul.
When we win within, it is sure that we will win without.